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General Service Medal (Army & Royal Air Force), with bar for S. Persia, awarded to Lascar Maduraimuthu, 1923

General Service Medal, 1923

Obverse, the head of King George V facing left

General Service Medal, 1923

Reverse, Britannia with trident standing at the centre and placing a wreath on the hilt of a winged sword to the left

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General Service Medal, 1923

In 1915 the variety of likely engagements that British forces would face in the future had led to the creation of a new Naval General Service Medal. In 1918 the Army and Royal Air Force jointly instituted a partner medal for their own members, the General Service Medal, which was to be awarded for services anywhere but on the frontiers of India and in East, West and Central Africa.
The first campaign for which the medal was awarded was an attempt, from 1918 to 1919, to establish a British Protectorate in Southern Persia, that country (modern-day Iran) having been occupied by and divided between Britain and Russia during the Great War of 1914-1918 although it remained technically sovereign until this time. The Soviet Union as it had become withdrew from its sphere in Persia in 1921, but in that year a military coup took place under Reza Khan, who would become the first Shah of Persia, and this ended British power in the country also.
This medal was awarded to Lascar Maduraimuthu of the 10th Indian Division for participation in the 1918-19 campaign. Lester Watson purchased his medal from the London dealers Baldwin in 1933.