Medals and Medallions

British Indian Ocean Territory

The Chagos Islands were first discovered by Portuguese mariners in the early 16th century. The French assumed sovereignty more than two centuries later and began to exploit the hitherto uninhabited islands for copra in the 1780s. The Islands became British when ceded by France to Britain, together with Mauritius and the Seychelles, in 1814. Prior to Mauritius achieving independence and with the agreement of the Mauritius Council of Ministers, the Islands were detached in 1965 to form part of the British Indian Ocean Territory.