India Medal (1895-1902)

Era: 1895 - 1902

Instituted in 1896 the Indian medal was approved as an award to the defenders of Chitral, and then later extended to further frontier campaigns and actions.  It was issued to officers and men of the British and Indian armies, and came in silver and bronze. 

The medal was awarded for the various minor military campaigns in India fought on the North-West Frontier of British India during 1895 – 1902. 

The India medal replaced the India Genera Service medal (1854).

Each campaign was represented by a clasp on the ribbon, seven were sanctioned.  As Queen Victoria died before the last bar was issued, it’s found that the last issues bears the head of Edward VIII, and with this issue the date 1895 was removed from the reverse. 


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 – 32mm wide, crimson with two dark green stripes down the centre.

India Medal ribbon
India Medal ribbon

Type – Campaign medal

Eligibility –    British and Indian Forces

Awarded for – Campaign Service

Campaign – India 1895 - 1902

Established – 1896

Designer – Obverse: T. Brock;          Reverse: G. W. De Saulles.

Suspension – By an ornamental pattern suspender of the same type as the I.G.S. 1854.

Naming – The medals were named in script, except those awarded to the highland Light Infantry for Punjab Frontier 1897 – 98 and Tirah 1897 – 98, which were done in block capitals.  Medals can be found named in either direction.

Clasps – Six to the medal with the Queen’s head and one to that with the head of Edward VII.

Description - Silver or bronze disk, 36mm Diameter.  The obverse: (two types) First type, the veiled and crowned bust of Queen Victoria and the legend “VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX”.  The second type has the bust of Edward VII in field marshal’s uniform and the legend “EDWARDSVS VII REX IMPERATOR”.  The reverse is a British and a native soldier both supporting the same standard.  On the left is the word “INDIA” and on the right the date “1895”.


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. 

Defence of Chitral 1895                                                                        (3 March - 13 April 1895)

All troops and authorised followers who formed part of the garrison of the Chitral Fort, under Brevet Major C.V.F. Townshend, C.B., between the 3rd March and the 19th April, 1895, both dates inclusive.

Relief of Chitral 1895                                                                           (7 Mar - 15 Aug 1895)

All troops and authorised followers of the forces:

  1. Under the command of Lieutenant General Sir R. C. Low, G.C.B., who crossed the frontier at Shergarh on duty between the 2nd April and the 15th August, 1895, both dates inclusive.
  2. Under the command of Brevet Colonel J. G. Kelly, C.B., A.D.C., who marched with the force beyond Gupis to Chitral between the 26th March and the 20th April, 1895, both dates inclusive.
  3. Under the command of Captain F.J. Moberly, D.S.O., 37th Bengal Infantry, at Mastuj.
  4. Under the command of Lieutenant S. M. Edwards., D.S.O., 2nd Bombay Infantry, at Reshan
  5. Under the command of Captain C. R. Ross, 14th Bengal Infantry, who proceeded from Mastuj, on the 7th March, 1895, to the succour of the detachment under the command of Lieutenant Edwards at Reshan.

Punjab Frontier 1897 – 98                                                                (10 June 1897 -- 6 April 1898)

  1. To all troops who proceeded beyond Edwardesabad between the 10th June, 1897, and 30th January, 1898, inclusive.
  2. To all troops beyond Jallala between the 26th July, 1897, and the 23rd, January, 1898, inclusive.
  3. To all troops present at the action of Shabkader on the 9th August 1897.
  4. To all troops forming part of the Mohmand Field Force.
  5. To all troops forming part of the garrison of, and present at Jamrud, Hari Singh-ka-Burj, Bara, and all outposts in the Peshawar Valley south of the line Jamrud-Peshawar between the 23rd August, 1897 and the 6th April, 1898
  6. To all troops forming part of the garrison of, and present at the ports on the Samana, and ports beyond Kohat, from Kohat to Parachinar between the 27th August, 1897, and the 2nd October, 1897.
  7. To all troops who took part in the action in the Ublan Pass on the 27th August, 1897, and subsequent actions on the Samana and beyond Kohat up to the 2nd October, 1897.
  8. To all troops forming part of the Tirah Expeditionary Force, who proceeded beyond either Kohat or Peshawar between 2nd October, 1897, and the 6th April, 1898.


Malakand 1897.                                                                                (26 July - 2 August 1897)

To all troops beyond Jallala, who took part in the defence and relief of Malakand and Chakdara between the 26th July, and the 2nd August, 1897, inclusive.

Samana 1897.                                                                                 (2 August - 2 October 1897)

To all troops forming part of the garrisons of, and present at, the posts on the Samana, and post beyond Kohat, from Kohat to Parachinar between the 27th August, 1897 and the 2nd October, 1897, and to such troops who took part in subsequent action on the Samana up to 2nd October, 1897.

Tirah 1897 – 98.                                                                              (2 October 1897 - 6 April 1898)

To all troops forming part of the Tirah Expeditionary Force, including Kurram Moveable Column and Peshawar Column, who proceeded beyond either Kohat or Peshawar between 2nd October, 1897, and 31st January, 1898, inclusive.

Waziristan 1901 – 02.                                                                    (23 November 1901 - 10 March 1902)

To all troops and Government followers who were engaged in the later or active service stage of the Mashsud Waziri blockade; i.e. to all who served west of the administrative border between the 23rd November, 1901, and 15th February, 1902, both dates inclusive.


This guide will help you through all the parts and descriptions of military medals


Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’

Some of the material on this page was also partially derived from

< India_Medal >

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