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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

What is this coin/medal/plaque thingy?


Ian Robertson

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Amongst the various badges and coins returned with my great Uncles effects was this. I know it's not military and it's not a coin but can anyone tell me what it was used for?

post-16112-1171199142.jpg

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According to my Larousse a comice agricole is an association of farmers, so this would have belonged to the farmers' association of the district of Bethune P.D.C. is Pas de Calais, the département where Bethune is situated. It looks like a sort of medal, perhaps a badge of membership or possibly an award for the biggest leek, or something. There seems to be space for further engraving underneath the inscription if required. How big is it?

cheers Martin B

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Martin,

It's 40mm dia.

The biggest Leek? Are we looking at an special award for the best use of a trench here?

regards

Ian

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Just done a quick search and found some examples on here:

http://www.cgb.fr/monnaies/jetons/j17/gb/s...y&nbfic=586

they call them jetons in French or tokens in English. The value seems to depend on what they're made of and who designed them, but I don't see a designer's name on yours.

I couldn't determine if the comice agricole de Béthune still exists. I wonder how your great-uncle came by it -- chatting up some local peasant lass, perhaps.

cheers Martin B

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Martin,

Many thanks for the link, I'll have a good look later this evening.

As for Tom chatting up some local lass, if he was anything like his old man it's a fair bet that's exactly what happened!

regards

Ian

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Just a thought.

It's not some sort of 'token' that was issued like coinage then?

Seen examples of something similar issued in the English Civil War to Royalist Garrison Towns, i believe the term for them were 'Seige Pieces'.

Regards, Chris.

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Just a thought.

It's not some sort of 'token' that was issued like coinage then?

I doubt it in this case. I'm not sure why this particular website calls these things jetons, which are normally tokens which you buy for cash and use in slot machines or telephones. On other sites they are referred to simply as médailles.

cheers Martin B

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I think that it is a prize medal for an agricultural show. The space on the reverse is to engrave the recipient's name.

I agree. The 'comices agricoles' were established as agricultural improvement societies to share knowledge, information, expertise, etc, between small farmers and coordinate activities such as the improvement of local breeds of livestock. One of their principal functions was to organise events, in particular agricultural shows, to educate and inform town-dwellers about country life, food production. etc.

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Wasn't there a move in 1916 to encourage regiments to turn to agriculture as a side line? I read somewhere of a Scots regiment planting potatoes and sowing a hay crop. Maybe this was awarded to a similar scheme by the locals!

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