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Brief History of the Ceylon Mounted Rifles

Brief History of the Ceylon Mounted Rifles

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Published by Anton Edema
Brief History of a gallant men of Ceylon who fought for nothing but for the regiment.
Brief History of a gallant men of Ceylon who fought for nothing but for the regiment.

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categoriesTypes, Research, History
Published by: Anton Edema on Mar 25, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Ceylon Mounted Rifles – Brief History –Compiled by Major Anton Edema, SLLI
Brief History of the Ceylon Mounted Rifles
. Compiled by Major Anton Edema ,SLLI
The Regiment was raised on the 12
of July 1892, by the late Colonel, Evelyn Gordon Reeves,VD who was in command until 1913, a period of 21 years.It was then known as the
“Ceylon Mounted Infantry”
, a mounted company attached to the“Ceylon Light Infantry” of which regiment His late Majesty King Edward VII (then Prince of Wales) was Colonel in Chief. Shortly after formation, they became a separate unit of the
CeylonDefence Force known as the “
” or the
Ceylon Mounted Infantry
and it was not until 1906that the designation of the Regiment was altered to The Ceylon Mounted Rifles.On the first day of enrollment, 62 members joined and with the exception of the period duringand just immediately after the Great War, the regiment has always been up to strength. Thereason no doubt for the apathy just immediately after great war due to many members whoreturned having had too much soldiering; but, in 1925, a considerable number of recruits wereenrolled and with Colonel, AE Andrews( their old Adjutant) as commandant and Captain Sir Bekerly Pigott, Bart., 17
/ 21
Lancers, as Adjutant, the regiment again went forward and for time there was a waiting list.Up till 1934, when the regiment was reorganized into one mounted and one mechanizedsquadron, a qualification was that any member joining had to possess his own or be able toborrow a suitable horse for drills and parades, and the regiment has always well-mounted.In 1897, the regiment was represented at the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Her MajestyQueen Victoria, on June the 20
, and on this occasion turned out in full dress uniform, whichconsisted of white helmet, scarlet tunic, white breeches and jack boots.In the year 1900, a contingent under the command of Major Murray Menzies was sent to theBoer War and took part in the following engagements –Cape ColonyDrifonteinJohannesberg,Diamond Hill,Wittebergen,earning the Queen’s and the King’s Medals with 7 clasps. The cost of equipping, arming andtransporting this contingent was borne by the Government, but most members took their ownhorses with them.For service rendered in the Boer War, a banner was presented to the regiment by his lateMajesty King George V (the Duke of York) on the occasion of his visit to Kandy, April 12
/15,1901, and at the same time medals were presented to those members of the “CMI” contingentwho had returned from South Africa.8 Members of this contingent were either killed or died of 
Ceylon Mounted Rifles – Brief History –Compiled by Major Anton Edema, SLLI
wounds, and on the 18
February, 1901,HE., Sir West Ridgeway,
(thenGovernor of Ceylon) unveiled a Memorial Window in St. Paul’s Church, Kandy to those whofallen in Battle, which window was subscribed for by their comrades in the regiment.In 1901, the regiment was represented at the Coronation of His late Majesty, King Edward VII,by a contingent under the command of Lieut.JN Campbell.Up till 1903, all volunteer training had been carried out at Urugasmanhandiya, but in this year Diyatalawa was used for the first time as a Volunteer camp, and the following year the Headquarters of the Regiment was transferred to Kandy.On the 17
of March 1907, the Inspector General of Forces, HRH Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught, inspected the regiment at Kandy, and unveiled the equestrian stature ( of a trooper signaling : - “Enemy advancing in Large Numbers”) to the memory of those members of theCeylon contingent who died in the Boer War. On this occasion, it is recorded that HRH made anoble speech.In, 1909, General Sir John French.
Inspector General of Forces ( later Field Marshall, theEarl of Ypres)inspected the regiment at Kandy, and as a result of his visit the regiment wasreorganized on a two squadron basis.Captain GB de Mowbray and Sergeant Signaller, FJ Reiss who were in England at the timerepresented the regiment at the Coronation of His late Majesty King George V. and regimentattended in force the Coronation Parade held in Colombo.On the 9
of December, 1911, the regiment was again inspected by the Inspector General of Forces, General Sir Ian Hamilton,
.On the outbreak of Great War in 1914,the regiment offered a squadron for service overseas, butthis was refused on the ground of expense and a CPRC contingent was formed under thecommand of Major J.Hall Brown.2 Officers and 30 NCO’s and men of the CMR transferred andthe contingent sailed for Egypt on the 27
of October, 1914.This contingent saw several monthsservice in Egypt during which time the great number were given commissions in other regiments, and the remainder sailed for Gallipoli, where they acted as a body guard to GeneralBirdwood (later Field Marshall, Sir William R Birdwood,
., Commander in Chief of the Forces in India, ADC General to the King)and eventually all those men in turn acceptedcommissions in other regiments. Unfortunately, accurate figures of the number of CMRmembers who served in the Great War are not available, but the figure can be safely said to beover 200,of whom the names of 40 members appear on the Regiments Roll of Honour.The regiment paraded in Colombo on November the 18
, 1918, and took part in the VictoryParade to celebrate the cessation of hostilities.During camp 1928, HE, Sir Herbert Stanley,
.,( Governor of Ceylon and Honorary Colonelof the regiment) inspected the regiment and at this camp the custom of holding an annualRegimental Dinner, at which all Officers, NCOs and men dined together was instituted.At thiscamp also,the CMR Polo Club was formed, and by the generosity of past and present members

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