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Indian Mutiny Medal

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The Indian Mutiny Medal was a campaign medal sanctioned by General Order No 363 dated 18th August, 1858 and No. 733 of 1859, to the troops and officers of British and Indian units who served in operations against the mutineers.  The General Order No, 771 of 1868 extended the award to all persons who had borne arms or had been under fire, including such people as members of the Indian judiciary and the Indian civil service, who were caught up in the fighting.  This latter order may account for the large number of these medals to be found without bars.  This was the last medal issued by the Honourable East India Company.

Five clasps were authorised, though the maximum awarded to any one man was four.  The medal was issued without a clasp to those who served but were not eligible for a clasp. The vast majority of these awards were made to those who became entitled to the medal as a result of the 1868 extensions of eligibility.


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 Indian forces.

Awarded for – Campaign service.

Campaign – Indian Mutiny 1857-58

Established – 1858

Total awarded – 290,000

Suspension – This medal has a most unusual suspender which are horn-shaped, attached to the piece by a rather high swivelling claw.

Designers – Obverse: W.Wyon, R.A.; Reverse – L. C. Wyon

Naming – The recipient’s name and regiment, or ship, is indented in Roman capitals.

Ribbon – 32mm White with two red stripes.

Description – Silver disk, 36mm diameter.

Struck in silver, 36mm diameter with swivelling suspender. Obverse – Diademed head of Queen Victoria with the legend “VICTORIA REGINA”.  Reverse – A standing helmeted figure of Britannia holding a wreath in her outstretched right hand and over her left arm is the union shield.   Behind her is the British lion and above the word “India”.  In the exergue are the two dates “1857-1858”.


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. 

Delhi.                                                 30 May - 14 September 1857.

Awarded to troops participating in the recapture of Delhi.

Defence of Lucknow.              29 June - 22 November 1857.

Awarded to original defenders and to the relief force commanded by Sir Henry Havelock. This medal was also awarded to the principal, masters and schoolboys from La Martiniere College in Lucknow

Relief of Lucknow.                 November 1857.

Awarded to the relief force under the command of Sir Colin Campbell.

Lucknow.                                November 1857 - March 1858.

Awarded to troops under command of Sir Colin Campbell who were engaged in final operations leading to the surrender of Lucknow and the clearing of the surrounding areas.

Central India.                         January - June 1858.

Awarded to all those who served under Major-General Sir Hugh Rose in actions against Jhansi, Kalpi, and Gwalior. Also awarded to those who served with Major-General Roberts in the Rajputana Field Force and Major-General Whitlock of the Madras Column, between January and June 1858.



Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’

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