Deccan Medal, I Class
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The Deccan Medal was established by the Honourable East India Company in 1784. It is the first in a series of medals struck and awarded by the Company and may be considered the first British campaign medal, as an award which was issued to all participants in a campaign, regardless of rank.
The Medal was awarded to Indian troops of the Honourable East India Company Army in recognition of service under Governor-General Hastings from 1778-1783 in the First Mahratta War (1779-1782) and the Second Mysore War (1780-1783). Troops of all ranks received the Medal, however, distinctions were made through size and composition. The I Class Medal was awarded to Subadars, the II Class Medal was awarded to Jemadars, and the III Class Medal was awarded to Non-Warrant Officers and Sepoys.
The reverse features a Farsi inscription, but the translation is uncertain. One translation reads: “The courage and exertions of those valiant men by whom the name of Englishmen has been celebrated and exalted from Hindostan to the Deccan having been established throughout the world, this has been granted by the Government of Calcutta, in commemoration of the excellent services of the brave. Year of the Hegira 1199, AD 1784. As coins are current in the world, so shall be the bravery and exploits of those heroes by whom the name of the victorious English nation was carried from Bengal to the Deccan.” Another suggests the following: “Presented by the Calcutta Government in memory of good service and intrepid valour, AD 1784, AH 1199. Like this coin may it endure in the world, and the exertions of those lion-hearted Englishmen of great name, victorious from Hindostan to the Deccan, become exalted.”
The Medals were issued unnamed and without a suspension, although it is common to find pierced medals with a suspension ring worn on a yellow cord.
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