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The Kabul to Kandahar Star That Dr. Watson Didn’t Earn

The Kabul to Kandahar Star That Dr. Watson Didn’t Earn

“… succeeded in reaching Candahar in safety…”

A Study in Scarlet (STUD)


Photos source: Wikipedia

In our previous post on Dr. Watson’s Afghanistan Campaign Medal, we briefly discussed the Kabul to Kandahar rhar Star (also known as the Robert’s Star).

This medal was awarded to the troops under General Frederick Roberts’ command, who participated in the 300+ mile march from Kabul to Kandahar in Afghanistan from August 19-31, 1880. The British troops at Kandahar were pinned down by the rebel Afghans and this march brought addtional British troops to relieve the garrison. Upon arrival of the British reinforcements, the Afghans were defeated in battle the next day. The Second Afghan War would soon be over.

This bronze medal was made from Afgan cannons that were melted after being captured during the Battle of Kandahar. Over 11,000 medals were issued to participants in the march. These individuals were also awarded the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and most likely also received the Kandahar bar with that medal.

Measuring 62mm by 48mm, the medal is a five pointed star which is suspended by an imperial crown. Queen Victoria’s monogram is the central design, encircled with the words “KABVL TO KANDAHAR” and date of 1880. The  reverse of the medal would be engraved with the recipient’s name and regiment assignment.

Dr. Watson had been wounded “at the fatal battle of Maiwand” that occured on July 27-28, 1880. Luckily, the wounded Watson was saved by his orderly, Murray, and brought to safety behind British lines. Having been sent to the hospital at Peshawur and then being stricken with enteric fever, it is extremely improbable that Watson would have been able to participate in the 320-mile march from Kabul to Kandahar that began August 9th. This makes Watson ineligible to receive the Kabul to Kandahar Star,

If you look closely at some of the onscreen portrayals of the good Doctor, there will be times when he is sporting the Kabul to Kandahar Star. Jude Law is seen with this medal in his second film, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. Likewise, Andrei Panin’s portrayal in the 2013 Russian television series, Sherlok Kholms (Шерлок Холмс) has him with this decoration. We’ll be discussing these portrayals in future posts.

Some of you reading this post disagree with my theory that Watson is ineligible to have the Kabul to Kandahar Star. I would welcome your thoughts otherwise in the comments section below.

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