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Indian General Service Medal (1854-95): CM.1248-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Mint: London
Artist: Wyon, William
Artist: Wyon, Leonard Charles
Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901)
Ruler: Victoria regina (With the title of)




The Army of India Medal's issue in 1849 having marked the previous half-century's combats in the region, further conflicts in the 1850s led in 1854 to the design and issue of a General Service Medal for the theatre, for which bars would be issued as each new campaign merited.
Diplomatic relations between the Burmese Kingdom of Ava, in and beyond modern-day Myanmar, and the British in India deteriorated during a Burmese succession crisis in 1879, and increasing Burmese dealings with French interests led to confrontation over border issues by the British. Corresponding Burmese sanctions against British trade interests led to an ultimatum and finally war in 1885.
The British, having learnt from the difficult jungle warfare of previous campaigns in Burma, chose this time to move directly on the Burmese capital by means of the River Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady), and the advance was so rapid that Burmese resistance was entirely uncoordinated. Burmese court divisions further weakened their deployment, and King Thibaw of Ava was taken prisoner in Mandalay a mere fortnight after war had been declared. Many of the Burmese forces were however only now massing, and in the absence of leadership took to the country to mount guerilla campaigns against what was now the annexation of Ava and its Burmese territories to British India. British campaigns against such insurgents continued until 1892, and bars were awarded to the India General Service Medal for them in 1889 and 1892.
This medal, which bears bars for the initial campaign of annexation and the first two years of fighting against the resistance, was awarded to Private J. Stockton of the 1st Rifle Brigade. Lester Watson purchased it 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: 48.01 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

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


1887 - 1895

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: Victory crowning seated Classical warrior with laurel wreath

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1248-2009
Primary reference Number: 141342
Watson Catalogue: 147
Ordering: M-0131
Previous object number: LW.0131
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 15 January 2024 Last processed: Monday 15 January 2024

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Indian General Service Medal (1854-95)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-14 22:05:12

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