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India General Service Medal (1854-1895), with bar for Sikkim 1888, awarded to Pvt. E. Adler, 1889

India General Service Medal, 1888

Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria

India General Service Medal, 1888

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

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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 Himalayan state of Sikkim, a part of India since 1975, came under British protection by way of a defensive alliance against Ghurka raiders from the Nepalese Empire. British supervision was distant until 1886, when Tibetan forces invaded the tiny state and persuaded its ruler to fortify the trade route. A British expeditionary force was sent (in 1888) to destroy the fortress, and another later in the year to drive the Tibetans out of the country. After this a British Resident was installed.
This bar was awarded for participation in the 1888 campaign, and is here affixed to the medal of Private E. Adler, of the 2nd Battalion, Derby Regiment. Lester Watson acquired the medal at some point before 1928.