Kaisar-i-Hind Medal

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Kaisar-i-Hind Medal
Kaiser-I-Hind driemaal.jpg
Representations of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals. George V, second type
Awarded by Emperor of India
CountryBritish Empire
Typecivil decoration
Eligibilitycivilians of any nationality
Awarded fordistinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj
Campaign(s)dormant since 1947
Established10 April 1900
Next (higher)Order of British India
Next (lower)Order of St John
Kaisar-i-Hind Medal.gif
Ribbon of Kaisar-i-Hind Medal

The Kaisar-i-Hind Medal for Public Service in India was a medal awarded by the Emperor/Empress of India between 1900 and 1947, to "any person without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex ... who shall have distinguished himself (or herself) by important and useful service in the advancement of the public interest in India."[1]

The name Kaisar-i-Hind (Kaisar-i-Hind, Urdu: قیصرِ ہند ‎, Hindi: हिन्द का कैसर) literally means "Emperor of India" in the vernacular of the Hindi and Urdu languages. The word kaisar, meaning "emperor" is a derivative of the Roman imperial title Caesar (via Persian, Turkish – see Kaiser-i-Rum – and the Greek Καίσαρ), and is cognate with the German title Kaiser, which was borrowed from the Latin at an earlier date[2]. Based upon this, the title Kaisar-i-Hind was coined in 1876 by the orientalist G.W. Leitner as the official imperial title for the British monarch in India.[3] The last ruler to bear it was George VI[4].

Kaisar-i-Hind was also inscribed on the obverse side of the India General Service Medal (1909), as well as on the Indian Meritorious Service Medal.[5]


Empress of India or Kaisar-i-Hind, a term coined by the orientalist G.W. Leitner in a deliberate attempt to dissociate British imperial rule from that of preceding dynasties[6] was taken by Queen Victoria from 1 May 1876, and proclaimed at the Delhi Durbar of 1877.

The medal was instituted by Queen Victoria on 10 April 1900.[7] The name translates as "Emperor of India" (a name also used for a rare Indian butterfly, Teinopalpus imperialis). The Royal Warrant for the Kaisar-i-Hind was amended in 1901, 1912, 1933 and 1939. While never officially rescinded, the Kaisar-i-Hind ceased to be awarded following the passage of the Indian Independence Act 1947.[8] The awards of the gold medal were often published in the London Gazette, while other classes were published in the Gazette of India.

Medal grades and design[edit]

The medal had three grades. The Kaisar-i-Hind Gold Medal for Public Service in India was awarded directly by the monarch on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for India. Silver and Bronze medals were awarded by the Viceroy. The medal consisted of an oval-shaped badge or decoration in gold, silver or bronze with the Royal Cipher and Monarchy on one side, and the words "Kaisar-i-Hind for Public Service in India" on the other. It was to be worn suspended from the left breast by a dark blue ribbon. The medal has no post-nominal initials.[8]

Its most famous recipient is Mohandas Gandhi, who was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind in 1915 by The Lord Hardinge of Penshurst for his contribution to ambulance services in South Africa. Gandhi returned the medal in 1920 as part of the national campaign protesting the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and in support of the Khilafat Movement.[9][10][11]

Partial list of recipients[edit]

