India General Service Medal (1854-1895), with bar for Hazara 1888, awarded to Pvt. A. Roberts, 1889
Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria
Reverse, Victory crowning a seated Classical warrior with a laurel wreath
India General Service Medal, 1889
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 North-West Frontier, where British rule in India met Afghanistan, was guarded by a variety of arrangements, including accommodations with local potentates. Two such were the Khan of Agror and the Khan of Allai, both of whose capitals lie in modern Pakistan. Both rulers were commonly involved in intrigues against the British, often involving the Hassanzai, Akazai and Chagarzai tribes of the Black Mountain area of Hazara (also in modern Pakistan), whose raids resulted in British punitive expeditions against them in 1888, 1891 and 1892. The first of these campaigns, sparked by the murder of a British surveying party, finally deposed the then-Khan of Agror, Ali Gauhar, and the Khanate was dissolved by British order in 1891.
Participation in the 1888 campaign earnt this bar, which is here affixed to the medal of Private A. Roberts of the 2nd Battalion, Sussex Regiment. Lester Watson purchased the medal at some point before 1928.