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India General Service Medal (1854-1895), with bar for Looshai, awarded to Pvt. J. Cairn, 1872

India General Service Medal, 1872

Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria

India General Service Medal, 1872

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

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India General Service Medal, 1872

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.
Lushai is now a mountain district of modern India, but was not part of any large state for much of the nineteenth century, and its inhabitants not afraid to raid British India. When one raid massacred the staff of a British plantation and abducted the owner's daughter in 1871, an expedition into the area was finally mounted, which achieved a settlement and the girl's release in 1872. This bar was awarded to the troops involved.
This medal is inscribed to Private J. Cairn, of the 55th Regiment. This unit is not known to have served on this campaign, which was fought entirely with Indian troops, but it is possible that Cairn was on secondment or similar. Be that as it may, Lester Watson acquired the medal at some point before 1928.