Order of British India

The Order of British India was an order of merit established in 1837 by the East India Company for "long, faithful and honourable service".[2] 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
Order of British India
Insignia of the Order, Second Class (above) and First Class, prior to 1939, (below)
Awarded by the British Empire
TypeOrder of merit
EligibilityOfficers of the British Indian Army holding a Viceroy's commission, Indian Officers of Indian States Forces, Frontier Corps and Military Police
Awarded forLong, faithful and honourable service
StatusNo longer awarded after 1947
Established17 April 1837
Next (higher)Royal Red Cross (Class II)
Next (lower)Kaisar-i-Hind Medal[1]
OBI 1837-8

Ribbon 1837–1838
OBI 1838-1939

Ribbon 1838–1939
OBI 1939-1947 1

First Class ribbon 1939–1947
OBI 1939-1947 2

Second Class ribbon 1939–1947
Sardar Bahdaur Title of Honorary Captain Sardar Bahadur Ranjit Singh
1st class Insignia of design awarded from 1939, with presentation case

The Order

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.

Later history

In September 1939 eligibility was extended to include native officers serving in the Indian States Forces, Frontier Corps and Military Police,[3] 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.[4]


The Order was awarded in two classes, both worn from a neck ribbon:[5]
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.[5] Recipients of the first class were entitled to use the title Sardar Bahadur (heroic leader).[3]
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).[3]

Holders of both classes could use the post-nominal letters OBI.[3]

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.[2]

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.[2]

Pakistan awarded the Order to a small number of seconded British officers who rendered outstanding services at the time of independence.[6][5]


The following is an incomplete list of people appointed to the Order of British India:

First Class

  • Sardar Bahadur Unjur Tiwari, 1st Bengal Native Infantry. Spied for British forces during the Indian Mutiny.[7]
  • Nawab Mir Hashim Ali Khan, Col Hahsim Nawaz Jung, OBI SB, (1st Class 1897).[8]
  • Sardar Bahadur Raja Jeoraj Singh, of Sandwa, C.B.E., O.B.I., Major-General in the Bikaner State Forces, Member, Executive Council, Bikaner State, Rajputana.[9]
  • Risaldar Major Gul Mawaz Khan, 4th Battalion, 11th Sikh Regiment.[10]
Honorary Lieutenant Pehlwan Khan OBI First class.jpeg
Honorary Lieutenant Pehlwan Khan OBI First Class
Honorary Captain Sardar Bahadur Rewat Singh Chandawat
Honorary Captain 'Sardar Bahadur' Rewat Singh Chandawat Gotan War. Highly decorated for World War 1
Capt. Mihr Din(1stS&M)
Honorary Captain Sardar Bahadur, Mihr Din, OBI (1st Class)
  • Honorary Captain Sardar Bahadur Bhola Singh Gulia, OBI (1st Class), Indian Survey Regiment of Badli, Haryana, India.[12]
  • Sardar Bahadur Risaldar-Major Malook Singh Ahlawat OBI (1st Class),of Gochhi Haryana - Cavalry (Awal Rissala).
  • Honorary Captain Sardar Bahadur Bhwani Dutt, OBI (1st Class), British Indian Army Service Corps.He was given this honour for his service during World War 2 in France and Egypt.
  • Subadar Major and Honorary Capt Sardar Bahadur Ghafur Khan O.B.I., I.D.S.M. late 4/15th Punjab Regiment.[13]
  • Subedar Major and Honorary Lieutenant Sardar Bahadur Pehlwan Khan MBE, OBI, Bronze Star Medal.[14]

