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14/10/2019 22:33pm

Medal For The Defence Of Kelat-I-Ghilzie

Conflict
 
The First Anglo-Afghan War 1839 - 1842.
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
History
 
The Medal For The Defence Of Kelat-I-Ghilzie was a British Empire campaign medal presented for service during the First Anglo-Afghan War. The medal was instituted in 1842 and was awarded to the garrison at Kelat-i-Ghilzie and all troops who participated in the protracted siege.
 
A testament to the courage and distinguished service of the native troops is evident in the fact that the troops of Shah Shoja's 3rd Infantry Battalion were taken into the Bengal Army as the The Kelat-i-Ghilzie Regiment.
 
It is the rarest medal of the First Anglo-Afghan War with only 55 awards to Europeans and 877 to native troops. There were no British recipients.
 
Description
 
The medal is circular, 36mm in diameter and was struck in silver. The obverse of this medal bears a laurel wreath with the 'Mural Crown' at the top within which is a shield with the inscription; 'KELAT-I-GHILZIE'.
 
The reverse has a trophy of arms on top of a plaque bearing the inscription; 'INVICTA MDCCCXLII'. 
 
The ribbon suspender is straight, attached via a pin which passes through a steel clip attached to the top of the medal.
 
In some cases the medal was issued un-named. Where named, the recipient's details can be found on the medal's rim engraved in running script.
 
Ribbon
 
Jellalabad and others BAR.svg
 
The ribbon is 40mm wide and the watered rainbow colour common to most Honourable East India Company medals. It is red on the left edge fading into white, which changed to yellow in the centre, fading back to white, until finally changing to blue at the right edge.
 
Bars/Clasps
 
None were authorised for this medal.
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
Dealer Retail Value *
 
Kelat-I-Ghilzie Medal un-named as issued
£1650.00
Kelat-I-Ghilzie Medal to European recipient
£6000.00
Kelat-I-Ghilzie Medal to Indian recipient
£3000.00
 
* It should be noted that the values quoted above reflect the average price that a medal dealer may expect to sell this medal for - please see the ‘things you should know’ web page for more details about valuing medals.
 
Further Historical Context
 
This section contains information on:-
 
- The First Anglo-Afghan War.
- The Defence Of Kelat-I-Ghilzie.
- The 1842 Retreat From Kabul.
- The Kelat-i-Ghilzie Regiment.
- The Honourable East India Company.
- The Army Of The Honourable East India Company.
 
The First Anglo-Afghan War - The First Anglo-Afghan War (also known as Auckland's Folly) was fought between the Honourable East India Company and Afghanistan from 1839 to 1842; 4,500 British and Indian soldiers, plus 12,000 of their camp followers, were killed by Afghan tribal fighters.
 
It was one of the first major conflicts during the Great Game, the 19th century competition for power and influence in Asia between the United Kingdom and Russia.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Defence Of Kelat-I-Ghilzie - After the Massacre of Major General Sir William Elphinstone's Army, the only forces left in Afghanistan were at Jalalabad and Kelat-I-Ghilzie, a fort between Kabul and Kandahar.
 
The garrison numbering 950 consisted of Shah Shoja's 3rd Infantry Battalion, three companies of the 43rd Bengal Native Infantry, forty European gunners, sixty Bombay Sappers and Miners, and eight British officers, all under the command of Captain John Halket Craigie. For most of the winter, the garrison was besieged under very difficult circumstances. Finally, on 19 May 1842, a force was sent to draw off the garrison and relive them from their post.
 
Before the relief force arrived, the garrison repulsed one final major attack by some six thousand Afghans on 21 May 1842. A few days after this attack the garrison was finally relieved by the forces under Sir William Nott, on 26 May 1842.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The 1842 Retreat From Kabul - The 1842 Kabul Retreat (or Massacre of Elphinstone's Army) took place during the First Anglo-Afghan War. Following an uprising in Kabul, Major General Sir William Elphinstone negotiated an agreement with Akbar Khan, one of the sons of King Dost Mohammad Khan of Afghanistan, by which his army was to withdraw to the British garrison at Jalalabad, more than 90 miles (140 km) away. As the army and its numerous dependents and camp-followers began its march, it came under attack from Afghan tribesmen. Many of the column died of exposure, frostbite or starvation or were killed during the fighting.
 
The Afghans launched numerous attacks against the column as it made slow progress through the winter snows of the Hindu Kush. In total the British army lost 4,500 troops, along with 12,000 mainly Indian camp-followers. The final stand was made just outside a village called Gandamak on 13 January.
 
Out of more than 16,000 people from the column commanded by Elphinstone, only one European (Assistant Surgeon William Brydon) and a few Indian sepoys reached Jalalabad. A few dozen British prisoners and civilian hostages were later released.
 
Many of the British and Indians died of exposure, frostbite or starvation or were killed during the fighting. Around 2,000 of the Indians, many of whom were maimed by frostbite, survived and returned to Kabul to exist by begging or to be sold into slavery. Some at least returned to India after another British invasion of Kabul several months later, but others remained behind in Afghanistan.
 
In 2013, a writer for The Economist called the retreat '…the worst British military disaster until the fall of Singapore exactly a century later'.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Kelat-i-Ghilzie Regiment - The 12th Pioneers (The Kelat-i-Ghilzie Regiment) were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1838, when they were raised as the 3rd Battalion, Shah Shuja's Force.
 
In 1842 the battalion distinguished itself at the battle of fort Kelat-i-Ghilzie for which it was allowed to retain the name as an honour title. Designated the 12th Pioneers in 1903, it was merged with the 2nd Bombay Pioneers in 1922, finally being disbanded in 1929.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Honourable East India Company - The East India Company, originally chartered as the Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies, and more properly called the Honourable East India Company, was an English and later (from 1707) British joint-stock company formed for pursuing trade with the East Indies but which ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent, Qing Dynasty China, North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan.
 
Commonly associated with trade in basic commodities, which included cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpetre, tea and opium, the Company received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth in 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies. Shares of the company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats.
 
The government owned no shares and had only indirect control. The Company eventually came to rule large areas of India with its own private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions. Company rule in India effectively began in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey and lasted until 1858 when, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led to the British Crown assuming direct control of India in the era of the new British Raj.
 
The company was dissolved in 1874 as a result of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act passed one year earlier, as the Government of India Act had by then rendered it vestigial, powerless and obsolete. Its functions had been fully absorbed into the official government machinery of British India and its private presidency armies had been nationalised by the British Crown.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Army Of The Honourable East India Company - The presidency armies were the armies of the three presidencies of the East India Company's rule in India, later the forces of the British Crown in India. The presidency armies were named after the presidencies: the Bengal Army, the Madras Army and the Bombay Army. Initially, only Europeans served as commissioned or non-commissioned officers. In time, Indian Army units were garrisoned from Peshawar in the north, to Sind in the west, and to Rangoon in the east.
 
The army was engaged in the wars to extend British control in India (the Mysore, Maratha and Sikh wars) and beyond (the Burma, Afghan, First and Second Opium Wars, and the Expedition to Abyssinia).
 
The presidency armies, like the presidencies themselves, belonged to the Company until the Indian Rebellion of 1857, when the Crown took over the Company and its three armies. In 1895 the three presidency armies were merged into a united Indian Army.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.