Research Project: 1895 India General Service Medal

The 1895 India General Service Medal was introduced as a replacement for its predecessor which had been introduced some 31 years earlier in 1854. It was felt that the older 1854 India General Service Medal, which by this time had acquired some 24 clasps, did not in some cases adequately represent the actual amount of active service that some officers and men had taken part in. Additionally given the number of clasp combinations possible the 1854 medal could simply become rather awkward to wear since the medal’s ribbon would out of necessity have to be rather long to accommodate all the clasps some recipients were entitled too. (See the cabinet photo of Sir William Lockhart as an example of this. ).

Henry Walker 1895 IGSM

Above: The 1895 India General Service Medal issued to No. 4890 Private Henry James Walker of the 1st Battalion, the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment for service on India’s North West Frontier in 1897-98.

This example of the 1895 India General Service Medal was presented to No. 4890 Private Henry James Walker of the 1st Battalion, the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment and reflects his service on India’s North West Frontier in the closing years of the 19th Century.

Henry James Walker was born around 1877 at Kennington, Lambeth, Surrey to Henry Walker, a smith/hammerman, and Maria Sarah Maides. His first experience with military life came when he attested with the 3rd Battalion (militia) of the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment on 21 August 1895. He was 17 years, 9 months old at the time and a hammerman like his father. His stay with the 3rd Battalion was short since he attested with the regulars at the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regimental Depot on 3 October 1895.

He was posted to the 1st Battalion on 7 January 1896 and then transferred to the 2nd Battalion on 13 October 1897 as part of a replacement draft being sent out to India where the battalion had been posted since 1884. His time within his battalion was unremarkable. He was granted good conduct pay on 9 September 1900 and had the forfeited it on 23 June 1902 for unspecified reasons. It was restored to him one year later on 23 June 1903.

Henry Walker 1895 IGSM Rim

Above: The engraved rim of Walker’s medal. Most Victorian campaign medals were engraved or impressed with the recipient’s regimental number, rank, name, and unit. This tradition offers a wealth of research possibilities for the military researcher and genealogist.

He left India and returned home with the 1st Battalion in July 1903 and transferred to the reserves on 9 December 1903. His final discharge from the reserves was on February 10, 1907.

While on the frontier Walker along with the rest of the 1st Battalion was first posted at Malakand Pass in the face of a rebellion of so 20,000 Afridi tribesmen. The battalion then fortified a camp in the Nawagai Valley along with the 11th Bengal Lancers. A determined enemy assault was repulsed on 20 September.

The 1st Battalion was then transferred to the Tirah Field Force under the above mentioned General Sir William Lockhart and would serve as part of General William Penn-Symons 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Division. During the campaign, the 1st Battalion would suffer relatively light casualties with ten dead and thirty wounded.


Above: An artist’s impression of the Afridi attack on the camp in the Nawagai Valley on the night of 20 September 1897. After a painting by Frank Dadd.

For his service, Private Walker was entitled to the “Punjab Frontier 1897-98” and “Tirah 1897-98” clasps for his 1895 India General Service Medal. Both entitlements are confirmed in his service papers and the appropriate medal roll.

Private the Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment

Above: Although no photographs of Private Henry James Walker have come to light, this cabinet photograph on an unidentified “other rank” of the 1st Battalion, the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment gives an excellent impression of Walker’s appearance after his return from the frontier at the close of the 1897-98 campaigns.

I have not been able to find any definite references to Walker after his final discharge. He does not appear to have seen additional service during World War One. One genealogy consulted seems to indicate that Walker may have died sometime around December 1918.



1881 England Census, National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Class: RG11; Piece: 600; Folio: 141; Page: 48; GSU roll: 1341137.

1891 England Census, National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Class: RG12; Piece: 398; Folio 178; Page 32; GSU roll: 6095508.

Medal Roll, 1895 India General Service Medal, National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Class: WO 100; Piece: 86

Regimental and Service Papers, National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; WO 97 – Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records 1760-1913, Box 6148, Box record number 27

Regimental and Service Papers, National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; WO 96 – Militia Service Records 1806-1915, Box 30, Box record number 40




Murder Most Foul

The photograph below came from a photo album which I believe to have once been the property of Private Thomas Franklin Fleming of “C” Company, 32nd United States Volunteer Infantry (USVI) and identifies the two members of the 32nd as Private William Kilpatrick of Tahlequah, Indian Territory (left) and Private Pasquale Tuazzo. The label also states rather matter-of-factly that Kilpatrick was shot and killed by Tuazzo on October 7, 1900, at Balanga, Bataan in the Philippines. Naturally, this type of image simply screams out for further research and is exactly the type of image that I collect. Although faded by time the history lurking within this image is simply too much to pass up.

