Circular silver medal with claw and swivel ribbon bar suspension; the face with the veiled crowned head and shoulders portrait of Queen Victoria circumscribed ‘VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX’ (Victoria Queen and Empress), signed ‘G. W. de Saulles’ (for George William de Saulles, 1862-1903, Chief Engraver to the Royal Mint); the reverse with a trophy of arms around a palm tree, a shield bearing the royal arms in the foreground, inscribed below ‘CHINA’ and dated ‘1900’, circumscribed above ‘ARMIS EXPOSCERE PACEM’ (Latin = they demanded peace by force of arms); officially renamed on the edge to ‘Lieut. A. C. Mc Gil Christ I. M. S.’; on replaced correct ribbon.
The medal was instituted in 1901 to be awarded to those who had participated in the defence of the Foreign Legations in Peking (Beijing) during the two and a half months siege by the ‘Boxers’ or in lifting the siege. The proposal of Emperor Wilhelm II for a common commemorative medal for the eight-nation alliance was rejected and each country (except Austria-Hungary) issued its own medal. Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald Currie MacGilchrist, M.D. was born at Killarrow, Argyllshire, Scotland on 24 May 1872. He was commissioned Lieutenant, Indian Medical Service on 27 January 1900 and was present in Peking attached to the 7th Lancers for which, in addition to the present medal, he was also awarded the Military Order of the Dragon by the Chinese government. He was promoted Captain on 27 January 1903, Major on 27 June 1911 and retired with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel on 24 May 1927. He died at Calcutta on 14 May 1948.