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Army of India Medal

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Era: 1799 - 1826

The Army of India Medal (AIM) was a campaign medal approved in 1851 for issue to officers and men of the British Army and Honourable East India Company. Approved on 21st March 1851 the award was given retrospectively by the East India Company to survivors of various actions during the period 1799 to 1826. This period encompassed four wars: the Second Mahratta War (1803-4), the Gurkha War (1814-16), the Pindaree or Third Mahratta War (1817-18) and the First Burmese War (1824-26).  Each battle or action covered by the medal was represented by a clasp on the ribbon; twenty-one were sanctioned (although the maximum awarded to one man was seven).  The medal was never issued without a clasp. The medal was only awarded to survivors and, as such, there are substantially fewer medals issued when compared with the number of men who served during this period. This was largely due to the extreme lapse of time between the wars commemorated and the issue of the medal—forty-eight years had passed between the first battle commemorated —Allighur in 1803—and the date of issue, 1851. Some 4,500 medals were awarded in total—most with only a single clasp.

This medal followed on from the precedent set by the Naval General Service Medal and the Military General Service Medal, as retrospective awards for past campaign service.


Materials:   The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issue in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants.  The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.

Ribbons:    Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed.  Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.

Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.

Type - Campaign Medal.

Eligibility – British and Honourable East Indian Company forces.

Awarded for – Campaign Service

Campaign – India 1803 – 26

Description – silver disk, 36mm diameter

Ribbon – 32mm pale blue

Total Awarded – 4500


Clasps are commonly, though not strictly correctly, also referred to as ‘bars’.  They are single-faced metal bars carried on a ribbon attached to the medal, indicating service in a particular campaign or battle.  The clasps carry side flanges to enable them to be attached to the medal and riveted to each other, so that new ones can be attached as earned.  Usually the first earned Clasp is borne nearest to the medal, so that the latest earned should be at the top, though they can be found in the wrong order.  

The following clasps were issued with the medal:


Battle of Delhi






Defence of Delhi

Battle of Deig

Capture of Deig




Khadki and Poona



Seetabuldee and Nagpore







Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’

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