Skip to main content

India Medal (1895-1902): CM.1270-2009

An image of India Medal (1895-1902)

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

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.
Chitral (now at the very northern edge of Pakistan) was a small border state between British India and Afghanistan, and thus the focus of considerable British attention. Considerably expanded under the Great Mehtar Aman ul-Mulk, the country was riven with a bloody succession crisis after his death in 1892, seeing five different rulers in the course of the next three years. Afghan interference in this conflict led the British to negotiate the emplacement of a garrison at Chitral in 1895 to safeguard their position. Amir al-Mulk, one of the rivals for the succession, thereupon seized Chitral and demanded recognition. When this could not be obtained Amir's support dwindled and a previously defeated rival, Shir Afzal Khan, returned from Afghanistan and besieged the British garrison in Chitral. They held out for a month until two separate relief expeditions could reach them, the second of which captured Shir Afzal, and deported both him and Amir al-Mulk to India, emplacing Shujah al-Mulk as Mehtar, who would rule until 1936.
This medal was awarded to Sepoy Zar Kash of the Gilgit Levy, a militia unit which was one of those faced with defending the besieged Chitral fort. Lester Watson purchased the 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: 36.3 mm
Weight: 48.4 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

  • Text: INDIA / 1895
  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1270-2009
Primary reference Number: 141364
Watson Catalogue: 171
Ordering: M-0153
Previous object number: LW.0153
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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "India Medal (1895-1902)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-27 19:50:16

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=India Medal (1895-1902) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-27 19:50:16|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="India Medal (1895-1902)"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">India Medal (1895-1902)</figcaption>

More objects and works of art you might like

India Medal (1895-1902)

Accession Number: CM.7146-2007

India Medal (1895-1902)

Accession Number: CM.7147-2007

Cambridge 1902 Coronation Medal

Accession Number: CM.M.46-R

India Medal (1895-1902)

Accession Number: CM.1269-2009

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...