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India Medal (1895-1902): CM.1269-2009

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Mint: Calcutta
Artist: Brock, Thomas
Artist: Saulles, George W. de
Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901)
Ruler: Victoria regina et imperatrix (With the title of)




By 1895 it was beginning to be considered that the 23 bars issued to the India General Service Medal implied a need for its replacement, and in 1896 the new India Medal was first issued.
The North-West Frontier between British India and Afghanistan was a source of political tension for the length of the nineteenth century and beyond, as the precarious Imperial accommodations with local tribes required continual maintenance. In 1897 a particular crisis flared up when several parts of the Frontier rose in rebellion at once, all seeing an opportunity in the rising of the Pathan tribes which began the fighting. This rising left Imperial forces in the frontier forts of Chakdara and Malakand (both now in Pakistan) besieged against heavy odds until relief could reach them. At Malakand 1000 Sikhs successfully held off forces 10 times their number. British retaliation, due to the urgent situation, was unusually destructive, as despatches from the young Winston Churchill, in the force that relieved Chakdara, to the Daily Telegraph made clear at the time.
This medal was awarded to Sapper Munisami of the Queen's Own Madras Sappers & Miners, who was wounded by gunshot in the defence of Malakand. Despite his wounds he also managed to take part in the arduous campaign against the Afridi rising around Peshawar later in 1897, earning him his second bar. Lester Watson purchased his medal 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: 54.21 g

Place(s) associated

  • Calcutta

Acquisition and important dates

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


1896 - 1902

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: British and Indian soldiers together holding a standard

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1269-2009
Primary reference Number: 141363
Watson Catalogue: 170
Ordering: M-0152
Previous object number: LW.0152
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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