Order of British India

The Order of British India

Insignia of the Order of British India, First Class
Awarded by the British Empire
Type Order of merit
Eligibility Officers of the British Indian Army holding a viceroy's commission, Indian Officers of Indian States Forces, Frontier Corps and Military Police
Awarded for Long, faithful and honourable service
Status No longer awarded after 1947
Post-nominals OBI
Established 17 April 1837
Next (higher) Royal Red Cross (Class II)
Next (lower) Kaisar-i-Hind Medal[1]

Ribbon 18371838

Ribbon 18381939

First Class ribbon 19391947

Second Class ribbon 19391947

The Order of British India,[2] known as 'Order of British India' until September 1939,[3] was an order of merit which was bestowed by the East India Company for "long, faithful and honourable service", beginning in 1837. 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 Medal

The Order was awarded in two classes: first and second class. The recipients of the second class were entitled to the title Bahadur (hero) and recipients of the first class were entitled to use the title Sardar Bahadur (heroic leader), both using the post-nominal letters, OBI. The order was awarded for distinguished service on a particular campaign, but was also often awarded to officers for between 20 and 30 years service.


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

First Class

Honorary Captain Subedar Major, Sardar Bahadur, Sardar Lehna Singh, O.B.I. 1st Class, 45th Rattray's Sikhs at the Corination of King George V, Delhi Durbar of 1911.
Honorary Lieutenant Pehlwan Khan OBI First class
Honorary Captain Sardar Bahadur, Mihr Din, OBI (1st Class)

Served in Karachi and Rangoon ww2.

Second Class


  1. ORDERS OF WEAR, Website of the UK government: Directgov, date accessed 29 March 2011.
  2. Various (15 March 2007). Hyderabad State List of Leading Officials, Nobles and Personages. Potter Press. p. 4. ISBN 1-4067-3137-4.
  3. Various (15 March 2007). Alwar State List of Leading Officials, Nobles and Personages. Potter Press. p. 4. ISBN 1-4067-3137-4.
  4. 33 Years record of unbroken service (1911–1944). Served in both world wars. Madras War Review journal. 21 January 1944.
  5. Captain Sardar Bahadur Muhammad Ismail, 32nd Mountain Battery British India Army received the following orders and decorations for his meritorious and gallantry services: IOM (3rd Class) 10 June 1897, OBI (2nd Class) 9 October 1909, Royal Victorian Medal 1910, OBI (1st Class) 1917. He was selected as ADC to King George V and a member of the five men Indian contingent that participated in the coronation of King George V. His appointments, OBI, and IOM awards are recorded in both GGO[L/Mil/17/2, L/Mil/17/5] and the India Gazette [V/II].
  6. Lieutenant Colonel Sardar Bahadur Aman Singh Jodha was awarded the IOM, 23 September 1918 at Haifa.
  7. "The London Gazette". 20 November 1936. p. 7495.
  8. Condon, W.E.H. (1962). The Frontier Force Regiment. Gale & Polden. p. 574.
  9. Hodson's Horse by Cardew 1876 & Testimonials published by Punjab Government 1900 and List of British Agents in Afghanistan. He was resident of Wazirabad and grandson of the Raja of Rajawar (Rajouri).
  10. Fought in both the World Wars including theatres in Mesopotamia, Egypt et al. Born 1893 (perhaps), retired in 1948 and died at Tanda Hospital, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India on 11 January 1967 after an illness. This information is submitted by Ishwar Kaur's younger son, Guru Sharan Singh.
  11. 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
  12. Captain Bahadur Inayat Ullah Asmi, OBI served in two World Wars, as Subedar and Captain (King's Commission); he died in 1947 in Lahore.
  13. Lieutenant Bahadur Mohammed Abdul Hafiz, OBI, IDSM, awarded OBI 2nd Class on 2 August 1919 for "gallant and distinguished services in the Field" on 11 October 1917.
  14. 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.
  15. Subedar Bahadur Richhpal Singh was Mentioned in (the Commander-in-Chief's) Despatches for the operation in the Western Desert, Libya and Cyzinaica in December 1940 and again for distinguished services in Italy.

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)


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