Gold medal

  • Sarojini Naidu, Received gold medal for organising flood relief work in Hyderabad, later returned in protest over Jallianwala Bagh massacre. [12][13]
  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (returned 1920)
  • Henry Cousens, Received gold medal for services in archaeological research and writings.
  • Cornelia Sorabji, Indian Parsi who was the first female graduate from Bombay University, the first woman to study law at Oxford University,[14][15] the first female advocate in India,[16] and the first woman to practice law in both India and the UK; awarded the medal in 1909
  • Parukutty Nethyar Amma, awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind medal by King George V in 1919 for public work; later came to be known as Lady Rama Varma of Cochin
  • Gajadhar Upadhaya,Esq., Chief Regimental Religious Teacher, 1st (K.G.V.s Own) G.R. [Gurkha Rifles][17]
  • Sardar Khan Bahadur Mir Abdul Ali, JP, Bombay, 9 November 1901[18]
  • S. Wadawa Singh Sohi, for his services during World War I
  • Shankar Madhav Chitnavis, Esq., Deputy-Commissioner, Central Provinces, 9 November 1901[18]
  • Khan Bahadur Dhanjibhai Fakirji Commodore, CIE, 9 November 1901
  • Major Herbert Edward Deane, R.A.M.C., 9 November 1901[18]
  • Major Thomas Edward Dyson, MB, CM, Indian Medical Service, 9 November 1901[18]
  • William Egerton,[citation needed] for distinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj
  • Mrs E J Firth, of Madras, awarded medal on 9 November 1901 for distinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj[18]
  • Sir George Casson-Walker K.C.S.I., 1910, for services in connection with the Hyderabad floods.
  • N S Glazebrook, Esq., JP, of Bombay, 9 November 1901[18]
  • Sydney Hutton Cooper Hutchinson, Esq., AMICE, Superintendent of Telegraphs, 9 November 1901[18]
  • Colonel Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, KCIE, Indian Staff Corps, 9 November 1901[18]
  • Rai Bahadur Amar Nath Khanna of Lahore, awarded gold medal for his philanthropic work
  • Harrington Verney Lovett, Esq., Indian Civil Service, 9 November 1901[18]
  • Herbert Frederick Mayes, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, Indian Civil Service, 9 Nov 1901[18]
  • Lieutenant-Colonel James McCloghry, FRCS, Indian Medical Service, 9 November 1901[18]
  • Miss Eleanor McDougall, awarded Medal of the First Class in June 1923 for her work as Principal of the Women's Christian College, Madras[19]
  • Rev Charles Henry Monahan, awarded Medal of the First Class in February 1937 for his work as General Superintendent, Methodist Missionary Society, Madras[20]
  • Mrs Olive Monahan (wife of Rev Charles Henry Monahan), awarded Medal of the First Class in June 1920 and awarded a bar to the medal in January 1941 for her work as Chief Medical Officer at the Kalyani Hospital, Madras[21][22]
  • William Florey Noyce, Esq., Extra-Assistant Commissioner and Assistant Secretary to the Financial Commissioner, Burma, 9 November 1901[18]
  • Dr Thomas Joseph O′Donnell, VD, FRCSI, Chief Medical Officer, Kolar Gold Fields, Mysore, 12 December 1911
  • Dr John David O′Donnell, MBE, VD, FRCSEd, Chief Medical and Sanitary Officer, Kolar Gold Fields, Mysore, July 1926[23]
  • Walter Samuel Sharpe, Director of Telegraphs, Bombay, 1 January 1916
  • Rai Bahadur KameleshwariPershad Singh of Monghyr, Bengal[18]
  • Robert Barton Stewart, Esq., Indian Civil Service, 9 November 1901[18]
  • Dr William Stokes, for distinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj[24]
  • Captain Edmund Wilkinson, FRCS, Indian Medical Service, 9 November 1901[18]
  • Dr R N Chopra, Public Services, Abbottabad, now in Pakistan
  • The Rt Hon. Alice Isaacs, Marchioness of Reading[25]
  • Sreemathi Panapilla Kartiyani Pilla Bhagavathi Pilla Kochamma, Vadasseri Ammaveedu, daughter of His Highness the Maharaja of Travancore, Madras
  • The Right Rev Bishop Francis Stephen Coppel, Nagpur, Central Provinces
  • Rev Arthur Herbert Bestall, General Superintendent of Wesleyan Missions in Burma
  • Dr M E Ry Pazhamarneri Sundaram Ayyar Chandra Sekhara, Ayyar Avargal, Director of the Tuberculosis Institute and Hospital, Madras
  • Mrs Cowasji Jehangir, Bombay, for distinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj
  • Rai Bahadur, Upendranath Brahmachari, Additional Physician, Out-Patient Department, Medical College Hospital, Bengal
  • Edwin Sheard, Esq., Adjutant, Salvation Army, United Provinces
  • Rai Bahadur Lala Mathra Das, Assistant Surgeon in the Punjab
  • Pir Puran Nath Mahant, Mahant of Bohar in the Rohtak district, Punjab
  • Sir Francis William Maclean , for distinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj[26][27]
  • Richard Burn, for famine services in 1907–08[28]
  • Roderick Henry Turing Mackenzie, Esq. AMICE, Chief Engineer Buildings and Roads, Bikaner State, for drought relief services, 1940
  • Thomas d'Esterre Roberts, S.J., Archbishop of Bombay, for services to the forces during World War II[29]
  • Rev Dr Frederick Vincent Thomas, Baptist Medical Mission, Palwal[30]
  • A Donald Miller, MBE, (1939) for work with the Leprosy Mission 1921-1942[31]
  • Emma Wilson, Chief Lady Superintendent of the Minto Association, awarded the Gold Medal, "...for useful service in the advancement of the public interest in India...", January 1942.
  • Reverend W. H. Jackson of the Blind School, Kemmendine, Rangoon, awarded the Gold medal for public services in India, 1930.

