British & Commonwealth 1919-1939

Indian Distinguished Service Medal


An original Indian Distinguished Service Medal, awarded to 21902 Negi Ram 1st Battalion 55th Coke’s Rifles Field Force.

Negi Ram earned his IDSM in Waziristan, during the war from 1919-24 there. He is also entitled to the IGS with clasp Waziristan 1919-21. His number is 21901/2. The definitive book on honours to Indian troops shows the number ending in a half. This is unusual, although not unique. It is possible that somewhere in the past when numbers were allocated on enlistment, people with the same / similar names were confused, so one would have a half-number. This book also names the theatre of the award. As to the action, no date is given, but sometimes a citation may exist. Not all were in the London Gazette, most being in the Gazette of India, to which I do not have access. The 55th saw action as part of the Tochi and Bannu force, so he probably won it in that area.

Reference 387