Boehm, Joseph Edward, Sir; artist
Caldecott, Randolph; artist; British artist, 1846-1886
Victoria (1837-1901); ruler; Queen of Great Britain 1837-1901
Victoria regina et imperatrix; ruler; with the title of
Lester Watson Collection
Afghanistan Medal; denomination
British Army; subsubsubseries
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.
The battle of Peiwar Kotal, for which Lance Corporal W. Fitzgerald was awarded one of the bars to this medal, was one of the two actions which led to Shere Ali fleeing Kabul before the British.
After the initial British success, a British resident was installed in Kabul in 1879, the Amir being sworn (and paid a considerable subsidy) to behave friendlily towards him. This proved no protection against the Resident's murder along with other British residents in September 1879, whereupon war was rejoined. Forces were immediately sent to Kabul, and on the way defeated an Afghan force at Charasia, at which Lance Corporal Fitzgerald was also present as his bar for the action testifies. The third bar to his medal indicates that he was also involved in the fierce fighting involved in the following recapture of Kabul.
Lance Corporal Fitzgerald earned this medal in service with the 72nd Highlanders. Lester Watson purchased it at some point before 1928.
London, mint, place
weight, 47.78, g
diameter, 36.2, mm
loan; 2005; Cambridge in America
Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, bt before 1928
design; obverse; VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX; Bust of Victoria facing left
design; reverse; Pack elephant with following troops and mules crossing left
Watson Catalogue; 11
Hayward, John (author, C20th). Birch, Diana. Bishop, Richard. 2006. British Battles and Medals 7th edn.London: Spinkp. 332-335, 335-336
British and other Campaign and Gallantry Medals From the Collection of Lester Watson (d. 1959).
Afghanistan 1878-9-80 (Peiwar Kotal, Charasia, Kabul): 1604, Lance Cpl. W. Fitzgerald, 72nd Hldrs.
Object Number: LW.0011
(Coins and Medals)
(record id: 141222; input: 2007-03-27; modified: 2009-11-23)