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Order of the Durrani Empire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1st Class Star awarded to Sir Thomas Willshire in the Musée national de la Légion d'Honneur et des Ordres de Chevalerie, Paris
1st Class Star awarded to Sir Thomas Willshire in the Musée national de la Légion d'Honneur et des Ordres de Chevalerie, Paris

The Order of the Durrani Empire was awarded to British field officers and above during the First Afghan War by Shuja Shah Durrani of Afghanistan in gratitude for his restoration to the throne.[1]

The first investiture of the order was held at a grand durbar in the courtyard of the Harem Serai of the Bala Hissar, Kabul, on the evening of 17 September 1839.[2] At the time there were not enough decorations prepared but on the day those who were not on duty were presented before the king.[3] The result was that there are numerous variations in the stars and medals as many were subsequently made in India and Europe, particularly in the number of pearls on the order.

There were three classes to the order as to emulate the three classes of the Order of the Bath. The first and second classes had both a star and a medal while the third consisted of a medal only. The medal of all three classes had the red/green ribbon of the Ghuznee Medal.

1st Class

Medal: A gold Maltese cross with eight points terminating in a gold bead on two crossed swords. In the centre is a green flower on a blue enamel ground with the words "durr-i-durran" in Persian script, meaning "pearl of the age", the name attributed to the Durrani dynasty. The enamel centre is encircled by pearls.

Star: A silver star with a smaller Maltese cross in gold overlaid in the same style as the medal with the addition of a diamond on each arm of the gold cross. There are 17 pearls circling the enamel work.

2nd Class

Medal: As the 1st class but with 20 pearls encircling the centre.

Star: A silver star shaped like a Maltese cross with the gold medal overlaid as above but with 18 pearls.

3rd Class

Medal: As the 1st class but with 14 pearls encircling the centre.


This is not an exhaustive list

1st Class

  1. Lieut. Col. Sir Alexander Burnes
  2. Lieut. General Sir Willoughby Cotton
  3. Lord Auckland
  4. Lieut. General Sir John Keane
  5. Sir William Hay Macnaghten
  6. Lieut. Col. Sir Claude Martin Wade
  7. Major General Sir Thomas Willshire

2nd Class

  1. Lieut. Col. Robert Arnold
  2. Lieut. Col. JG Beaumgardt
  3. Major A Campbell
  4. Major Patrick Craigie
  5. Major William Garden
  6. Lieut. Col. Keith
  7. Lieut. Col. Macdonald
  8. Major General Sir James Outram
  9. Major General James Parsons
  10. Major Alexander Peat
  11. Major General Abraham Roberts
  12. Major General Sir Robert Henry Sale
  13. Lieut. Col. J Scott
  14. Major General Edward Simpson
  15. Lieut. Col. Stephenson
  16. General Sir Joseph Thackwell
  17. Lieut. Col. George Thomson
  18. Major Elliot D'Arcy Todd
  19. Lieut. Col. Hugh Wheeler

3rd Class

  1. Major General Augustus Abbott
  2. Major William Alexander
  3. Captain William Anderson
  4. Superintending Surgeon James Atkinson
  5. Captain JDD Bean
  6. Colonel David Birrell
  7. Lieut. Col. Bulstrode Bygrave
  8. Lieut. Col. Neil Campbell
  9. Lieut. Col. Charles Carmichael Smyth
  10. Lieut. Col. Richard Carruthers
  11. Major General John Christie
  12. Major CJ Connyngham
  13. Captain Edward Barry Conolly
  14. Lieut. Col. Croker
  15. Lieut. Col. David Cuninghame
  16. Lieut. Col. Charles Robert Cureton
  17. Lieut. Col. Daly
  18. Captain David Davidson
  19. Lieut. Col. William Dennie
  20. Major Deshon
  21. Major General Thomas Douglas
  22. Superintending Surgeon J Forsyth
  23. Major J Fraser
  24. Captain H Garbett
  25. Major C Griffiths
  26. Major Crawford Hagart
  27. Major Henry Hancock
  28. Major John Hay
  29. Lieut. Col. John Herring
  30. Captain Hugh Johnson
  31. General Sir George St Patrick Lawrence
  32. Major Robert Leech
  33. Mr PB Lord
  34. Lieutenant Frederick Mackeson
  35. Lieut. Col. James Maclaren
  36. Lieut. Col. McDowell
  37. Lieut. Col. GHM McGregor
  38. Captain James McGregor
  39. Major Thomas McSherry
  40. Colonel Thomas Monteath
  41. Lieut. Col. Joseph Orchard
  42. Lieut. Col. John Pennycuick
  43. Lieut. Col. William Persse
  44. Lieut. Col. Peter Pew
  45. Major Edward Pottinger
  46. Lieut. Col. Sir HC Rawlinson
  47. Captain James Nathaniel Rind
  48. Lieut. Col. Henry Salter
  49. Captain Edward Sanders
  50. Lieut. Col. Bentham Sandwith
  51. General Sir Richmond Shakespeare
  52. Lieut. Col. LR Stacy
  53. Lieut. Col. Foster Stalker
  54. Major Robert Thomas
  55. Major John Thompson
  56. Lieut. Col. Tronson
  57. Captain Hamilton Wade
  58. Captain A Wall
  59. Major General George Warren
  60. Lieut. Col. John Weston
  61. Lieut. Col. CB Wheeler
  62. Captain Foster Wheler
  63. Colonel GP Wymer
  64. Captain AGFJ Younghusband


  1. ^ p.139 British Battles and Medals by Major L L Gordon; published by Spink & Son Ltd 1947
  2. ^ pp. 322-323 The Expedition into Affghanistan: notes and sketches descriptive of the country, contained in a personal narrative during the campaign of 1839 & 1840 by James Atkinson, etc; published by W H Allen & Co, London, 1842
  3. ^ p. 21 The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany, Volume 31, 1840
This page was last edited on 18 January 2021, at 23:18
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