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India General Service Medal (1854-1895), with bar for Chin Hills 1892-93, awarded to Pvt. Papayya, 1893

India General Service Medal, 1893

Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria

India General Service Medal, 1893

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

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India General Service Medal, 1893

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 Chin or Kuki peoples lived (and live) in an area now split between modern Bangladesh and Myanmar, but in the late nineteenth century were not part of any state. Worries over the security of the area engendered British plans to disarm the tribes, as a result of which they rose in rebellion in 1892. 6 different columns were dispatched into Chin territory and did various damages but the Chins mostly avoided battle, and surrender terms were arranged early in 1893.
This medal was awarded to Private Papayya of the 28th Madras Infantry. Lester Watson purchased it from the dealer Gifford in 1928.