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Remembered Today:

French WW1 campaign medals


PhilB

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I know nothing about French WW1 campaign medals. Were they named? How many were there? What campaigns were covered? Did those killed get any special recognition? Are they popular among French collectors? Phil B

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I know nothing about French WW1 campaign medals. Were they named? How many were there? What campaigns were covered? Did those killed get any special recognition? Are they popular among French collectors?  Phil B

Phil.

Take a look HERE. Some of the commonest are shown. Others not shown on this page are the Oriental Medal for service in the middle east and the Dardanelles Campaign medal.(These are the purely WW1 medals. - other pre-war medals were in existance for colonial service that continued to be issued throughout WW1)

No, they weren't named and I've no idea how popular they are (though they can be picked up quite cheaply)

Dave.

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Thanks, Dave - informative site. I suppose they`re a bit like our WW2 medals then. Best with supporting paperwork. I wonder how they rate Verdun defender casualties? Phil B

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Phil,

Those Killed in Action would also receive the Military Medal and Croix De Guerre. Their next of kin would also receive a named, illustrated scroll, upon which these medals are commonly found attached. Sets such as these can be picked up for about £50 (cheaper in France) and can be researched on the French CWGC equivalent, "Memoiredeshommes".

As Dave wrote, there were also official awards for service in the Balkans and at Gallipoli - the Verdun Medal(s) is an unofficial award.

There was also a Medal for Wounded (Medaille des Blesses) introduced after the War, which was issued as a ribbon from 1916. Only French medals that seem to be named routinely are those long service awards to the police and public sector workers.

The Croix du Combattant was issued only to those who fought at the Front or else served at sea (a distinction since many police, nurses and firemen etc. qualified for the War Medal and Victory Medal).

Ricardo

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Thanks, R. So the entitlement of a man KIA at Verdun, say, would be:-

Croix du Combattant, Verdun Medal, Victory Medal, War Medal, Medaille Militaire and Croix de Guerre? None would be named but there may be a scroll? Phil B

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The Croix du Combattant was issued in the early 1930's IIRC initially a combat vet was issued with a card proving your status as a combat veteran. THis status entitled you to certain discounts etc. the medal was issued later. There is also a Voluntary Combattants Cross.

Occasionally you will see bars attached to the ribbon of the WWI Campaign medal but I think besides the 'Engage-voluntaire' (SP?) they are unofficial.

There is also an unofficial medal for service on the Marne which appears often in US groups. These medals were advertised in US veterans periodicals you essentially sent proof of service and a fee and you received a certificate and medal.

The Dardanelles and Orient medal have the same obverse (Marianne Head) but different ribbons and reverses. There is also a Levant medal for Middle-East Service post-war.

All of these items are pretty reasonably priced although the Dardanelles medal can be hard to find and the Voluntary Combatants Cross is a little off-beat. Neither is very expensive, though. The Combattants Cross, Victory Medal and Campaign Medal are easy to find here in the US for Under $15 each.

It's actually quite easy and affordable to put together a nice collection of French WWI medals.

Enjoy,

Neil

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Thanks, R. So the entitlement of a man KIA at Verdun, say, would be:-

Croix du Combattant, Verdun Medal, Victory Medal, War Medal, Medaille Militaire and Croix de Guerre? None would be named but there may be a scroll? Phil B

Hi Phil,

not necessarily as this would entail the next of kin applying for the Verdun Medal and then again applying for a Combatants Cross 12+ years after the war.

take care,

Neil

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