Afghanistan Medal (United Kingdom)
Obverse (top left) and reverse (top right) of the medal. Ribbon: 33mm, dark green with broad crimson edges.
|Awarded by United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland|
|Eligibility||British and Indian forces.|
|Awarded for||Campaign service.|
|Description||Silver or bronze disk, 36mm diameter.|
|Established||19 March 1881|
The war was caused by British fears of increasing Russian involvement in Afghan affairs. In 1877 the Afghan Amir refused to accept a British Resident and in 1878 agreed a treaty with Russia granting it protective rights in Afghanistan. In response, a British-led force entered the country and advanced on Kabul. After defeats at Ali Musjid and Peiwar Kotal, the Afghans sued for peace and accepted a British Resident in Kabul. After the Resident was murdered in September 1879, the war recommenced. A British-led force occupied Kabul, defeating the Afghans en route at Charasia. Fighting continued and after defeat at Maiwand, a British force were besieged in Kandahar. General Roberts led a column that marched from Kabul to relieve Kandahar, the resulting Afghan defeat leading to the conclusion of the war. The soldiers who took part in General Roberts' march were also awarded the Kabul to Kandahar Star. 
Medals awarded to the 66th Foot (Berkshire Regiment) and E Battery of B Brigade, Royal Artillery, rate a high premium as these units sustained the heaviest casualties as the battle of Maiwand in July 1880.
- The Afghanistan Medal is a circular silver (or, in rare cases, bronze) design of 36 millimetres (1.4 in) in diameter. The obverse shows a veiled effigy of Queen Victoria, facing left, with "VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX" around the edge.
- The reverse shows marching and mounted soldiers with arms with an elephant carrying a cannon. In the upper-left of the medal around the edges is "AFGHANISTAN" and on the bottom in a straight line is "1878-79-80".
- The medal hangs from a plain suspender which is attached to the medal with a double toe claw. The ribbon for the medal is 33 millimetres (1.3 in) in width and is dark green with broad crimson edges.
- Plain silver clasps were awarded and are found as follows:
- British campaign medals
- Australian campaign medals
- Canadian order of precedence (decorations and medals)
- New Zealand campaign medals
- Second Afghan War
- Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan
- Medals Yearbook 1981, section 86
- Medals Yearbook 2002, p144
- Joslin, Litherland and Simpkin. British Battles and Medals. pp. 155. Published Spink, London. 1988.
- Mackay, J and Mussel, J (eds). (2001) Medals Yearbook – 2002. Token Publishing Limited, Devon, UK.
- Duckers, P. (2000) British Campaign Medals 1815–1914. Shire Publications Limited, Buckinghamshire, UK.
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