Second Class

  • Risaldar Nadir Ali Khan, Bamba Rajput, 9th Hodson's Horse.[15]
  • Subedar and Honorary Captain Bahadur Inayat Ullah Asmie, OBI (2nd Class), 10 Baluch Regiment.[16]
  • Subedar-Major Bahadur Jagindar Singh, OBI (2nd Class), IOM (2nd Class).[17]
  • Subedar Major and Honorary Lieutenant Ram Singh Kaila, Bahadur, IOM, OBI, of 15th Ludhiana Sikhs (1887-1916), 82nd Punjabis (1916-21). IOM for gallantry at Chagra Kotal (Tirah, NWFP, Pakistan).[18]
  • Commandant Sardar Bahadur Narain Singh Hundal, OBI 2nd Class, Kapurthala State Forces.[19]


  1. ^ ORDER OF WEAR, Website of the UK government: Directgov, date accessed 4 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c H. Taprell Dorling (1956). Ribbons and Medals. A. H. Baldwin & Son, London. p. 42.
  3. ^ a b c d "London Gazette, 26 Sept 1939, page 6511". Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  4. ^ "London Gazette, 21 January 1944, page 434". Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c John W. Mussell, editor (2015). Medal Yearbook 2015. Token Publishing Limited, Honiton, Devon. p. 88.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Edward C Joslin. Observer Book of British Awards and Medals. p. 42. Published by Frederick Warne & Co, 1973.
  7. ^ Field Marshal Lord Roberts, Forty-one Years in India 1897. Note, page 208.
  8. ^ Various (15 March 2007). Hyderabad State List of Leading Officials, Nobles and Personages. Potter Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-4067-3137-8.
  9. ^ Singh, Raja Jeoraj. "SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, I JANUARY, 1941" (PDF). www.thegazette.co.uk.
  10. ^ "Indian Army List January 1919 — Volume 2".
  11. ^ Various (15 March 2007). Alwar State List of Leading Officials, Nobles and Personages. Potter Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-4067-3137-8.
  12. ^ 33 Years record of unbroken service (1911–1944). Served in both world wars. Madras War Review journal. 21 January 1944.
  13. ^ "The London Gazette". 20 November 1936. p. 7495.
  14. ^ Condon, W.E.H. (1962). The Frontier Force Regiment. Gale & Polden. p. 574.
  15. ^ The award of the OBI to him was gazetted in August 1897, as he was one of a special contingent that went to London to present a Guard of Honour to Queen Victoria, on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee. Naval and Army Illustrated August 1897; also see Indian Army Lists, 1902, 1911
  16. ^ Captain Bahadur Inayat Ullah Asmi, OBI served in two World Wars, as Subedar and Captain (King's Commission); he died in 1947 in Lahore.
  17. ^ Subedar-Major Bahadur Jagindar Singh, OBI "" O'Dwyer, Michael Francis (1918). War Speeches. Lahore, Punjab: Superintendent Government Printing. p. 129. 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.
  18. ^ vide GGO No. 430 of 1898. OBI vide Gazette of India No. 872 of 1917.
  19. ^ https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.510657/page/n149

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


12th Cavalry (Frontier Force)

The 12th Cavalry (Frontier Force) is an armoured regiment of Pakistan Army. It was formed in the British Indian army in 1922 by the amalgamation of 22nd Sam Browne's Cavalry (Frontier Force) and 25th Cavalry (Frontier Force).

1915 New Year Honours

The New Year Honours 1915 were appointments by King George V to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by members of the British Empire. They were announced on 1 January 1915.

4th Gorkha Rifles

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

The Ordnance BL 10 pounder mountain gun was developed as a BL successor to the RML 2.5 inch screw gun which was outclassed in the Second Boer War.

Bakshi Tirath Ram Vaid

Sardar Bahadur Risaldar Major and Honorary Captain Bakshi Tirath Ram Vaid, (1857–1924), also known as Tirath Ram, was a decorated soldier of the British Indian Army.

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

The British Indian Army was the principal military of the British Indian Empire before its decommissioning in 1947. It was responsible for the defence of both the British Indian Empire and the princely states, which could also have their own armies. The Indian Army was an important part of the British Empire's forces, both in India and abroad, particularly during the First World War and the Second World War.

