17 September 2004
An outstanding ‘Mangiar Defile’ Order of Merit group of four awarded to Havildar Jagat Sing Rana, 5th Gurkhas
(a) Order of Merit, 3rd Class, the reverse with screw-nut fitting and officially inscribed on three lines ‘3rd Class Order of Merit’, and additionally inscribed ‘Sepoy Juggut Sing, 5th Goorkhir Regt.’, complete with silver ribbon buckle
(b) India General Service 1854-94, 3 clasps, Jowaki 1877-8, North West Frontier, Umbeyla (Sepoy Juggut Sing, 5th Goorkha Regt.) suspension post neatly soldered and no longer swivels
(c) Afghanistan 1878-80, 4 clasps, Peiwar Kotal, Charasia, Kabul, Kandahar (Havr. Jagat Sing Rana, 5th Goorkha Regt.)
(d) Kabul to Kandahar Star 1880 (Havr. Jagat Sing Rana, 5th Goorkha Regt.) central enamel damaged on the first, the second with contact pitting but generally nearly very fine, the last two good very fine £4000-5000
This lot was sold as part of a special collection, The Brian Ritchie Collection of H.E.I.C. and British India Medals.
Order of Merit 3rd Class announced in GGO 89 of 24 Jan 1879, Afghanistan - joint citation with Bugler Soorbir Damai, Sepoy Kishnbiar Nuggurkoti (who uniquely won promotion to the 1st Class and then won a special gold bar) and Sepoy Hushtbir Khuttrie: ‘For conspicuous gallantry in checking the advance of the enemy in action at the Mangiar Pass on the 13th December 1878.’
Sir Frederick Roberts reported in his despatch of 18 December 1878: ‘The conduct and steady behaviour of the 5th Goorkhas on the occasion merit my warmest commendations. For nearly five hours this Regiment maintained a rear-guard fight over most difficult ground with a bold and active enemy thoroughly acquainted with the locality, and so successfully was this duty performed that not a single baggage animal or load was lost. It is therefore my pleasure and my duty to bring the gallant conduct of this fine Regiment once more to the special notice of His Excellency and the Government in India.’
In his Forty-One Years in India, Lord Roberts wrote: ‘On the 24th May, 1879, I held a parade in honour of the Queen’s birthday, at which 6450 officers and men were present. They were thoroughly fit and workmanlike, and being anxious that the tribesmen see what grand soldiers I had at hand should an advance be necessary, I invited all the neighbouring clans to witness the display... At this parade I had the great pleasure of decorating Captain Cook with the Victoria Cross, and Subadar Ragobir Nagarkoti, Jemadar Pursoo Khatri, Native Doctor Sankar Dass, and five Riflemen of the 5th Gurkhas, with the Order of Merit, for their gallant conduct on the attack on the Spingawi Kotal, and during the passage of the Mangior defile. It was a happy circumstance that Major Galbraith, who owed his life to Captain Cook’s intrepidity, and Major Fitz-Hugh, whose life was saved by Jemadar (then Havildar) Pursoo Khatri, should both have been present on the parade.’
Refs: Deeds of Valour of the Indian Soldier (Hypher).