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Afghanistan Medal: CM.1127-2009

An image of Afghanistan Medal

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


London (Mint)
Boehm, Joseph Edward, Sir (Artist)
Caldecott, Randolph (Artist)
Victoria (1837-1901) (Ruler)
With the title of Victoria regina et imperatrix (Ruler)


After the initial British success against Amir Sher Ali in Afghanistan in 1878, a British resident was installed in Kabul in 1879, the Amir being sworn (and paid a considerable subsidy) to behave friendlily towards him. This proved no protection against the Resident's murder along with other British residents in September 1879, whereupon war was rejoined. While battle raged around Kabul, the British forces at Kandahar were felt dangerously exposed and orders were given to remove them to join those at Kabul. This journey involved a defeat of Afghan forces at Ahmed Khel.
In July 1880 Sher Ali's nephew Abdur Rahman was proclaimed Amir by the British, whereupon his cousin Ayub Khan, brother of Sher Ali's son Yaqub Khan who had been proclaimed by the Afghans in the previous year, rebelled and defeated a British force sent to oppose him at Maiwand. The remains of this force retired back to Kandahar where they were heavily besieged for a month before relief could arrive from Kabul, in a memorable march that was considered to merit a second medal.
This medal bears clasps for participation in both the battle of Ahmed Khel and the final taking of Kandahar. It was awarded to Bugler R. Harris of the 2nd Battalion, 60th Foot, who must also have been eligible for the Kabul to Kandahar Star. It is not impossible that the unnamed example of that piece in the Watson Collection also belonged to Harris. Lester Watson purchased this one at some point before 1928.


History note: Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, bt before 1928

Legal notes

Given by Lester Watson through Cambridge in America, 2009

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 36.2 mm
Weight: 42.63 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2009) by Watson, Lester


1881 - 1882

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Victoria facing left

  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Pack elephant with following troops and mules crossing left

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1127-2009
Primary reference Number: 141221
Watson Catalogue: 10
Ordering: M-0010
Previous object number: LW.0010
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Saturday 22 January 2022 Last processed: Sunday 23 January 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Coins and Medals

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Afghanistan Medal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-08-14 10:03:10

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{{cite web|url= |title=Afghanistan Medal |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-08-14 10:03:10|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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