The term "Indian Army" appears to have been first used informally, as a collective description of the Presidency armies (the Bengal Army, the Madras Army and the Bombay Army) of the Presidencies of British India, particularly after the Indian Rebellion. The first army officially called the "Indian Army" was raised by the government of India in 1895, existing alongside the three long-established presidency armies. However, in 1903 the Indian Army absorbed these three armies. The Indian Army should not be confused with the "Army of India" (1903–1947) which was the Indian Army itself plus the "British Army in India" (British units sent to India).

Eastern Frontier Rifles

The Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) are a State Armed Police Force for the Indian state of West Bengal. They are a part of the West Bengal Police, as opposed to the Kolkata jurisdiction. The Border Guards Bangladesh are descended from the portion of the Eastern Frontier Rifles given to Pakistan during the partitioning of 1947.

The Eastern Frontier Rifles were founded as the "Frontier Protection Force" by the East India Company in the second half of the eighteenth century, and have held their current title since 1920. The Eastern Frontier Rifles fought in the First World War (as the Bengal Military Police) and also in the Second World War.

When India and Pakistan became independent in 1947, the force was split between West Bengal and Pakistan and the Pakistani part became the East Pakistan Rifles. When in turn East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) became independent, it was called Bangladesh Rifles, and recently in 2010, it was renamed Border Guards Bangladesh. The West Bengal (i.e. Indian) part of the force, however, retained the original name of Eastern Frontier Rifles.

Giri Prasad Burathoki

Major General Giri Prasad Burathoki was a Gurkha officer and Nepalese politician. He was born in 1898 at Bharse, Gulmi District, Nepal. He left his village at a young age to join the British army in India and was involved in World War I and World War II. He showed great bravery and distinguished service during his military career with the British for which he was conferred the title of "Sardar Bahadur" and was awarded the Order of British Empire, Order of British India, Military Cross and many other medals. He retired as an "Honorary Captain" of the British Indian Army.

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.

He died in 1981. His elder son, late Colonel Shri Prasad Burathoki also joined the British Indian Army and later the Indian Army and after his retirement served as a Minister of State of Nepal Government. His younger son, Major General Nara Bahadur Burathoki, who was the first Magar Major General of Nepalese Army after the fall of the Rana dynasty, retired from the Nepal Army after a long distinguished service.

Hashim Ali Khan

Mir Hashim Ali Khan (Arabic: هاشم على خاں‎; honorific titles: Nawab Hashim Nawaz Jang Bahadur, Colonel, Sardar Bahadur) was commandant of the 2nd Lancers, Hyderabad Imperial Service Troops.

Indian honorifics

Indian honorifics are honorific titles or appendices to names used in India, covering formal and informal social, commercial, and religious relationships. These may take the form of prefixes, suffixes or replacements.

Ishar Singh

Sardar Bahadur Ishar Singh VC, OBI (30 December 1895 – 2 December 1963) was a soldier in the British Indian Army and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Born in Nainwa, he was the first Sikh to receive the Victoria Cross.

Kaisar-i-Hind Medal

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.

Kaisar-i-Hind was also inscribed on the obverse side of the India General Service Medal (1909), as well as on the Indian Meritorious Service Medal.

Kala Bakra

Kala Bakra village comes under the Bhogpur development block of Jalandhar district in the Indian state of Punjab.

Military awards and decorations of the United Kingdom

The British Armed Forces recognises service and personal accomplishments of individuals while a member of the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force with the awarding of various awards and decorations.

Together with rank and qualification badges, such awards are a means to outwardly display the highlights of a serviceperson's career.

Mir Dast

Mir Dast, (3 December 1874 – 19 January 1945) was an Indian soldier and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.


