India General Service Medal (1854-1895), with bar for Bhootan, awarded to Pvt. M. Fitzpatrick, 1866
Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria
Reverse, Victory crowning a seated Classical warrior with a laurel wreath
India General Service Medal, 1866 (Duar War)
The Army of India Medal's issue in 1849 having marked the previous half-century's combats in the region, further conflicts in the 1850s led in 1854 to the design and issue of a General Service Medal for the theatre, for which bars would be issued as each new campaign merited.
The Duar War for which the Bhootan bar was awarded was a conflict following a civil war in the Buddhist mountain kingdom of Bhutan, between modern India and Tibet, in which the Bengali rebels had called on the British in India for aid in 1864. Ill-treatment of a diplomatic mission and border raiding compelled British intervention at the end of that year. Bhutanese knowledge of their home terrain could not in the end defeat the better-equipped and trained British forces, as they had previously discovered in a war in 1774, and extensive border concessions were made to the British to permit peace in 1866.
This medal was awarded to Private M. Fitzpatrick of the 55th Regiment. Lester Watson purchased it at some point before 1928.