As a result of the reorganisation of the Indian Army during the period 1921-1923, the number of Indian Cavalry Regiments was reduced from 40 to 21. Each consecutive 3 regiments formed a group, making 7 groups. The 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse) was formed from the following:
2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse) - (1903 title)
and the 4th Cavalry - (1904 title)
and was included in the first group.
The background to these regiments are as follows:
1903 Title - 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse)
Raised 12 May 1809, at Farruckabad and Mainpuri by Lieutenant Colonel William Linnaeus Gardner as a body of horse to carry out police and revenue duties in the Dooab and originally styled Lieutenant Colonel Gardner's Horse.
20 June 1817, became a corps of Irregular Horse, the police and revenue aspect being dropped, and renamed Lieutenant Colonel Gardner's Corps of Irregular Horse.
1823 - Renamed 2nd Regiment of Local Horse.
1840 - Renamed 2nd Bengal Irregular Cavalry.
1861 - Renamed 2nd Bengal Cavalry.
1890 - Renamed 2nd Bengal Lancers.
1903 - Indian Army reorganisation - 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse).
1904 Title - 4th Cavalry
Raised in 1838 under the orders of the East India Company for service with the Kind of Oudh under the command of Captain C Newbury and first called the Cavalry Regiment of the Oudh Auxiliary Force.
1840 - Renamed 6th Regiment of Bengal Irregular Cavalry.
1844 - Granted an Honorary Squadron, for its services in the Sind.
1849 - On reduction in establishment, the squadron was taken away and instead the Regiment was granted an Honorary Standard.
1861 - Renumbered the 4th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry.
1900 - Renamed 4th Lancers.
1903 - Renamed 4th Cavalry, but grouped under Lancers in 1913 Dress Regulations.
The 2nd Lancers and the 4th Cavalry amalgamated in 1922.
1922 - 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse).
1935 - Became a Royal Regiment - 2nd Royal Lancers (Gardner's Horse).
1947 - To Indian Army.
1950 - Reverted to present title upon India becoming a Republic.
The Two World Wars
In the two World Wars the two Regiments' service was:
2nd Lancers - Left India for France in November 1914 in the Mhow Cavalry Brigade of the Indian Cavalry Division, and was in action in the trenches as infantry in January 1915 at Festubert. Four winters were spend in France and during that time the Regiment fought in both the cavalry and infantry roles, changing frequently from one to the other at short notice. They took part in the repulse of the German counterattack at Cambrai on 1 December 1917, in the cavalry role, part of the Regiment having to be withdrawn from the trenches in this action. An Indian NCO with the 2nd Lancers won the Victoria Cross during the battle. In February 1918 they left France for Egypt, joining the 4th Cavalry Division in the Desert Mounted Corps. From May 1918 the Regiment took part in General Allenby's campaign in Palestine. The Regiment returned to India in December 1920.
4th Cavalry - France 1915, Mesopotamia 1916, the advance to Kut. Returned to India in 1917.
2nd Lancers - Started the War as mounted cavalry, and were ordered to mechanise as an Indian Motor Regiment in October 1939. Trained with 3 Motor Brigade during 1940, with PAVO Cavalry and the 18th Cavalry. In December 1940 the Regiment was mobilised and went to Egypt, and thence to Cyrenaica. In April 1941 it saw action against Rommel's Panzer Corps at Mechili and during the withdrawal to Egypt from September 1941 to May 1942 the Regiment was deployed in Syria. In May 1942 the Regiment was send forward again to Cyrenaica and, with 3 Motor Brigade, fought with 7 Armoured Alamein. From July 1942 the Regiment was employed in Palestine, Persia and Iraq and returned to India in 1943. After three months it converted to an armoured car regiment and moved to the North West Frontier in 1944 where it remained until the end of the war.
1946 - equipped partly with tanks and sailed to Malaya.
The Regiment shed its armoured cars and became a tank regiment in 1956. It continued to distinguish itself both in peace and war, and along with another armoured regiment was the first to be awarded the President Guidon.
Arracan, Sobraon, Punjaub, Mooltan, Afganistan 1879-80, Tel-El-Kabir, Egypt 1882, La Bassee 1914, Givenchy 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Festubert 1915, Somme 1916, Morval, Cambrai 1917, France and Flanders 1914-18, Egypt 1915, Meggido, Sharon Damascus, Palestine 1918, Tigris 1916, Mesopotamia 1915-16, Afganistan 1919, North Africa 1940-43, Point 171.
Cambrai Day is celebrated on 1 December to commemorate the action of the Regiment in the Battle of Cambrai on 1 December 1917.
The alliance between the Royal Tank Regiment and 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse) was promulgated in Defence Council Instruction (Army) T 52 of 1973.