Silver medal

  • Laxmidas Pitambardas Adodra, awarded for public service and large-scale but anonymous philanthropic contributions towards animal welfare as well as public healthcare including significant help for controlling cholera outbreak in Porbandar, Gujarat
  • Dr Lilian Arratoon, surgeon, New Year's Honours list 1945
  • Khan Bahadur Sher Jang, 1916, for distinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj
  • Dr Eulius Sheldon Downs, 1945, for distinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj
  • Dr Dorothy L Ferris, for her healing services at Frances Newton Hospital, Ferozepore
  • Alice Headwards-Hunter, surgeon, 1945
  • Ram Lal Khanna 1947, Post & Telegraph, Lahore
  • Dr Mina MacKenzie, medical doctor for over 30 years of public service in India, including helping control the cholera epidemic during the 1906 Kumbh Mela pilgrimage[32]
  • Gidugu Venkata Ramamurthy Pantulu, 1933 for his services in Anthropology and Telugu Colloquial language
  • Dr Laxmi Shankar, awarded for his work during WWII as an Army Medical Corps doctor
  • Helen Vorley, for her part in facilitating the evacuation of 300,000 Indians from Burma in 1942[33]
  • Dr Alexandrina Matilda MacPhail, medical missionary[34]
  • Sita Devi Sahiba, Maharajkumarani of Kapurthala, New Year's Honours list 1944

Bronze medal

Clara Anne Rendall (Mrs. Aeneas Francon Williams) grave at Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh

Mrs. Edith Muriel Gill (nee Gotting), Nurse and matron at the Byculla Railway Hospital (now Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial Central Railway Hospital), for her distinguished service in the aftermath of the Victoria dock explosions in Bombay (now Mumbai) on 14th April 1944.

