Indian Order of Merit, Civilian Division, I Class Medal
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The Indian Order of Merit was established by the Honourable East India Company in 1837 and was later taken over by the British Empire in 1858 following the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Its name was changed from the “Order of Merit” to the “Indian Order of Merit” in 1902 upon the creation of the British award of the same name. It is the oldest gallantry award of the British Empire, but it was discontinued following the establishment of Indian independence in 1947.
The Medal was originally awarded to military personnel of the British Indian Army in recognition of acts of gallantry and was the only gallantry award available to this population from 1837 to 1907. In 1902, the Civilian Division was introduced, which was rarely conferred to civilian personnel in two Classes. The civil division was later reduced to a single class in 1939.
Recipients of the civil division are generally admitted into the II Class before progression into the I Class. However, in cases where eligible personnel performed additional qualifying service, they may initially gain admittance into the I Class.
Recipients of the Indian Order of Merit were also entitled to receive an increase in pay and pension allowances.
Additional versions of the I Class Medal may exist which vary by composition or design, but subsequent research is needed.
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