Candahar, Ghuznee & Cabul Medal awarded to Sgt. James Beck, 1842
Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria
Reverse, inscription surmounted by crown with laurel wreath around
Candahar, Ghuznee and Cabul Medal (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, and a response in force for whose three battles variant medals were awarded.
This is the award for participation in all three sieges, of the city of Kandahar, the mountain pass fortress of Ghazni and the Afghan capital of Kabul. Despite a bloody suppression of the revolt there, it was decided by the East India Company (in the light of the murder of the Shah meanwhile) that it was no longer profitable to occupy the country, and British forces withdrew until 1879.
This medal was awarded to Sergeant James Beck of the 41st Regiment. Lester Watson purchased it at some point before 1928.