Afghanistan War Medal, with bar for Peiwar Kotal, awarded to Pvt. E. McBeth, 1881
Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria with veil
Reverse, pack elephant with following troops and mules crossing to the left
Afghanistan War Medal (Second Anglo-Afghan War)
British forces were committed to Afghanistan for the third time in 1878 after a treaty between the Amir Shere Ali and Britain made in 1873 had been discarded by the Amir in favour of a new one with Russia, and diplomatic missions from Britain refused. After two major actions peace (and a subsidy for the Amir) was agreed in May 1878, though fighting was to renew the next year.
This medal bears the clasp for participation in the battle of Peiwar Kotal, one of the two actions which led to Shere Ali fleeing Kabul before the British. It was awarded to Private E. McBeth of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Foot. Lester Watson purchased it at some point before 1928.