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soldiers and civilians in India


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Happy Spring to those who are experiencing it...

Please forgive me I have tried this question before but I am still trying to see if I can solve this question. Perhaps new eyes!

My grandfather, serving in the ASC attached to the 3rd MMGS near Ambala India in 1919, was a light car driver. In the photo, he is the soldier in the middle sitting on the fence somewhere in the NWF.

He received a Christmas card in 1919 - see attach front and back - which he kept until his death, so I assume these people meant something to him. I am trying to find out their relationship.

The family is 'Davy' or 'Davys' and appear to be civilians.. or could there have been Army personnel based in India before the war who brought out their families?

Would his position as driver mean he would drive for civilians?

Can anyone suggest online resources that might help me find out who the family was? Indian Civil Service records?

Many thanks for your help





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If you haven't already done so it would be worth trying out the various Davy combinations in the Families in British India database to see if there is anyone likely.


There are also Indian records in findmypast, including births and marriages.


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Only one on the India Office list 1933
Horace Frederick Davy A.M.I.C.E. b.19/8/1887 in 1933 Controller of Inspection Indian Stores Dept
Joined service 1913 Deputy Supt manufacturing 1918
No location given

Just seen that he has a tree on ancestry and in 1916 is listed in the CIvil Engineer list at Alipore Calcutta
Married to Evelyn only problem daughter not born until 1921!
So probably not him.

I wouldn't expect your grandfather to be a chauffeur but anything is possible. His name might help


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Possibly Thomas Davy? Army connection. Girl in pic looks older than 4yrs though. I suppose it might not be their daughter.

In February 1915 Davy joined the Royal Field Artillery and served in France from May 1915 until he was wounded in action[1] in September 1916. Davy continued his service in India until 1919. On 21 December 1915 Davy married Penelope Ethel, daughter of Horatio William Sholl, a Western Australian politician.[8][9]

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Possibly Gerard Irvine Davys, Captain in the Indian Medical Service and sometime civil surgeon? Based at various times in Simla (not too far from Ambala), Lahore and Budaun amongst other places.

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Thank you for your help.. I am always impressed at how quickly people can access seemingly obscure information!

My grandftaher's name was John Welsey Richards, Canadian born in 1890, in Tilbury Ontario. He served in the NWF campaign. He served in France and then in India in 1919 and returned to Canada in 1920.

I'll try the FIBIS and perhaps they may have ideas about the relationship.

The photo is so lovely it would be great to send it to the relatives of the Davy/Davys in question.


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Again similar to my post #4. Both originally served in France and then India.

Do you have dates for your grandfathers service in France and India?

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A member of this forum has a private diary and provided this information about for the 3rd MMGS

First I received this .. the Long Long Trial

(later Machine Gun Corps (Motors). This unit was formed in January 1915 and went to France the next month. In January 1918, 3rd Battery (along with 14th and 15th Batteries) was sent out to India where it was stationed at Ambala. The unit participated in the Third Afghan War to the extent that it was sent to Kohat (there from 31 May 1919 to 23 June 1919) during the relief of Thal though does not appear to have seen any action. The unit was disbanded in India on 1 December 1919.

Later infomration provided by a member ...

The information on the Long, Long Trail is basically correct except 3 MMG Battery did not go to Italy. I have the personal diary of 2524 Gunner G. S. Richards who served in 3 MMG from October 1916 to his demobilization in October 1919 and it gives much information about movements of the Battery. Summarizing the 1916-1917 entries, the battery was mostly engaged in providing overhead fire during attacks and anti-aircraft duty. On 12 October 1917, the battery left the line in Flanders and on In August 1917 the unit was in Franzelles (Calais) and by 4 September was in Steenwerck (Ypres) till 14 October when it moved off to Marseilles arriving 19th and consolidating there before moving out.
There is no sign of any other documents stating where they might be,except that I found a reference to WO95/5484 which was the Order of Battle for India after 1917. This might show their duty there and equally might show the ship they arrived in India on. No time to look however

I haven't found the order of Battle for India..yet..

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