Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It was among a group of five medals and a substantial archive sold for £420,000 to a ‘relatively new collector of British gallantry awards’. The estimate was £300,000-400,000.

The medal was awarded in 1891 to 30-year-old Scotsman Lieutenant Charles Grant, of the 12th Regiment (2nd Burma Battalion) Madras Infantry.

After hearing of the execution of British officials after a new maharajah took over at Manipur, he led his 80-man detachment in a series of brilliant sallies to first dislodge and then disperse the Manipuris from their entrenched defences at Thobal.

One of his soldiers later said of him: “How could we be beaten under Grant Sahib? He is a tiger in a fight.”