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India General Service Medal (1854-1895), with bar for Jowaki 1877-8, awarded to Pvt. F. Rapson, 1879

India General Service Medal, 1879

Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria

India General Service Medal, 1879

Reverse, Victory crowning a seated Classical warrior with a laurel wreath

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India General Service Medal, 1879

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. It was still a continual source of unrest, and among the Afghan tribes who presented British interests in the area with difficulty were the Afridis. An expedition sent against them in 1877-1878 engaged their forces briefly at Jowaki and thereafter destroyed several villages by way of `punishment'.
This is the campaign for which the bar to this medal was awarded, to Private Frederick Rapson, of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Foot. Lester Watson acquired the medal at some point before 1928.