Kilpatrick with Revolver

My first cursory investigation into the ill-fated Private Kilpatrick only turned up a burial record dated March 1, 1901, which states that he was buried at the Presidio in San Francisco. Unfortunately no next of kin, birth date or place are listed on the card. This leaves very few additional avenues open to me in finding out more about him – at this time.

A bit more has turned up on Private Pasquale Tuozzo (according to all official records I have found this is the correct spelling of his name.) was born in Salerno, Italy and served with the 3rd Connecticut Volunteer Infantry as a baker with the brigade bakeries in Summerville, South Carolina prior to joining the 32nd USVI and shipping out to the Philippines.

Kilpatrick with Group

Above: Members of Company C, 32nd Infantry, United States Volunteers pose prior to their departure to the Philippines. The doomed Private William Kilpatrick stands at far right, c. 1900, 

Although the exact circumstances of the crime that left Private Kilpatrick dead are still yet to be uncovered, another typed label in the same photo album next to a second photo of Tuozzo states that he was dishonorably discharged from the army after and general court martial on December 10, 1900 and sentenced to 99 years at the Military Prison on Alcatraz Island.

There are several additional sources that I plan on looking into and I may attempt to get copies of Kilpatrick’s service records from the National Archives. I also plan on trying to find a source for old military prison records in order to find out if Tuozzo actually served his whole 99-year sentence. Much of this story is yet to be uncovered.

Since my initial investigation in the murder of Private Kilpatrick I may have identified his family in the 1900 Census for Township 17, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory (today’s Oklahoma). He appears to have been one of seven children of Thomas and Rhoda Kilpatrick and born in Indiana around 1876. The census lists his occupation as “U.S. Soldier”. Kilpatrick was already overseas by the time the 1900 Census was taken and the enumerator probably listed all members of the household whether present or not. Kilpatrick also appears in the 1900 Census for military and naval personnel at Balanga, Bataan, Philippine Islands. Interestingly, his fellow soldier and future killer Pasquale Tuozzo is enumerated on the same census page.

I have also located copies of Tuozzo’s service records at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and acquired copies with the hope that some light might be shed regarding the particulars of the crime in question as well as some details of Tuozzo’s background. His service papers state that he was the of son of  one Angelo Tuozzo, and was born at Salerno, Italy around 1872. He was relatively tall for his time standing 5 feet 8 inches tall and was a baker by trade prior to enlistment with “C” Company, 32nd USVI on July 27, 1899.

Tuozzo Group

Above: Private Pasquale Tuozzo (at left) with fellow members of Company C, 32nd Infantry, United States Volunteers. Luzon, Philippine Islands, c. 1900.

While the majority of the paperwork included in Tuozzo’s service records relate to his court martial for the murder of Private Kilpatrick very little in the way of detail of the crime is mentioned. It seems that the army was more interested in whether the crime was committed and less as to the how’s and whys.

The specifications of the crime and charges against Tuozzo were outlined in General Order No. 29, Headquarters Department of northern Luzon dated December 6, 1900:

“In that Private Pasquale Tuozzo, Company C, 32nd Infantry, U, S. Volunteers, did, in time of insurrection, with malice of aforethought, willfully and feloniously murder and kill on William Kilpatrick, Private, Company C, 32d Infantry, U.S. Volunteers, then and there being, by shooting with a certain revolver, then and there held in the hand of the said Pasquale Tuozzo, and thereby causing the death of said Kilpatrick. This at Balanga, Bataan, Luzon, P. I, on the 7th day on October, 1900.”

The trail was a short one. A total of twelve witnesses were called and Tuozzo was found guilty to the charges and specifications against him on December 9. He was stripped of rank, dishonorably discharged and sentenced to 99 years at hard labor. The sentence was to be served at Bilibid Military Prison in Manila. At some point, Tuozzo was transferred to the U.S. military prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. He disappears from the records after this. Did he die in prison? Was he paroled at some point? Perhaps the answer to those question will be found one day.

Tuozzo Clpping

Above: A newspaper clipping from the January 22, 1901, issue of the Wilkes-Barre Semi-Weekly Record (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) mentioning the conviction of Pasquale Tuozzo for the murder of William Kilpatrick.

As for the unfortunate Private Kilpatrick, he also returned to the United States and was buried at San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio. Ironically Kilpatrick’s grave offers a view of the distant Alcatraz Island.