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The Sutlej Medal

SMI 13: Sutlej Medal
Date: 1846
Location: UK

The Sutlej Medal was a campaign medal approved in 1846, for issue to officers and men of the British Army and East India Company who served in the Sutlej campaign or First Anglo-Sikh War of 1845-1846 in Punjab, India.


The Anglo Sikh wars saw the Sikh Empire come into conflict with the East India Company . The campaigns were namely Mudki, Ferozeshah, Buddowal, Aliwal and Sobroan. It was at the latter where the Sikhs were defeated. The British Governor-General, Lord Hardinge, entered the Sikh capital-Lahore on 20 February 1846, and on 9 March imposed upon the young Maharaja Duleep Singh, then aged seven and a half years, a treaty of peace. Additional articles supplementary to the treaty, were added two days later on the 11th March 1846.

This was the first type of medal which used clasps to denote soldiers who fought in the major battles of the Sutlej campaign. So it was unique in that sense. It was designed by William Wyon (1795–1851) the chief engraver at the Royal Mint.

Obverse: The head of Queen Victoria (1819 – 1901) with the legend VICTORIA REGINA (the official title of the reigning Monarch-in this case Queen Victoria)

Reverse: A standing figure of victory, facing left and holding a wreath in her outstretched hand, with a collection of Sikh arms at her feet (musket, sword, shield, cannon barrel and a helmet). The legend ARMY OF THE SUTLEJ, with the name and year of the first battle in which the recipient served below (i.e.1846).

Whilst not recreated in the 3d model each medal would be accompanied with:
*Ribbon: wide ribbon-dark blue with crimson edges.
*The recipient’s name and unit are impressed on the rim of the medal in capital letters.

Clasps-The Sutlej Medal commemorates four battles. The first in which the recipient participated is shown on the reverse of the medal, with any further battles indicated by a clasp. As there was no battle prior to the battle of Mudki no clasp was produced for this action.

Additional information

The 3d model was first introduced at the 75th anniversary of the OMRS (Orders and Medals Research Society) in 2017 as part of a lecture and exhibition during the project Anglo Sikh Wars: Battles, Treaties and Relics

Also read more about the Anglo Sikh Wars on our project page

Also see The British and the Sikhs-Discovery, Warfare and Friendship, Helion & Company (2020).

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