Interestingly, the general is related to Bannu Singh who joined the regiment before the First World War and rose to become Risaldar Major (senior Junior Commissioned Officer, formerly Viceroy’s Commissioned Officer in the cavalry) of the regiment and was also awarded the Order of British India (OBI).General Singh’s predecessors as Honorary Colonel of the Regiment of Skinner’s Horse include His Majesty King George V, Duke of York, from 1899 to 1936, Major General His Highness Sir Madho Rao Scindia Bahadur, GCSI (Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India), GCVO (Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order), GBE (Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire), ADC, Maharaja of Gwalior, from 1906-1925 and Lieutenant General His Highness Majarajadhiraj Rajeshwarsri Sir Yadvindra Singh Mahindar Bahadur, GCIE (Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire), GBE, LLD, Maharaja of Patiala, from 1955-1974.
Skinner’s Horse, also known as 1 Horse Regiment was raised on 23 February, 1803, at Hansi by Colonel James Skinner, CB (Companion of the Order of the Bath) and is India’s fourth oldest cavalry regiment. The regiment converted into motorized cavalry in 1939 at Rawalpindi. The army says that since then, ‘the Regiment has inscribed its deeds in indelible letters of gold over the pages of Indian history, leaving a trail of blood and covering themselves with glory’.
Past actions of the regiment include operations during the First Afghan War in 1841, Kandhar in 1842, the Second Afghan War in 1889, the Boxer rebellion in China in 1900, the North West Frontier between 1914 and 1918, the Third Afghan War in 1919, as well as both the World Wars. The Regiment has notched up 19 Battle Honors against its name.