India General Service Medal (1854-1895), with bar for N. E. Frontier 1891, awarded to Subadar Jangbir Rana, 1892
Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria
Reverse, Victory crowning a seated Classical warrior with a laurel wreath
India General Service Medal (1854-1895), 1892
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.
Manipur is one of the more remote states of modern India, and in the 1890s became embroiled, along with Assam, in war with the Burmese kingdom of Ava. Burmese invasion of the two states, the latter of which bordered British-held Bengal, was one factor leading to the Third Anglo-Burmese War. In the aftermath of this conflict and the British annexation of Burma, an 1891 campaign secured the frontier by annexing Manipur itself.
This medal was awarded to Subadar Jangbir Rana, of the 8th Gurkha Rifles. It is one of four medals that were awarded to him that are now in the Watson Collection; the others precede and follow. The medals are not attached to each other so although the Watson Collection catalogue considers them as Group 3 they have been treated separately here. Nonetheless, it was as a group that Lester Watson purchased them from the dealer Gifford, in 1928.