Army of India Medal, with bar for Bhurtpoor, awarded to Lt George Warren 1851Image["India Medal 1799-1826, 1851 "]
Obverse, a bust of Queen VictoriaImage["India Medal 1799-1826, 1851"]
Reverse, Victory seated facing left before a palm and war spoils, holding a laurel branch and a wreath
Army of India Medal, 1851 (Bharatpur Campaign)
The numerous campaigns of the forces of the British East India Company were not officially recognised with a medal until 1851. The resulting medal covered battles from 1799 to 1826, so many of those involved were no longer living. Queen Victoria, by whose order the medal was issued and whose bust it therefore carried, was likewise not on the throne for the actions for which it was awarded.
The bar for Bhurtpoor relates to a siege of the city of Bharatpur, capital of the Jat Empire. In 1825 the Rajah of Bharatpur had died, and his infant son been imprisoned by a cousin who then took the throne and began to voice decidedly anti-British sentiments. An initial British decision not to act was taken as weakness, and the usurper gathered a threatening army. British forces were therefore sent to capture the legendarily-impregnable city, which they did at length by mining in January 1826. The infant Rajah was restored, but the ramparts of his city were levelled.
This medal was awarded to Lieutenant George Warren of the European Regiment, who was a Brigadier by the time of its award to him, which has been verified. Brigadier Warren's medal group has come as one into the Watson Collection and the Catalogue considers them as Group 9, but as the pieces are not physically attached they are treated separately here. Lester Watson purchased them as a group from the London dealers Baldwin in 1931.