Orders, Decorations and Medals (20 October 1993)

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Date of Auction: 20th October 1993

Sold for £300

Estimate: £300 - £400

The Punjab campaign medal awarded to Major-General J.S. Hodgson who raised the first Sikh regiment to be embodied in the British service

PUNJAB 1848-49, no clasp (Major, Coming. 1st Regt. Sikh Local Infy.) scratches to reverse field, otherwise toned, good very fine


John Studholme Hodgson was born at Blake Street, York, second son of General John Hodgson, in May 1805. Educated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, Hodgson entered the 23rd Bengal Native Infantry as Ensign in 1822. Two years later he became Lieutenant in the 12th regiment and was promoted to a Captaincy on 21 June 1834. Hodgson was on sick leave from the effects of numerous tiger wounds when the first Sikh War broke out, but he determined to join his regiment which was then in the field. Finding the communications interrupted and unable to procure assistance, he walked a distance of thirty miles, narrowly escaping attack from the enemy and insurgent peasantry. He served through the campaign of 1845-6, including the battle of Sobraon, where he was wounded. He received the medal and clasp and was selected to raise the first Sikh regiment embodied in the British service. On 9 November 1846, he was made brevet-Major of the 1st Sikh Infantry and commanded the regiment in the second Sikh War against the Sikh insurgents, a task of peculiar difficulty, which he performed with eminent success. Among other conspicuous services he led the attack upon the Rajah of Jusween Dhoon on the night of 2 December 1848, and took and destroyed his fort of Ukrot. For this action he was specially commended and received the brevet rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. The Governor General, in General Orders, Simla, 15 September, 1849, expressed high approbation of the conduct of the 1st Sikh Infantry throughout the war. In 1850 Hodgson was selected to organise, with the rank of Brigadier, the Punjab Irregular Force. In 1853 he successfully directed military operations against the hill tribes west of the Derajat. Whilst in command of the Derajat frontier he was chosen to succeed Sir Colin Campbell in command of the Peshawer frontier. He was advanced to the rank of Major-General on 23 July 1861, retiring from active service in 1865, settling in London where he died in 1870.