Gwalior Campaign Star (Punniar), awarded to Pvt. George Homeshaw, 1844
Obverse, inscriptions on a small six-pointed star mounted on a larger one
Reverse, a six-pointed star engraved with the recipient's name
Gwalior Campaign Star (Punniar), 1844
The Kingdom of Gwalior, whose capital lies south of Agra in the north of modern India, was ruled along with Ujjain by the Maratha Scindia dynasty from 1731, although after the defeat of the Maratha states in the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818 it was forced to recognise British suzerainty. Its native rulers however continued to hold local power until the creation of independent India in 1947.
In 1843 however Maharaja Jankojirao II Scindia died, with his appointed heir Jayajirao still an infant of 10 years, and the Maharaja's widow, not Jayajirao's mother, was party to the instalment of a regency under the Prime Minister, Dada Khasgee Wala, that opposed the succession of the British-supported Jayajirao. A contemporary account exists by the later Baron of Aliwal of the subsequent British campaign that ousted Dada Khasgee Wala and emplaced the young Maharajah on his throne; it culminated in a decisive battle at Maharajpur.
Another battle was fought the same day at Punniar with similarly decisive results, and for participation in that or the Battle of Maharajpur, this star was issued by the Honourable East India Company. The main star was common to both awards; the inner star that specifies the battle for which the award was made is held in by nuts on the reverse.
This star was awarded to Private George Homeshaw of the 9th Lancers, otherwise known as The Queen's Own. Lester Watson purchased his star at some point before 1928.