Colonial history

Photos: The Deccan Medal (and other honours) awarded to Indian troops who fought for the British

The Mysore campaign medal was issued to the Indian troops who fought against Tipu Sultan.

As part of the holdings at the British Library, the India Office collection of medals can now be found on the Explore Archives and Manuscripts online catalogue. The extensive collection includes more than 500 medals, which include campaign medals, orders of knighthood, as well as decorations. This blog features a few of the 18th-century medals issued to Indian officers.

The earliest campaign medal issued and in the collection is the Deccan Medal 1778-’84. The Deccan medal, issued in either gold or silver, was issued by the East India Company to Indian officers who fought in Gujarat for the First Maratha War of 1778-’82 and in the Carnatic during the Second Mysore War of 1780-’84.

The Deccan Medal, here in silver, features on the obverse a figure of Britannia seated on a military trophy, holding a laurel wreath in her right hand out towards a fort where the British flag is flying. A Persian inscription that reads: “Presented by the Calcutta Government in memory of good service and intrepid valour, AD 1784, AH 1199” is in the centre on the reverse. Around the circumference of the medal on this side is written: “Like this coin may it endure in the world, and the exertions of those lion-hearted Englishmen of great name, victorious from Hindostan to the Deccan, become exalted.”

The Deccan Medal, silver circular medal, 1.6
The Deccan Medal, silver circular medal, 1.6". British Library, Foster 4000

During the Third Mysore War of 1790-92, the Mysore campaign medal was issued in either gold or silver by the East India Company to Indian troops who fought against Tipu Sultan. The Mysore Medal, here in silver, features on the obverse a sepoy with his foot resting on a dismounted cannon with a fortified town in the background.

Inscribed on the reverse is For Services in Mysore AD 1791-1792 in four lines within a wreath, with a Persian inscription outside the wreath that reads: “A memorial of devoted services to the English Government at the war of Mysore. Christian Era, 1791-1792, equivalent to the Mahomedan Era, 1205-1206.”

Medal issued during the Campaign in Mysore, 1790-92, silver circular medal, 1.5
Medal issued during the Campaign in Mysore, 1790-92, silver circular medal, 1.5". British Library, Foster 4001

During the Fourth Mysore War of 1799, both British and Indian officers who fought at Seringapatam were presented with the Seringapatam medal. This was issued in silver-gilt, silver, bronze or pewter. The Library’s collection holds 84 Seringapatam campaign medals (Foster 4005-4089).

On the obverse is a representation of the storming of the beach at Seringapatam with the meridian sun signifying the time of the storm. Below this image is a Persian inscription that reads: “The Fort at Seringapatam, the gift of God, the 4th May 1799”. The reverse shows a lion subduing a tiger with a banner overhead that shows the Union badge and an Arabic inscription that reads: “The Lion of God is the conqueror”.

Medal (obverse and reverse) issued in Seringapatam, 1799, Silver-gilt circular medal, 1.9
Medal (obverse and reverse) issued in Seringapatam, 1799, Silver-gilt circular medal, 1.9". British Library, Foster 4005

India Office medals can be viewed by appointment only in the Print Room, Asian and African Studies Reading Room. For further details and appointment requests, please send an email to

This article first appeared on British Library’s Asian and African Studies blog.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.