The Order of British India was an order of merit established in 1837 by the East India Company for "long, faithful and honourable service". The Company's powers were removed after the Indian Mutiny, and the Order was incorporated into the British Honours System in 1859. The order became obsolete in 1947, after the partition of British India into the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.
|The Order of British India|
Insignia of the Order, Second Class (above) and First Class, prior to 1939, (below)
|Awarded by the British Empire|
|Type||Order of merit|
|Eligibility||Officers of the British Indian Army holding a Viceroy's commission, Indian Officers of Indian States Forces, Frontier Corps and Military Police|
|Awarded for||Long, faithful and honourable service|
|Status||No longer awarded after 1947|
|Established||17 April 1837|
|Next (higher)||Royal Red Cross (Class II)|
|Next (lower)||Kaisar-i-Hind Medal|
First Class ribbon 1939–1947
Second Class ribbon 1939–1947
The Order of British India was awarded by the Viceroy of India for long, faithful and honourable service by Viceroy's Commissioned (i.e. native Indian) Officers in the Indian Army. While the Order could be awarded for distinguished service on a particular campaign, it was more often awarded to selected serving officers of between 20 and 30 years service.
When first ordered by Lord William Bentinck in April 1837, the Order was intended as a means of providing recognition for serving Indian officers facing slow promotion by seniority in the East India Company's military forces. The 1st Class of the Order conferred the title of sirdar bahadoor on the 100 subedars and risaldars (senior Indian officer ranks) to whom membership was limited, plus an increase in salary of two rupees a day. Appointments to the 2nd Class, limited to a further 100 Indian officers of any rank, entitled the recipient to the title of bahadoor and a more modest wage increase. In an article published in the Calcutta Review in 1856 Henry Lawrence however expressed the opinion that the Order had become "virtually the reward of old age" with its wearers mostly limited to retired pensioners.
In September 1939 eligibility was extended to include native officers serving in the Indian States Forces, Frontier Corps and Military Police, and further extended in January 1944 to include native officers and Indian Warrant Officers in the Royal Indian Navy and the Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Artillery, as well as foreign officers, who could be appointed honorary members of the Order.
The Order was awarded in two classes, both worn from a neck ribbon:
First Class. The badge consisted of a gold star 1.7 inches (43 mm) in diameter composed of rays of gold with in the centre the words ORDER OF BRITISH INDIA encircling a lion on a background of light blue enamel, surrounded by a laurel wreath, surmounted by a Crown. The enamel behind the wording was dark blue until 1939, when it was changed to the same light blue as appears behind the lion. Recipients of the first class were entitled to use the title Sardar Bahadur (heroic leader).
Second class. The badge comprised a slightly smaller gold star 1.5 inches (38 mm) in diameter of similar design to the first class, but without the crown and with the centre enamel in dark blue enamel. Recipients of the second class were entitled to the title Bahadur (hero).
All initial awards to the Order were in the second class, with appointments to the first class made from existing members of the second class.
The ribbon was originally sky-blue, but changed to dark red in 1838 after it was found that the hair oil favoured by Indian soldiers stained the ribbon. From September 1939 the first class ribbon had two thin light blue strips added towards the centre of the dark red ribbon, while the second class had one light blue stripe added to the centre of the ribbon.
The following is an incomplete list of people appointed to the Order of British India:
his conspicuous gallantry in action on the 17th November 1914 when with a party of Sappers under the command of a British Officer he was always to the fore and led his men with great determination into the enemy's trenches. Subedar-Major Jagindar Singh, Saini Sikh of Kheri Salabatpur in Bupar, gained the 2nd Class Order of Merit at the battle of Loos in Belgium for striking leadership and conspicuous bravery in action after most of his company and all but one British Officer in his regiment had been killed or wounded. This officer was also awarded the 2nd Class of the Order of British India for distinguished conduct in the field.
17. Abdul Gaffar khan, Bahadur Lt. colonel, OBI IOM commandant Junagadh lancers, appointed 1937 Hon Aide de camp to his excellencies personal staff. (file 89 HS, Br. Library)
26. Commandant Narain Singh was conferred Sardar Bahadur as a personal distinction in 1897
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The 4th Gorkha Rifles or the Fourth Gorkha Rifles, abbreviated as 4 GR, is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army comprising Gurkha soldiers of Indian and Nepalese nationality, especially Magars and Gurungs hill tribes of Nepal. The Fourth Gorkha Rifles has five infantry battalions. The regiment was raised in 1857 as part of the British Indian Army. In 1947, after India's independence, the Fourth Gurkha Rifles became part of the Indian Army as the Fourth Gorkha Rifles.
The regiment has seen action in wars in Africa, Europe and Asia, including the Second Afghan War, the Boxer Rebellion (China), World War I, and World War II. Since Independence, in 1947, the regiment has seen action in the India-Pakistan Wars of 1947–48, 1965, 1971, 1987, and 1999, and the Chinese aggression in 1962. The Regiment has also participated in UN Peace-keeping Missions.BL 10-pounder mountain gun
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Vaid enlisted in the ranks of the Queen's Own Corps of Guides on 1 May 1876.As a ressaidar with the Queen's Own Corps of Guides cavalry, Vaid was awarded the Indian Order of Merit, Third Class for gallantry displayed at the Siege of Malakand in 1897, where he fought against a much larger force of Afghan tribesmen. He was also rewarded with large tracts of agricultural land in District Lyallpur for his contributions.Vaid was decorated with the Order of British India, Second Class, with the title of Bahadur on 24 September 1904. He retired from the Indian Army and was appointed honorary captain on 1 February 1909.Vaid was elected president of All India Mohyal Conference of 1919, held in Rawalpindi.British Indian Army
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On his return home, he was made the District Commissioner of Gulmi District from 1951 to 1956. Thereafter, he was elected as a Member of Parliament from Gulmi District in 1959 and also served the first Speaker of the House. The House was dissolved by King Mahendra, but he was later nominated to the National Panchayat and made an Assistant Minister. He won successive elections and served as the first Defense Minister of Nepal for nearly a decade. For his service to the nation, he was conferred the medals of the Order of Tri Shakti Patta Class I and Order of Gorkha Dakshina Bahu Class I. He was also conferred the title of Honorary Major General of the Nepal Army.
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The Kaisar-i-Hind Medal for Public Service in India was a medal awarded by the Emperor/Empress of India between 1900 and 1947, to "any person without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex ... who shall have distinguished himself (or herself) by important and useful service in the advancement of the public interest in India."The name Kaisar-i-Hind (Kaisar-i-Hind, Urdu: قیصرِ ہند , Hindi: हिन्द का कैसर) 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), and is cognate with the German title Kaiser, which was borrowed from the Latin at an earlier date. Based upon this, the title Kaisar-i-Hind was coined in 1876 by the orientalist G.W. Leitner as the official imperial title for the British monarch in India. The last ruler to bear it was George VI.
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obliteration by incorporation, a concept in sociology of science introduced by Robert K. Merton
Order of British India
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Omni bearing indicator, an aircraft radio navigation instrumentOrder of Burma
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