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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
Country British Empire
Type civil decoration
Eligibility civilians of any nationality
Awarded for distinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj
Campaign dormant since 1947
Established 10 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 British monarch between 1900 and 1947, to civilians of any nationality who rendered distinguished service in the advancement of the interests of the British Raj.[1]

The name 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). The title is derived from the Roman general and dictator, Julius Caesar, to whom the first Roman Emperors were related. The latter used "Caesar" as a cognomen to indicate the family relationship with him. Subsequently, it became an imperial title regardless of the Emperor's family origins. It is cognate with the German title Kaiser, which was borrowed from the Latin at an earlier date.[2]

Kaisar-I-Hind was also inscribed on the obverse side of the India General Service Medal (1909).[3]


Empress of India or Kaisar-i-Hind, a form coined by the orientalist G.W. Leitner in a deliberate attempt to dissociate British imperial rule from that of preceding dynasties[4] 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 April 10, 1900.[5] 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 While never officially rescinded, the Kaisar-i-Hind ceased to be awarded following the passage of the Indian Independence Act 1947.[6] The awards of the gold medal were often published in the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

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.[6]

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.[7][8]


Gold medal

  • Sardar Khan Bahadur Mir Abdul Ali, JP, Bombay, 9 November 1901[9]
  • Shankar Madhav Chitnavis, Esq., Deputy-Commissioner, Central Provinces, 9 November 1901[9]
  • Khan Bahadur Dhanjibhai Fakirji Commodore, CIE, 9 November 1901[9]
  • Major Herbert Edward Deane, R.A.M.C., 9 Nov 1901[9]
  • Major Thomas Edward Dyson, MB, CM, Indian Medical Service, 9 November 1901[9]
  • William Egerton
  • Mrs. E. J. Firth, of Madras, 9 November 1901[9]
  • N. S. Glazebrrok, Esq., JP, of Bombay, 9 November 1901[9]
  • Sydney Hutton Cooper Hutchinson, Esq., AMICE, Superintendent of Telegraphs, 9 November 1901[9]
  • Colonel Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, KCIE, Indian Staff Corps, 9 November 1901[9]
  • Rai Bahadur Amar Nath Khanna of Lahore awarded gold medal for his philanthropic work.
  • Harrington Verney Lovett, Esq., Indian Civil Service, 9 November 1901[9]
  • Herbert Frederick Mayes, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, Indian Civil Service, 9 Nov 1901[9]
  • Lieutenant-Colonel James McCloghry, FRCS, Indian Medical Service, 9 November 1901[9]
  • William Florey Noyce, Esq., Extra-Assistant Commissioner and Assistant Secretary to the Financial Commissioner, Burma, 9 November 1901[9]
  • Walter Samuel Sharpe, Director of Telegraphs, Bombay, 1 Jan 1916
  • Rai Bahadur KameleshwariPershad Singh of Monghyr, Bengal[9]
  • Robert Barton Stewart, Esq., Indian Civil Service, 9 November 1901[9]
  • Dr. William Stokesdisambiguation needed[10]
  • Captain Edmund Wilkinson, FRCS, Indian Medical Service, 9 November 1901[9]
  • Dr. R. N. Chopra, Public Services, Abbottabad, now in Pakistan.
  • The Rt Hon. Alice Isaacs, Marchioness of Reading[11]
  • Sreemathi Panapilla Kartiyani Pilla Bhagavathi Pilla Kochamma, Vadasseri Ammaveedu, daughter of His Highness the Maharaja of Travancore, Madras.
  • The Right Reverend Bishop Francis Stephen Coppel, Nagpur, Central Provinces.
  • The Reverend 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.
  • Rai Bahadur, Upendra Nath 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.
  • Mrs Gwendolen Keene, for public service at the Indian Civilian Hospital in Quetta and in the villages after the earthquake in 1935.

Silver medal

  • Laxmidas Pitambardas Adodra, for his philanthropic work
  • Dr. Lilian Arratoon, surgeon, New Year's Honours list 1945.
  • Khan Bahadur Sher Jang, 1916
  • Dr. Eulius Sheldon Downs, 1945
  • Dr Hilda May Haythornthwaite, 1947 - according to her obit in the Brit Med Journal 1978

