17 September 2004
Indian Order of Merit, Military Division, 1st type (1837-1912), 3rd Class, Reward of Valor, silver and enamel, the reverse with screw-nut fitting and inscribed on three lines ‘3rd Class Order of Merit’, and additionally inscribed ‘Subadar Jehanded Khan, 40th Pathans’, lacking ribbon buckle, nearly extremely fine £500-700
I.O.M. 2nd Class G.G.O. 187 of 18 February 1916. A posthumous award for ‘gallantry and devotion to duty whilst serving with the Indian Army Corps in France and Flanders.’
Subedar Jehanded (more usually Jehandad) Khan was killed in action in the battle of Wieltje, about one mile north east of Ypres, on 26 April 1915. It was for this action that he was admitted posthumously to the Order of Merit. The brief recommendation is recorded in the regimental history: ‘Sebedar Jehandad Khan, Bahadur (Yusufzai). For distinguished service in the field in reorganising and leading, until killed, a supporting Company which had lost very heavily from shell fire.’ He is commemorated by name on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres. There is a group photograph of him in the history where he is wearing his IGS 1854, IGS 1895, China and Tibet medals.
This would appear to be an unusual instance of a piece of obsolete insignia being used out of neccessity, due to shortage of stock, for presentation to his next of kin in India. The engraving appears to be quite contemporary and was probably done regimentally prior to a presentation at the regiment’s Head Quarters at Sialkot. It is well known that there was a severe shortage of insignia during the first couple of years of the war, hence the unusual badges made by J. W. Benson in London.