Established by a General Order on the 4th January, 1844 the six-pointed Gwalior Star is a campaign medal made from the bronze of captured guns, with a smaller silver centrepiece of similar pattern. It was awarded to those soldiers of the British Army, by the Honourable East India Company, for actions in the 1843 Gwalior Campaign.
These campaign medal stars commemorate two battles fought on the very same day, in of them being the shortest campaigns ever recorded, against the Mahratta state of Gwalior. On 29th December, 1843 it became necessary to cross the border where the first division of the army, under Sir Hugh Gough found some 18,000 strong Mahratta’s in fortified positions with 100 guns. Sir Gough, with the second division, defeated them and drove them from their position after severe hand to hand fighting and having British casualties of approximately 800 killed or wounded.
On the same afternoon General Grey crossed the boarded on his way to Punniar, where he found a small division of enemy entrenched in the hills around them. General Grey attacked and drove the enemy from the hills winning the battle, breaking the powers of the Mahratta’s. The two places of campaign are about twelve miles apart, so impossible for one recipient to receive both medals.
There are two of these stars, these are generally known as the “PUNNIAR” and “MAHARAJPOOR” Stars, after the campaigns they were awarded.
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.
Ribbon – Usual Indian pattern of watered red, yellow and blue, such as that found on the Candahar, Ghuznee, Cabul Medal.
Type – Campaign Medal.
Eligibility –Officers and other ranks.
Awarded for – Battles of Maharajpoor and Punniar.
Suspension – The British India Government originally presented as a star with a clip on the back to be worn on the breast. Eventually most of these were fitted with a ring so that they could be suspended by a ribbon in keeping with other medals. It seems to have been left to the individual to design his own method of suspension
Campaign – Gwalior Campaign
Established – 1843
Designer – Both stars were produced by Calcutta Mint and designed there too.
Naming – In script on the reverse of the medal
Clasps – None issued.
Description - The Bronze six-pointed Gwalior Star Medal, 1.7in wide and 2in high. The obverse has a Silver Centre, which bears the Date “29th DEC.” Around the date is the name of one of the Battle Grounds, where the Battle of Gwalior was fought, this being “MAHARAJPOOR” or “PUNNIAR” and the year “1843”. The reverse of the Medal is plain and has the name engraved of the Soldier, to whom the Medal was awarded, along with the Regiment of the recipient.
Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’
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