From soldier’s souvenir to soldier’s arm

This very early Lee-Enfield India Pattern Mk 1 .303-caliber bolt action cavalry carbine was issued to Indian Volunteer Force mounted units of the era.

Lee-Enfield India Pattern Mk 1 .303 inch bolt action cavalry carbine issued to Assam Valley Light Horse, 1905 reissued for Home Guard WWII

NAM. 1973-09-20-1

This particular specimen was produced at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield and issued to the Assam Valley Light Horse Regiment. With its headquarters at Dibrugarh in the state of Assam, the AVLH was formed in 1891, largely from local Europeans amalgamated from four previously raised troop-sized dragoon units (the Sibsager Mounted Rifles, Darrang Mounted Rifles, Lakhimpur Mounted Rifles, and Newgong Mounted Rifles.) Some members of the unit served in the Boer Wars as part of Lumsden’s Horse.

The rifle was presented to Lt.Col. James Stenhouse Elliot, VD, in 1905 on the occasion of his retirement from the Indian forces (he is listed on the Indian Army’s reserve list with an 1879 rank date).

Lee-Enfield India Pattern Mk 1 .303 inch bolt action cavalry carbine issued to Assam Valley Light Horse, 1905 reissued for Home Guard WWII

The good Lt.Col. Stenhouse Elliot likely took the rifle back to England with him, where it was pressed into service during WWII with the Britsh Home Guard and, in the initial stages of the formation of “Dad’s Army” it was likely one of the most modern weapons in the armory.

The first muster from the fictional Dad’s Army, which was based on the very real story of the British Home Guard

It is now in the collection of the National Army Museum. 

As for the AVLH, they were part of the British Indian Army’s cavalry reserve and never deployed as a unit, although members did volunteer for service in both World Wars and against the Abors in 1911-12. They were disbanded after India’s independence in 1947.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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