Title: The Thirteenth Hussars in the Great War 1914 – 1918
Author: Durand, Right Hon. Sir H Mortimer
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication Date: 2003
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 392 pages
Comments: The record of a cavalry regiment on the Western Front but mainly in Mesopotamia, based on personal experiences and letters and diaries.
Lists of officers and ORs who served, casualties, honours and good index. Very good historyWhen war broke out the 13th Hussars were in India with the Meerut Cavalry brigade. The Regiment landed at Marseilles in December 1914 with 2nd Indian Cavalry Division and served on the Western Front till June 1916 when it left for Mesopotamia, arriving at Basra in August 1916 joining 7th Indian Cavalry brigade.
The main object of the book is to give an account of the Regiment over the ten years of its service to 1920, but it begins with an overview of cavalry before the great War followed by a summary of the Regiment’s earlier history from the year it was raised, 1715, to 1910 where this volume proper begins, in India where the regiment arrived in 1904. The main event in India in the four years preceeding the Great War was the Delhi Durbar honouring the new King Emperor, George V, involving 50,000 British and Indian troops. During its eighteen months on the Western Front the regiment was not involved in any major action, in fact the Indian Cavalry Corps was apparently known as ‘The Iron Rations’ – only to be used in the last extremity.
Though they had had some turns in the trenches, involving a few caualties, they had seen no active work as cavalry. In Mesopotamia the Regiment saw plenty of action, on the Tigris, the recapture of Kut, occupation of Baghdad, operations in 1917/18. The history is based essentially on accounts of officers and men who took part and on extracts from letters and diaries.There are some good appendices: Roll of officers who belonged to or served with the Regiment during the war and another for the Other Ranks identifying casualties; a separate list of casualties which includes wounded with dates and location and PWs.
There is a list of Honours and Awards, a list of officers who sailed for France from India in November 1914 and showing details of officers who subsequently joined or who were attached to other units. Finally there is an excellent index.