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Medal for the Defence of Kelat-I-Ghilzie

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Title: Medal for the Defence of Kelat-I-Ghilzie  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Military awards and decorations of the United Kingdom, Jellalabad Medals, Candahar, Ghuznee, Cabul Medal, Egypt Medal, South Africa Medal (1853)
Collection: British Campaign Medals
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Medal for the Defence of Kelat-I-Ghilzie

Medal for the Defence of Kelat-I-Ghilzie
Awarded by British East India Company
Country  United Kingdom
Type Campaign Medal
Campaign First Anglo-Afghan War
Established 4 October 1842

The Kelat-I-Ghilzie Medal, is a campaign medal issued by the British East India Company, to the defenders of the fort at Kelat-I-Ghilzie during the First Anglo-Afghan War.


After the Massacre of Elphinstone's Army, the only forces left in Afghanistan were at Jalalabad and Kelat-I-Ghilzie,[1] 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.[2] Before the relief force arrived, the garrison repulsed one final major attack by some six thousand Afghans on 21 May 1842.[3] A few days after this attack the garrison was finally relieved by the forces under Sir William Nott, on 26 May 1842. For the courage displayed by the garrison at Kelat-i-Ghilzie, the East India Company, on 4 October 1842, authorized the medal to be awarded to all troops who participated in the protracted siege.[4] A testament to the 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.


The medal was minted of silver. The design of the obverse contained a laurel wreath with mural crown at the top of 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 medal is suspended by a pin, which passes through a steel clip attached to the top of the medal. The ribbon is the watered rainbow colored ribbon common to most East India Company medals. It is red on the left edge fading into white, which changed to yellow in the center, fading back to white, until finally changing to blue at the right edge. The medals were engraved with the name of the recipient in script on the edge for the medals issued to British personnel. The medals issued to the indigenous troops were not engraved with names.[5]


  1. ^ "Defence of Khelat-i-Gilzie Medal, awarded to Havildar Maun Singh 1842". Watson Medals Catalogue. The Fitzwilliam Museum. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  2. ^  
  3. ^ "Lot 33, 23 Sep 05". H.E.I.C. AND BRITISH INDIA MEDALS (Brian Ritchie Collection). 23 September 2005. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  4. ^ George Tancred (1891). Historical Record of Medals and Honorary Distinctions Conferred on the British Navy, Army & Auxiliary Forces, From the Earliest Period. Spink & Son. p. 265. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "British Victorian Campaign Medals, 1839 to 1880". British Victorian Campaign Medals, 1839 to 1880. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
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