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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Madelon Battle Hancock


Nepper

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Reputedly the most decorated woman of the war, she was an American socialite who married a British officer and then served as a nurse throughout the war in Flanders having first worked in Antwerp in the opening weeks of the war.

 

Her medals are in a North Carolina museum https://files.nc.gov/dncr-moh/R_6142_1a.jpg and I think I've identified all but one.  From left to right I have

1914 Star
War Medal
Victory Medal
??
Order of the Crown (Belgium)
Civic Decoration (Belgium)
Croix de guerre (Belgium)
Croix de guerre 1914–1918 (France)
Queen Elisabeth Medal (Belgium)
Yser Medal (Belgium)
Commemorative Medal of the 1914–1918 War (Belgium)

 

It's the 4th from the left that confuses me. It looks like the George V Coronation medal.  Unfortunately sources about her make some dubious claims and/or mistaken identity of decorations. I've seen claims that she was awarded the Royal Red Cross (but it's not in the picture), a French decoration called the "reconnaissance pour les etrangers" which could be the French medal of gratitude (but again not in the picture) and that many of these were awarded to her personally by George V  and Albert.

 

Can anyone identify the unknown medal and confirm (or deny) my other identifications.

 

Thanks.

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Appears to be the Geo V Delhi Darbar medal.  Unable to make the reverse.

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7 minutes ago, RNCVR said:

Appears to be the Geo V Delhi Darbar medal.  Unable to make the reverse.

That was my other thought but I can't see why she'd have one. Her husband may have qualified.

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Yes, possibly, as she married a British officer. Approx 10K silver medals were awarded to British Officers & NCO's of Imperial & Indian armies.

I dont know if a medal roll for the DD 1911 medal exists, if so they could both be checked on that roll.

Someone might come along and advise if a roll exixts.

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  • 1 year later...

I am one of Madelon's granddaughters. Please see attached photo of the box of medals which stood in the house where I grew up (and a doc that lists everything I could find about them) which we passed onto the Museum of History on Raleigh in 2018, along with her scrapbook . I should have paid more attention to my (long deceased) dad when he was chatting about them....The museum also have pile of letters which an American cousin had saved. She is one of eight people about to be entered into the NC Milvets Hall of Firsts in a ceremony on June 4th 2022. There is stacks of stuff on line about her, some a little exaggerated I think!! I also attach a photo of her grave in Cemetier du Jas, Cannes

On 26/03/2021 at 22:35, Nepper said:

Reputedly the most decorated woman of the war, she was an American socialite who married a British officer and then served as a nurse throughout the war in Flanders having first worked in Antwerp in the opening weeks of the war.

 

Her medals are in a North Carolina museum https://files.nc.gov/dncr-moh/R_6142_1a.jpg and I think I've identified all but one.  From left to right I have

1914 Star
War Medal
Victory Medal
??
Order of the Crown (Belgium)
Civic Decoration (Belgium)
Croix de guerre (Belgium)
Croix de guerre 1914–1918 (France)
Queen Elisabeth Medal (Belgium)
Yser Medal (Belgium)
Commemorative Medal of the 1914–1918 War (Belgium)

 

It's the 4th from the left that confuses me. It looks like the George V Coronation medal.  Unfortunately sources about her make some dubious claims and/or mistaken identity of decorations. I've seen claims that she was awarded the Royal Red Cross (but it's not in the picture), a French decoration called the "reconnaissance pour les etrangers" which could be the French medal of gratitude (but again not in the picture) and that many of these were awarded to her personally by George V  and Albert.

 

Can anyone identify the unknown medal and confirm (or deny) my other identifications.

 

Thanks.

King George V and Queen Mary Coronation Medal

madelon medals 2 (2021_03_15 16_00_10 UTC).pdf

341 (2020_12_17 13_56_15 UTC).JPG

523286_10100324345416349_658471434_n[1] (2020_12_17 13_56_15 UTC).jpg

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On 26/03/2021 at 15:29, RNCVR said:

Yes, possibly, as she married a British officer. Approx 10K silver medals were awarded to British Officers & NCO's of Imperial & Indian armies.

I dont know if a medal roll for the DD 1911 medal exists, if so they could both be checked on that roll.

Someone might come along and advise if a roll exixts.

I will see what I can find but I have some memory that she would have got this just for turning up at the Indian version of George Vs coronation. Probably with her husband Col Mortimer Pawson Hancock. (Royal Fusiliers)

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On 26/03/2021 at 12:35, Nepper said:

Reputedly the most decorated woman of the war, she was an American socialite who married a British officer and then served as a nurse throughout the war in Flanders having first worked in Antwerp in the opening weeks of the war.

 

Her medals are in a North Carolina museum https://files.nc.gov/dncr-moh/R_6142_1a.jpg and I think I've identified all but one.  From left to right I have

1914 Star [with clasp visible in the image
War Medal
Victory Medal

@williywonker this nurse is likely to be of interest to you

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On 09/05/2022 at 17:25, sekeeta said:

I am one of Madelon's granddaughters. Please see attached photo of the box of medals which stood in the house where I grew up (and a doc that lists everything I could find about them) which we passed onto the Museum of History on Raleigh in 2018, along with her scrapbook . I should have paid more attention to my (long deceased) dad when he was chatting about them....The museum also have pile of letters which an American cousin had saved. She is one of eight people about to be entered into the NC Milvets Hall of Firsts in a ceremony on June 4th 2022. There is stacks of stuff on line about her, some a little exaggerated I think!! I also attach a photo of her grave in Cemetier du Jas, Cannes

 

 

 

There does appear to be some exaggeration of her exploits but still an exceptional woman, I hope you are proud of her.  Thanks for posting the material.

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