Obi may refer to:

Obi (sash), a sash worn with a kimono or with the uniforms used by practitioners of Japanese martial arts

Obi (martial arts)

Obi (store), a European home improvement store chain based in Germany

Obi (ruler), a title among the Igbo people of Nigeria or the central building in an Igbo homestead

Obi of Onitsha, traditional ruler of Onitsha

Obi, another form of the word Obeah

Obi (publishing), an informational piece of paper or cardboard folded around or over a book or LP record, music CD, video game, or magazine, used in Japan

Obi (band), a British indie music band from the early 2000s

Obi Castle, a Japanese castle completed in 1588

Obi Station, a train station in Nichinan, Miyazaki, Japan

obi, ISO 639 code for the Obispeño language, an extinct Native American language

OBI, FAA location identifier for Woodbine Municipal Airport (New Jersey)People:

Obi (name), a list of people with either the surname or given name

John Obi Mikel (born 1987), Nigerian footballer also known as Mikel John Obi and John Mikel Obi

Saint Obi (real name Obinna Nwafor), Nigerian actor and film directorPlaces:

Obi, Nasarawa State, Nigeria, a Local Government Area

Obi, Nigeria, a town and Local Government Area in Benue State

Obi Islands, Indonesia

Obi (island), also called Obira, the largest of the Obi Islands

Ob River, a river in Russia, also known as Obi

6669 Obi, an asteroidOBI may refer to

Ontology for Biomedical Investigations, an international cross-domain ontology effort

Our Boys Institute, a junior chapter of YMCA in Adelaide, South Australia

obliteration by incorporation, a concept in sociology of science introduced by Robert K. Merton

Order of British India

Operation Blessing International

Oak Beach Inn

Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition, software owned by Oracle Corporation

OSS BSS Interface OSS(Operations Support Systems)-BSS(Business Support Systems) Interface - Telecoms System Management Interface

Orion Bus Industries, formerly Ontario Bus Industries, a bus manufacturer

Omni bearing indicator, an aircraft radio navigation instrument

Order of Burma

The Order of Burma was founded by Royal Warrant on 10 May 1940, and conferred in a single class. It was awarded by the Governor of British Burma for long, faithful and honourable service by Governor's Commissioned (i.e. native Burmese) Officers in the Burma Army, the Burma Frontier Force and the Burma Military Police. In September 1945 the royal warrant was amended to permit awards of the order for gallantry.In 1937 Burmese officers had ceased to be eligible for the Order of British India when Burma became a distinct colony, separate from British India. The Order of Burma was, effectively, a replacement for the Order of British India and was awarded on similar terms.When established, there was a fixed establishment of twenty eight awards, sixteen for the Burma Army, and twelve for the Burma Frontier Force and Military Police, with vacancies filled once annually as they occurred. The award carried an allowance of one rupee a day for life, unless forfeited by misconduct.Recipients were entitled to the post-nominal letters OB. Only 33 individuals were ever made members of the order.The badge of the order consisted of a gold rayed circle, 39 millimetres (1.5 in) in diameter, surmounted by an Imperial crown, with a central roundel showing a peacock displaying his tail, surrounded by the words ‘ORDER OF BURMA’. It was worn from a neck ribbon of dark green edged with light blue.Abolished in 1947, the government of post-independence Burma created the Pyidaungsu Sithu Thingaha, (or Order of the Union of Burma) to replace the Order of Burma on 2 September 1948.

Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom

The British honours system is a means of rewarding individuals' personal bravery, achievement, or service to the United Kingdom and the British Overseas Territories. The system consists of three types of award – honours, decorations and medals:

Honours are used to recognise merit in terms of achievement and service;

Decorations tend to be used to recognise specific deeds;

Medals are used to recognise service on a particular operation or in a specific theatre, long or valuable service, and good conduct.Appointments to the various orders and awards of other honours are usually published in the London Gazette.

Sardar Lehna Singh

Sardar Lehna Singh, Sardar Bahadur, (1825–1916) was a British Indian Army soldier and the Chief of the village Lehna Singhwala (now located in present-day Punjab, Pakistan).

Royal family


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