Meritorious Service Medal Groups from the Collection of Ian McInnes

Date of Auction: 20th September 2002

Sold for £620

Estimate: £400 - £500

Four: Jemadar Mir Alam Khan, 17th Bengal Cavalry, late 1st Punjab Cavalry

Afghanistan 1878-80, 1 clasp, Ahmed Khel (Sowar, 1st Punjab Cav.); India General Service 1895-1902, 2 clasps, Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Tirah 1897-98 (148 Dufdr., 17th Bl. Cavy.); China 1900, no clasp (Jemdr., 17th Bl. Lcrs. ); Indian Army Meritorious Service Medal, V.R. (148 Dufdr., 17th Bl. Cavy.) the first with later unofficially engraved naming, contact wear, edge bruising and polished, generally about very fine (4) £400-500


Mir Alam Khan, a Pathan from the Hazara region, enlisted in the 1st Punjab Cavalry in March 1878. Appointed a Sowar, he quickly saw action in the Second Afghan War, being dangerously wounded by a gunshot to the chest at Patkao Shana on 1 July 1880. Transferring to the 17th Bengal Cavalry during the course of 1885, he had risen to the rank of Duffadar by the time of receiving his Indian Army M.S.M. in 1896, one of just six such awards to the Regiment from that date until 1925. Shortly afterwards, he witnessed active service on the Punjab Frontier and with the Tirah Expeditionary Force, just 14 men of the Regiment being detached for these duties between 1897-98. The in October of the latter year, he went to China with Major Bower, who, in the rank of local Lieutenant-Colonel, raised the Wei-Hei-Wei Regiment. Khan ended the campaign as a Kot Duffadar (Colour-Sergeant) and was awarded one of just two China Medals to his Regiment. Commissioned as a Jemadar on the retirement of a comrade in December 1900, he was finally discharged in August 1905; see Ian McInnes’ Indian Cavalry Regiment article in Coin and Medal News, January 1988, for further details and a group photograph including Jemadar Khan.

Sold with a copy of The Star and Crescent, Being the Story of the 17th Cavalry from 1858 to 1922, by Major F. C. C. Yeats-Brown (Copy No. 34, ‘Printed for Private Circulation only’ ). Rare.