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    Legion of Honour Groups in the Imperial War Museum

    Mark Brewer

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    Hi, I took these photos a few years ago in the London Imperial War Museum and thought I would post them for the benefit of club members. There are some really nice groups with a real history begin both them and the recipient.

    The first one is the Medal Group to General Lord Rawlinson of Trent, including GCB, GCVO, GCMG.

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    Hello Mark

    I must thank you very much for posting the above photos : a very wounderful display of medal groups.

    In particular I was striken by the posting of the Allenby's group. I'm searching his full medal entitlement from long time by now and I wasn't aware that his MOD were held at the Imperial War Museum (as were not also for the Rawlinson group).

    May I ask - if possible - two things about the Allenby group ?

    1) I would like, if possible, to have a bigger or an 'HIGH RESOLUTION' photo of this group where is more visible the Order that I have identified as awarded by Afghanistan (see bottom row : that in the middle between the 2 Japanese Rising Sun and the 2 Arabs Al Nahada and Al Rafdain).

    Please let me know if the photo you have cannot be posted on this forum for his size and I'll send you my email by PM.

    2) Do you have a complete list of the Allenby's awards ?

    Awaiting - with great impatience :D - to receive your answer

    Thanks in advance

    Best Regards


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    Lilo, I've tried to close in on the order you are talking about here. The full photo I have is a scan of a standard photo and is 16Mb so not that great for emailing. I can see if I can get a better scan of the order if you like. Mark

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    Hello Mark,

    Thank you very much for the detailed scan of the Afghan Order and of the list of Allenby's awards : well done !

    I have sent you a new PM.


    Regarding the Afghan Order I don't think it is the Order of Indipendence but - as described by the Imperial War Museum (see list posted by Mark) - it is the Afghan Order of Sardar-U-Allah (or Sardar-i-A'ala).

    At this point, being very interested in establishing which was the exact Afghanistan Order given to Allemby, I made a research on internet and noted that :

    1) there is a great scarcity of news/informations about the Afghanistan MOD;

    2) there is much confusionsion about their descriptions, their names and their conseguent attribution to the photos of the Afghan Orders available on the net.

    In the following website : http://www.4dw.net/royalark/Afghanistan/orders.htm , I have found that the 'Sardar-i-A'ala' Order is described as to be the 1st class of the 'Order of the Leader' (or 'Nishan-i-Sardari').

    In effect 'Sardar' is a Persian word meaning 'commander' (i.e. 'Leader') [literally 'sar' means "head" while 'dar' means "holder"].

    Quote :

    Nishan-i-Sardari (the Order of the Leader): founded by King Amanullah in 1923, as a reward for exceptional services to the ruler and the nation. Awarded in two classes (1. Sardar-i-A'ala, and 2. Sardar-i-Ali) and conferred by the King on his own initiative. Made obsolete in 1929 and later revived by King Muhammad Zahir Shah.

    Unquote :

    By confronting the images referring to the Nishan-i-Sardari (the Order of the Leader) present in this link with that of the Allemby's award, it is evident that, although there are similarties, the Orders are quite different.

    It may be that the photo of the Allenby's Afghan Order could well represent a 1st type of this Order (that given by King Amanullah from 1923 to 1929) and instead the other photos shown in the above link, are a representation of a 2nd type of the same Order (may be that revived and awarded by King Muhammad Zahir Shah). Also, it can be the exact contrary pending the awarding date to Allenby.

    Still, we can consider the Sardar-i-A'ala Order as the 1st class of the 'Order of the Leader' or it can well also be a different - although homonymous ? Order from its own.

    To support this 2nd possibility is the fact that in all other relevant websites discussing Afghan Orders, the Order of Sardar-i-A'ala is considered as a different Order in respect to the 'Order of the Leader' - see :

    http://faculty.winthrop.edu/haynese/medals...fghanistan.html (Ed, I included your very informative site)





    Moreover, it is evident from the above sites that these two Orders (the Sardar-i-A'ala and the 'Order of the Leader') were described to be suspended from ribbons of different colours between them. This fact united to the fact that neither the photos of Afghan Orders present in all the websites I visited nor the photos of the Afghan Orders in my data base are the same (for what regards the shape of the order) to the photo of the Afghan Order given to Allemby (and posted by Mark), tend to let me think that these Orders could be really different each in respect of the other.

    At this point one fact is certain : the photo of the Afghan Order posted by Mark costituite an unique example of an Afghan Order - directly identified by the Museum - as the Order of Sardar-U-Allah (or Sardar-i-A'ala).

    Last, considering also that all the websites I consulted haven't given me any definitive satisfaction to establish with certainty the differences between the various Afghanistan Orders and based on what the Imperial War Museum have written to describe the Allemby's Afghanistan Order, the photos of Afghanistan Orders in my data base, the descriptions in the websites I consulted, I arrived to a PERSONAL conclusion that is the following:

    I think that the Afghanistan Order given to Allemby is that known as : Order of Sardar-i-A'ala.

    It is an Afghan Order by its own and from the enlarged photo of this Order (posted by Mark) I think that it is properly described as following :

    Sash Badge :

    A gold crescent with 2 silver crossed swords and a plumed Afghan headress (in silver) between the blades of the swords.

    Breast Star :

    Golden badge whose arms are 'rays' and between each arms (rays) there is a 'crescent'. In each crescent there is aa plumed Afghan headress (equal to that present in the Sash Badge). I the center is a double medallion with, in the inner one, a 'crescent' (ather is not visible frome the photo.

    Ribbon : three equal stripes, purple/crimson with central pale blue-grey central stripe

    I would like to know what do you think of the onsiderations I made above.

    Best Regards


    Edited by lilo
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