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British Army, Indian Volunteer Force Medal Awards 1915-1939

Findmypast have added the British Army, Indian Volunteer Force Medal Awards 1915-1939 to their website. The blurb from the findmypast website for the dataset reads as follows:

About British Army, Indian Volunteer Force Medal Awards 1915-1939

Was your ancestor awarded the Volunteer Forces Long Service Medal & Good Conduct Medal or the Efficiency Medal? Over 15,000 individuals are represented in this collection. Discover your ancestor’s rank, corps and the date he was awarded this honour.

The information for each transcript was extracted from the Indian Army orders by Kevin Asplin. Each transcript will include

  • Name – majority of the records only list the initials for first name(s)
  • Sex
  • Year
  • Rank
  • Corps – abbreviations include AFI (Auxiliary Force India) and IDF (Indian Defence Force)
  • Award
  • Award date
  • Order details
  • Country

Two military awards are featured in British Army, Indian Volunteer Force Medal Awards 1915-1939, the Volunteer Forces Long Service Medal & Good Conduct Medal and the Efficiency Medal. The records show over 15,000 individuals from the Indian Defence Force (IDF) or the Auxiliary Force India (AFI) who were awarded the medals between 1915 and 1939. The IDF and AFI were India’s equivalent to the UK’s Territorial Army, which was comprised of part-time regiments of European soldiers who could be fully mobilised in wartime. Prior to 1920, the IDF and AFI were known as the Indian Volunteer Force (1857-1917). During the First World War, most of the Indian Volunteer units were stationed in India on internal security assignments. They became a part of the umbrella organisation Indian Defence Force (IDF) in 1917. The IDF was disbanded after the war but voluntary service continued through the Auxiliary Force from 1920 onward.

The Volunteer Forces Long Service Medal & Good Conduct Medal was instituted in May 1894 and awarded to non-commissioned officers and men who had served for a minimum of 20 years in the volunteer forces. The award was superseded by the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal in 1908 but remained in use in India until 1930.

The Efficiency Medal was introduced in October 1930 when it replaced the Volunteer Forces Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. The medal was awarded for 12 years of continuous and efficient service.

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