Medal for the Defence of Kelat-I-Ghilzie

Era: 1842

This silver medal was established on the 4th October, 1842 by General Order from Simla.  The Kelat-I-Ghilzie Medal is a campaign medal issued by the British East India Company.  It was awarded to the defenders of the fort at Kelat-I-Ghilzie, between Cabul and Candahar. No British Imperial Regiments took part in this campaign, but 55 Europeans in the Company’s service received this medal, along with 877 natives from the garrison under Captain John Halkett Craigie. These men were besieged for four months, until relieved by Major General Nott, on May 26th, 1842 during the First Anglo-Afghan War.


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 – Rainbow pattern of watered red, yellow and blue.

Defence of Kelat-I-Ghilzie ribbon
Defence of Kelat-I-Ghilzie ribbon

Type – Campaign medal

Campaign – First Anglo-Afghan War.

Established – 4th October 1842.

Designer – W. Wyon, R.A.

Naming – The recipient’s name and regiment are engraved in script on the edge of the medal.

Suspension – Straight nickel silver suspender with an ugly clip sweated to the top of the medal.

Clasps – None issued.

Description - A circular, silver medal, 1.5 inches in diameter. The obverse shows a shield, which bears the name of the fort “KELAT_I_GHILZIE” in three lines.  The shield is surrounded by a laurel wreath and surmounted by a mural crown.

The reverse shows a military collection trophy of arms, surmounted by a rectangular plaque with the words “INVICTA (unbeaten) MDCCCXLII”.


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


Major L L Gordon ‘British Battles and Medals’

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