Unknown grade

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "No. 27191". The London Gazette. 11 May 1900. p. 2996.
  2. ^ See Witzel, Michael, "Autochthonous Aryans? The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts", p. 29, 12.1 PDF Archived 2013-05-23 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ B.S. Cohn, "Representing Authority in Victorian India", in E. Hobsbawm and T. Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition (1983), 165-209, esp. 201-2.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ File:India General Service Medal 1909 G5-v1.jpg
  6. ^ B.S. Cohn, "Representing Authority in Victorian India", in E. Hobsbawm and T. Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition (1983), 165-209, esp. 201-2.
  7. ^ "No. 27191". The London Gazette. 11 May 1900. p. 2997.
  8. ^ a b "Imperial medals". Australian Government, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Kaiser-i-Hind medal". britishmilitarymedals.co.uk. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  10. ^ "Mohandas K. Gandhi: Beginning in South Africa". Gandhi Book Centre. 2008. Archived from the original on 2 March 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2008.
  11. ^ Brown, Judith M. (26 September 1974). "Gandhi's Rise to Power: Indian Politics 1915-1922". CUP Archive – via Google Books.
  12. ^ http://upgovernor.gov.in/upgovernor.gov.in/sarojinibio.htm
  13. ^ https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/naidu-sarojini-1879-1949
  14. ^ First lady – Moneylife Archived 22 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "University strengthens ties with India". Cherwell. 13 December 2012. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.
  16. ^ S B Bhattacherje (2009). Encyclopaedia of Indian Events & Dates. Sterling Publishers. p. A-118. ISBN 9788120740747. Archived from the original on 27 March 2018.
  17. ^ Office of the Private Secretary to the Viceroy (NAI), 4-H/1948.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "No. 27374". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 9 November 1901. p. 7288.
  19. ^ "3952 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE" (PDF). Thegazette.co.uk. 2 June 1923. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  20. ^ "SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON- GAZETTE" (PDF). Thegazette.co.uk. February 1937. Retrieved 11 January 2019.<
  21. ^ "SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE" (PDF). Thegazette.co.uk. 5 June 1920. Retrieved 11 January 2019.<
  22. ^ "SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE" (PDF). Thegazette.co.uk. January 1941. Retrieved 11 January 2019.<
  23. ^ "War Memorial Hospital at Andover". Br Med J. 2: 74–75. 1926. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.3418.74. PMC 2522954. PMID 20772670.
  24. ^ "Colonial Office list". Glasgow Herald. 1 January 1914. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  25. ^ "No. 32941". The London Gazette. 30 May 1924. p. 4419.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s The India List and India Office List for 1905. London: Harrison and Sons. 1905. p. 172. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  27. ^ "No. 27195". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 May 1900. p. 3329.
  28. ^ "BURN, Sir Richard", in Who Was Who, A & C Black, online edition, Oxford University Press, 2014; retrieved 27 May 2014.
  29. ^ Hurn, David Abner, Archbishop Roberts S.J., Darton, Longman & Todd, 1st edition, 1966, page 43
  30. ^ "Annual Report of the Baptist Missionary Society". 1922: 67. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  31. ^ https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/afec/d7adda88563ab8907a2cf916e8b3c98ca265.pdf
  32. ^ "The Discovery Service". Discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk.
  33. ^ Leigh, Michael D. 2014 The evacuation of civilians from Burma: analysing the 1942 colonial disaster
  34. ^ Reed, Stanley (1912). The King and Queen in India : a Record of the Visit of Their Imperial Majesties the King Emperor and Queen Empress to India, from December 2nd, 1911, to January 10th, 1912. BENNETT, COLEMAN & Co. p. 368.
  35. ^ The Indian Medical Gazette, December 1945, page 630 – Kaisar-i-Hind Medal Bronze Medal (recipients) Mrs. Francon Williams, In-charge of Red Cross Work in Dooars, Bengal (retrieved 8 October 2017):https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5218119/pdf/indmedgaz72704-0037.pdf
  36. ^ Great Britain. India Office (1819). The India List and India Office List for ... Harrison and Sons. p. 172.
  37. ^ "Frederick Booth-Tucker". salvationarmy.org. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  38. ^ Gerald H. Anderson (1999). Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 359. ISBN 978-0-8028-4680-8.
  39. ^ "No. 27195". The London Gazette. 23 May 1900. p. 3329.
  40. ^ The India Office and Burma Office List. Harrison. 1920. p. 190.
  41. ^ Cecil Northcott, ‘Somervell, (Theodore) Howard (1890–1975)’, rev., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  42. ^ Narayana Rao, V S (1973). Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya: his life and work. Geetha Book House. p. 14.
  43. ^ "Plaza of Heroines at Iowa State University". Las.iastate.edu. 17 December 1966. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  44. ^ "Yasni". Yasni. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  45. ^ "Kong Sil passes away at 103". The Telegraph. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  46. ^ Glasgow Herald 1916

External links[edit]

Media related to Kaisar-i-Hind Medal at Wikimedia Commons