Burma War Medal, awarded to an Indian officer, 1832
Obverse, the elephant of Ava at right bowing before the British lion at left, who stands before a Union Jack flagstaff
Reverse, an army approaching a coastal city, with boats at sea to the left beyond a tall palm
Burma War Medal, 1832 (First Anglo-Burmese War), gold
In 1824 raiding by Burmese troops of King Bagyidaw of Ava, in modern-day Myanmar, into the border states of Sylhat and Cachar (now both in India) caused their independent rulers states to appeal for help from the British in India. This led to an orchestrated reprisal expedition whose aim was to take Rangoon. The campaign lasted through two years of extremely difficult fighting but in 1826, with his forces driven from Assam, Rakhine and Manipur, King Bagyidaw agreed a treaty with the British. He was to abdicate in 1837.
This medal was awarded by the British East India Company to the land forces involved in what was called the "war in Ava"; naval and marine forces were awarded a bar to the Army of India Medal.
This gold issue of the medal was awarded in 1832 to the Indian officers and officials involved in the campaign; their troops received a silver medal. This one is unnamed, so the recipient cannot be identified. Lester Watson purchased the medal from the London dealer Baldwin at some point before 1928.