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Jellalabad Medal (2nd issue), awarded to Captain R. Dowson, 1842

Jellalabad Medal (2nd issue), 1842

Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria

Jellalabad Medal (2nd issue), 1842

Reverse, Victory in flight with a Union Jack standard in her left hand and a laurel wreath in her right, over a city

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Jellalabad Medal (2nd issue), 1842 (First Anglo-Afghan War)

The First Afghan War of 1839 had culminated in the British restoration of the Shah Shujah al-Mulk, a situation which caused his dissatisfied people to rise in revolt in 1841. The murder of the British envoy provoked an initial evacuation of the British garrison, most of which was massacred on its march back to India. The British forces in Afghanistan were for a short while confined to those in the fort of Khelat-al-Ghilzai and the garrison of Jalalabad, which withstood siege until it could be relieved by the British a short while later in the campaign that restored British control in the area.
After the relief of Jalalabad the Governor-General of India determined on the issue of a silver medal for its defenders, but was dissatisfied with the result. When a shortfall was discovered the opportunity was taken to redesign the medal for the second issue. Those soldiers awarded the first were offered a free exchange of it for the second issue but very few chose to do so.
Awarded the second version however was Captain R. Dowson of the 5th Native Infantry. Lester Watson purchased his medal at some point before 1928.