Capture of Ceylon Medal

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Capture of Ceylon Medal
Capture of Ceylon Medal.png
Obverse and reverse of a silver medal
Awarded by Flag of the British East India Company (1707).svg East India Company
TypeCampaign medal
EligibilityMembers of the Bengal Artillery
Campaign(s)Invasion of Ceylon (1795)
DescriptionCircular medal, struck in gold and silver
Established15 May 1807
Total awarded123 (2 gold, 121 silver)[1]
Yellow cord suspension for early medals of the HEIC.png
Worn round the neck on a yellow cord

The Capture of Ceylon Medal is a campaign medal that was awarded by the Governor-General of India to soldiers in Bengal artillery units of the armies of the East India Company (EIC) who took part in the capture of Ceylon in 1795–96.


The medal was instituted on 15 May 1807 by an Order in Council at Fort William, India. It was awarded to surviving members of the Bengal Army artillery who served under the command of the East India Company during the British invasion of Dutch Ceylon, over the period 21 July 1795 – 16 February 1796, during the French Revolutionary Wars.[2] The medals were finally completed and distributed in 1811.[1]

Two medals were cast in gold for award to officers, probably Captains Barton and Clarke[3] but possibly to two native officers,[2] with 121 being cast in silver for native Indian non-commissioned officers and men (known as Gun Lascars) of the Bengal Artillery.[4][2][5]

Other participants of the invasion, including other East India Company troops and British Crown forces, did not receive a medal.[5]


The medal was struck at the Calcutta Mint in gold and in silver. Both types were 2 inches (51 mm) in diameter. They were of a plain design, with both sides of the medal having only an inscription:[6]
The obverse has the English wording: For Services on the Island of Ceylon A.D. 1795/6.
The reverse has a Persian inscription that translates as: This medal was given by way of acknowledgment of services in Ceylon in the year of the Hegira 1209-1210.
The medal was issued unnamed.[7]
The original suspension was a flattened loop, riveted at the base, and was intended to be worn round the neck with a yellow cord;[7] the EIC would not award medals with ribbons proper until 1826 with the award of the Burma Medal.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mayo, John Horsley (1897). Medals and Decorations of the British Army and Navy, Volume 1. A. Constable & Co. pp. 121–125. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Steward, William Augustus (1915). War Medals and Their History. London: Stanley Paul & Co. p. 11. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  3. ^ John Mussell (ed). Medal Yearbook 2015. p. 115. Token Publishing Ltd. Honiton, Devon.ISBN 978-1-908-828-16-3
  4. ^ "Lot 4: Capture of Ceylon 1796". Bonhams. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b Duckers, Peter (2013). "2". British Military Medals: A Guide for the Collector and Family Historian (2nd ed.). Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Books. ISBN 978-1-47383-099-8. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  6. ^ Joslin, Litherland and Simpkin. British Battles and Medals. p. 21. Published Spink, London. 1988.ISBN 0907605257
  7. ^ a b Collett, D.W, Medals Yearbook, (1981). Page 45. ISBN 0950694312
  8. ^ Narbeth, Colin (1971). Collecting Military Medals: A Beginner's Guide. Cambridge: The Lutterworth Press. p. 52. ISBN 0718890094. Retrieved 30 April 2018.

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