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India Medal with 3 bars


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These are quite common clasps and a relatively common clasp combination to a Sepoy (Indian equivalent of Private), in the 2/25th Punjabis who was serving the North West Frontier between 1919 and 1924. These regularly turn up in dealers lists and usually sell for around £50 or so.

Paul

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The India General Service was established in 1908 for the North West Frontier Campaign of that year, this bore the portrait of Edward VII. In 1912 a clasp and medal for the Abor campaig in North East India was issued, the medal bore the type 1 portrait of George V with the title of Kaisar-i-Hind, which was used until 1930. The next campaign for which a clasp was issued was the third Afghnistan War of 1919, the clasp was Afghanistan NWF 1919, this is by far the commonest clasp for the IGS 1908 and single clasp medals can be purchased for £30-40, this clasp is frequently found in combination with clasps for, Waziristan 1919-21 Mahsud 1919-20 and Waziristan 1921-24, two and three clasp medals are frequently encountered and 4 clasp medals are not uncommon, 5 clasp medals are rare and I have never encountered a verified 6 clasp although they may exist. with he North West Frontier 1930-31 clasp medals were issued with a second portrait with British as well as Indian titles, the final clasp for the medal was North West Frontier 1935. In order of rarity the clasps are Waziristan 1925 of which approximately 260 were awarded, Mahsud 1919-20 as a single clasp (extremely rare to British servicemen (only a handful awarded) and rare to Indian troops), Abor 1911-12, Malabar 1920-21, Burma 1930-32, Mohmand 1933 (but rare to British forces), North West Frontier 1908, Waziristan 1921-24, North West Frontier 1935, Waziristan 1919-21, North West Frontier 1930-31, Afghanistan NWF 1919. Obviously there are common clasps which are very rare to certain units and scarce clasps which are common to others. As a collecting theme the IGS 08 is reasonably priced (most clasps can be purchased for less than than a great war trio). Medals to Indian troops are cheaper than those to British as far more medals and clasps were issued to them and with the exception of the Waziristan 1925 clasp one can reasonably easily get an example of each campaign clasp (the Mahsud in combination with Afghanistan NWF 1919).

Hope this is of help,

Paul

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Also forgot to mention that medals for NWF 08 and Abor were named in engrave running script the rest were impressed in capitals, the NWF 08 and Abor medals were also issued in bronze to non-combattant troops and followers, after that everybody got the silver medal.

Paul

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Still, it'd be a $100-125 medal over here. I blame Ed Haynes, whose research has made Indian stuff much more popular over the past decade. This guy earned his medal though, ESP. In Afghanistan. My book details numerous skirmishes with the Afghan tribesmen.

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3 IGS 1908s to Frontier Force Rifles, comprising a) Northwest Frontier 1908, b) Waziristan 1919-21, and © 3 clasps North West Frontier 1930-31, Mohmand 1933, Northwest Frontier 1935 were in auction 2 weeks ago, estimate £120-150 and were unsold, so much for $100-125 per medal.

Paul

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Even the dealers didn't want them.

Paul

Indeed... but I still maintain that a price trend can only be correct if a large number of sales are calculated in. Auctions can be fickle...I once bought a QSA and KSA to the Cape Garrison Artillery (Valued at maybe GBP 120) for close to GBP500... by some small, small coincidence, another guy wanted them because the name was Boonzaier... if I had not seen the Auction by chance, he would have bought them for GBP75... noone else was bidding....

Best

Chris

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The interesting thing about this medal is that the 2nd Battlion of the 25th Punjabis was disbanded in 1922, as part of a major reorganization of the Indian Army. Presumably Punjab Singh was transferred to another unit, either the 1st Battalion of the 25th or another regiment entirely but added the third clasp to his already named medal.

Oddly, as they had in theory been disbanded, Gordon's British Battles and Medals lists the 2.25th as being entitled to the Waziristan 1921-24 bar.

The Third Afghan War was a major campaign, which lasted from May to August 1919. Afghan tribes had been stirred up by the fact that Britain had recently fought Turkey, home to a major spiritual leader of Islam, and by rumours that British losses in WWI were so severe that she would no longer be able to defend India's North West Frontier against tribal attacks. 12,500 medals were struck for this campaign with the bar Afghanistan N.W.F. 1919.

The bar Waziristan 1919-21 was awarded for various punitive expeditions against the Tochi and Wana clans of the Waziri tribe and the Mahsud tribesmen, between May 1919 and January 1921. Unfortunately Gordon is not very good on Indian infantry and does not list the 2/25th as present at any of the actions. Clealry an omission but one which makes it impossible to easily determine where they served in that period. The over all number of these bars would have been in the hundreds

Waziristan 1921-24 covers a large number of small garrisons which were involved in many small actions between Dec. 1921 and March 1924.

Edited by peter monahan
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The interesting thing about this medal is that the 2nd Battlion of the 25th Punjabis was disbanded in 1922, as part of a major reorganization of the Indian Army. Presumably Punjab Singh was transferred to another unit, either the 1st Battalion of the 25th or another regiment entirely but added the third clasp to his already named medal.

Oddly, as they had in theory been disbanded.

This is a common occurence one often finds multi-clasped IGS with pre and post 1922 clasps up to NWF 1935. The medal is always named as the first clasp and sometimes even with VCOs it is sometimes difficult to work out where they ended up after their unit disbanded.

Paul

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As you say, Paul. One of the joys of collecting to the IA. I'm currently working on a small museum exhibit on Indian troops in France in 1914-15 - 40,000 of the 100,000 Imperial troops in the BEF were from the IA and the vast majority of those Indians. A number of the bravery awards, including at least one VC were awarded to 'Sepoy', or more usually 'Jemadar' or 'Risaldar' of the 'XXth Punjabis/Cavalry/Battery attached to the YYth...' Makes searching the records, few as they are, even more fun.

Peter

Edited by peter monahan
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The good thing about collecting to the IA rather than the British Army is that not everybdy knows everything about them, with a bit of knowledge there are still bargains to be had, such as the 4 clasp IGS 95 to a Lance Bugler in the Karpathula State Infantry (all clasps confirmed I know from other sources but others didn't) a snip at £120.

All the best,

Paul

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It's nice to be the only local expert - snagged a few bargains myself that way back in the day: "$20.00 and you don't even know what it is! Take $10.00?" :cheeky: That was for a hallmarked sterling badge to the Surma Valley Light Horse - a very stylized 'SVLH', at a very minor show in southern Ontario years ago.

Edited by peter monahan
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  • 4 weeks later...

The 2/25th took 21 casualties, most in 1920, including three men December 13, 1920. Fifty-one years later I was born to comment on them.

And Peter will remember a group to a British officer in the 25th, F. Martin by name, which graced both of our collections sometime before the Flood.

Michael

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