Scinde Irregular Horse Uniform Group
Famously led by Sir John Jacobs who commenced his military career at the age of sixteen when he joined the Bombay Artillery after having attended Addiscombe Military College and sailed for India in January 1828, never to set foot in England again.
After seven years employed with his regiment, he was then employed as subordinate to the collector of Gujarat. In 1838 he was ordered to Sind with the Bombay column, to join the army of the Indus at the outbreak of the First Anglo-Afghan War.
He first saw active service in the summer of 1839 as a subaltern of artillery, a force led by Sir John Keane, had been sent to invade the Upper Scinde. Jacobs was given command of the newly created Scinde Horse by Sir James Outram in 1841. The regiment had been raised in Hyderabad in August 1838 and named after the province of Scinde, now in Pakistan. The regiment was originally raised to protect the trade route from the Bolan Pass to Sukkur on the Indus river and fight against the marauding Baluchi warriors who continuously disrupted this important spice trade route. In 1842 he was additionally placed in political charge of the whole of the Cutchee frontier.
Jacobs saw action at the Battle of Meanee in 1842 with the British force sent to conquer the Sindh region for which he was made a Companion of the Bath. Thereafter Jacobs set about recruiting a second regiment of Scinde Horse which General Charles Napier announced in a letter dated 28th November 1846 would be called Jacobs Horse. As irregular cavalry each regiment only had three European officers, a system that Jacobs argued should extend throughout all Indian cavalry regiments.
Both the 1st and 2nd Scinde Irregular Cavalry regiments were absorbed into the Indian Army in 1860 following the Indian Mutiny and ultimately became the 35th Sind Horse and the 36th Jacobs Horse. They went on to see service in Northern and Central India, Persia, Afghanistan and WW1 in France.
It is difficult to determine whether the uniform displayed here would have been worn by a European officer or a native Rissaldar as very little contemporary detail exists to shed light on the dress code of European officers at this time. Contemporary accounts suggest that the regiment often dressed in civilian clothing and carried weapons hidden from sight in order to remain inconspicuous. As a result, they were popularly called “The Scinde Irregular Horse”.
The Group comprising a green cloth alkalak circa 1850 with red piping and silver lace and russia braid work to the breast, shoulder and cuffs.
It is possible to accurately date this group to the 1850`s based upon the likeness and similarity of the alkalak worn in the portrait painting of Rissaldar Mohubut Khan Bahadur, 2nd Scinde Irregular Horse which is dated 1852 and therefore reliably dates our uniform to this period. Alkalak`s were more or less completely replaced by the Kurta in the 1870`s.
Not For Sale