East India Company; issuer
Wyon, William; artist
Victoria (1837-1901); ruler; inferred; Queen of Great Britain 1837-1901
Lester Watson Collection
Defence of Khelat-i-Gilzie Medal; denomination
British Army; subsubsubseries
The First Afghan War of 1839 had culminated in the British restoration of the Shah Shujah al-Mulk, a situation which caused his dissatisfied people to rise in revolt in 1841. The murder of the British envoy provoked an initial evacuation of the British garrison, most of which was massacred on its march back to India. The British forces in Afghanistan were for a short while confined to those at the fort of Khelat-i-Ghilzai and the garrison of Jalalabad.
Khelat-i-Ghilzai withstood an even longer siege than Jalalabad, holding out for four months before its eventual relief in the campaign that restored British control in the area. For participation in the defence of the town the British East India Company issued this silver medal to all combatants.
The particularly dogged defence by the Shah's own Afghan contingent in the town caused them to be enrolled in the British forces in Bengal thereafter as the Khelat-al-Gilzie Regiment, otherwise listed as the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Bombay Pioneers. One of these men was Havildar Maun Singh, and this is his medal. Lester Watson purchased it at some point before 1928.
London, mint, place
weight, 34.95, g
diameter, 36.2, mm
loan; 2005; Cambridge in America
Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, bt before 1928
design; obverse; KELAT / I / GHILZIE; Shield bearing inscription, surrounded by laurel wreath and surmounted by mural crown
design; reverse; INVICTA MDCCCXLII; Collection of war trophies surmounting plaque bearing inscription
Watson Catalogue; 195
previous object number; LW.0175
Imagery of War.
Catalogue number: 16
Hayward, John (author, C20th). Birch, Diana. Bishop, Richard. 2006. British Battles and Medals 7th edn.London: Spinkp. 209-210, 218
British and other Campaign and Gallantry Medals From the Collection of Lester Watson (d. 1959).
Kelat-i-Ghilzie 1842: Havildar Maun Sing, Regt. of Kelat-i-Ghilzie.
Object Number: CM.1292-2009
(Coins and Medals)
(record id: 141386; input: 2007-03-27; modified: 2016-06-30)