Rare, Genuine, Hunza Nagar Badge 1891
An extremely rare GENUINE Hunza Nagar Badge. Original and Correct with the Maker’s Mark – GURNEY & SON, WOODSTOCK STREET, LONDON
Hunza Nagar Badge, 1891 – In bronze, illustrating an officer and two sepoys storming the fort in the hills at Nilt and inscribed “HUNZA NAGAR 1891” below on the obverse.
This badge was instituted by Maharaja Shri Ranbir Singh of Jammu and Kashmir in 1891, as a reward for services during the Hunza and Nagar campaign. Awarded in a single class, it was originally worn as a brooch at the neck, and later, it was decided that it could be worn as a medal and some of the badges had the fittings altered in order to accommodate the ribbon. Approximately 1,515 of the badges were issued.
The Hunza-Nagar Campaign was fought in 1891 by troops of the British Raj against the princely states of Hunza and Nagar in the Gilgit Agency (now part of the Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan). It is known in Pakistan as the “Anglo-Brusho War“. The Hunza-Nagar Expedition was ostensibly due to the defiant attitude of the Hunza and Nagar chiefs towards the British agent at Gilgit.
Towards the end of the 19th century, just as imperial troops began consolidating territory in tribal areas, these tribes began to acquire rifles and ammunition. The British suspected Russian involvement “with the Rulers of the petty States on the northern boundary of Jammu and Kashmir” during a period known as The Great Game (a term for the strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia).
Colonel Algernon George Arnold Durand, commanded a force of approximately a thousand rifles and two guns. The British gained control of Nagar during the Battle at Nilt Nagar (Jangir-e-Laye) in 1891. The fort at Nilt was stormed, and after a fortnight’s delay the cliffs beyond it were also carried by assault. Hunza and Nagar were occupied, the chief of Nagar was reinstated on making his submission, and the half-brother of the Raja of Hunza was installed as chief in the place of his brother. The British awarded three Victoria Crosses during this campaign.