Unknown grade

  • Maharaja Rameshwar Singh Bahadur of Darbhanga[12]
  • Mary Barrington-Smith, engaged in counter-propaganda at G.H.Q. in India and awarded for her work as Diversional Therapy Officer during WW2.
  • Frederick Booth-Tucker, Commissioner in the Salvation Army[13]
  • General Sir Charles John Burnett[12]
  • Kizhakkethara Chandu (1921), Station Master of Tirur, Station unscathed during mappila rebellion, Kerala
  • Major General Thomas Arthur Cooke[12]
  • The Lady Curzon of Kedleston[12]
  • Reverend Barnardo Nansen Eade, New Zealand-born Baptist missionary, for relief work in the Bengal famine of 1943, awarded 1945.
  • Rachel Emanuel (according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission record of the death of her son, Flt Lt William Vernon Emanuel, RAFVR).
  • HH Sayajirao Gaekwad III, Maharaja of Baroda
  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (returned 1921)
  • Dr. Tongul Kuki Gangte, awarded on 14 June 1945 for his work during WW2 as a Red Cross Doctor.
  • Major General Sir William Forbes Gatacre[12] as Chairman of the plague committee of Bombay City 1896 & 1897.[14]
  • HH Bhagvatsingh, Maharaja of Gondal
  • Very Rev. John A. Graham, D.D.
  • Dr N K Guha, Dacca, Bangladesh (formerly East Bengal) in recognition of his philanthropic and humanitarian work during the 1940s.
  • Thomas Holderness[12]
  • HH Tukojirao Holkar II, Maharaja of Indore
  • Kulsoom Shahid Husain Member Legislative Assembly great aunt of Dr. Ali M. MIr[citation needed]
  • HH Sultan Shah Jahan, Begum of Bhopal
  • Dr. Krishnabai Krishnajee Kelavkar of Kolhapur in 1908 for Public Service.
  • Khan Bahadur Raja Jahandad Khan
  • Seth Jehangir Hormusji Kothari, Parsii merchant and philanthropist of Karachi.
  • HH Khengarji III, Maharao of Kutch
  • Sir Francis William Maclean[12]
  • Reverend Alan Gordon MacLeod, Presbyterian missionary, for relief work in the Bengal famine of 1943.
  • Gertrude Edith Mary Middleton-Stewart, awarded 6 May 1935
  • Dr. Margaret O'Hara awarded in 1932 for her long and valued service to India
  • Dr. Thomas Franklin Pedley, a Doctor in Rangoon
  • Rai Bahadur Sri Ram[12]
  • Pandita Ramabai
  • V. P. Madhava Rao[12]
  • HH Madho Rao Scindia, Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior[12]
  • HH Rajagopala Krishna Yachendra, Maharaja of Venkatagiri.[12]
  • Edward Sell, missionary and Islamic scholar[15]
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Sir David Semple[12]
  • Reverend Ernest Bell Sharpe for his work as a missionary and superintendent of the Purulia Leper Asylum. Awarded the First Class Medal in 1929 for services to India.
  • HH Ganga Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner[12]
  • HH Pratap Singh, Maharaja of Idar
  • HH Partab Singh, Maharaja of Kashmir
  • HH Ram Singh, Maharaja of Bharatpur
  • HH Nihal Singh, Rana of Dholpur
  • Donald Mackenzie Smeaton[12]
  • Dr. Howard Somervell, OBE[16]
  • Sir Robert Stanes
  • Sister R.S.Subbalakshmi, Educationist and Social Worker, Madras for the educating and upliftment of child widows, in 1920
  • Major M. Subramanyam, Health Officer Sholapur, awarded in 1938
  • Reverend William Summers Sutherland, K.I.H., M.A., D.D., Missionary in India.
  • Taw Sein Ko[12]
  • HH Ayilyam Thirunal, Maharaja of Travancore
  • HH Visakham Thirunal, Maharaja of Travancore
  • Reverend Dr Frederick Vincent Thomas, Baptist Medical Mission, Palwal
  • Edgar Thurston[12]
  • Raja Ravi Verma[12]
  • Sir Vicar-ul-Umra
  • Dr. L. N. Virasinghe-Chinnappa, awarded twice Medal 1937 & Bar to the Medal 1941, Pioneered Maternity & Child Health on the Indian Sub-Continent
  • Bharat Ratna Sir Mokshagundam Visveswaraiah, KCIE, notable Indian engineer, scholar, statesman and the Diwan of Mysore.[17]
  • Sir William James Wanless
  • Dr. Constance Whittaker received the medal for public service during WW2
  • Charlotte Melina Viall Wiser, co-author of Behind Mud Walls, nutritionist, and Presbyterian missionary.[18]
  • Reverend Carl Wyder, Superintendent, Kothara Leper Asylum, Ellichpur taluq, Amraoti district (27 February 1941)
  • Arthur Delaval Younghusband[12]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Edward Younghusband[12]
  • Reverend John Henry Schultz, Superintendent Chandkhuri Leprosy Hospital & Home Baitalpur, Madhya Pradesh State
  • Dr. R. N. Chopra, Public Services, Abbottabad, now in Pakistan.

See also

  • British and Commonwealth orders and decorations


  1. "No. 27191". 11 May 1900. 
  2. See M. Witzel, "Autochthonous Aryans? The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts", p. 29, 12.1 [1] (as Urdu kaisar).
  3. File:India General Service Medal 1909 G5-v1.jpg
  4. 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.
  5. "No. 27191". 11 May 1900. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Imperial Awards". Awards and Culture branch, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Commonwealth of Australia. December 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  7. "Kaiser-i-Hind medal". Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  8. "Mohandas K. Gandhi: Beginning in South Africa". Gandhi Book Centre. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 "No. 27374". 9 November 1901. 
  10. "Colonial Office list". 1 January 1914.,64086. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  11. "No. 32941". 30 May 1924. 
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 12.18 The India List and India Office List for 1905. London: Harrison and Sons. 1905. p. 172. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  13. "Frederick Booth-Tucker".!OpenDocument. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  14. "No. 27195". 23 May 1900. 
  15. The India Office and Burma Office List. Harrison. 1920. p. 190. 
  16. Cecil Northcott, ‘Somervell, (Theodore) Howard (1890–1975)’, rev., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  17. Narayana Rao, V. S. (1973). Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya: his life and work. Geetha Book House. p. 14. 
  18. "Plaza of Heroines at Iowa State University". 1966-12-17. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 

External links

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