Geneva Cross 1870 - 1871
Awarded by the SSBM for service during the
Franco-Prussian War. A bronze cross on a white ribbon with
embroidered red cross motif. Several versions of the cross exist.
(1) Double sided, with the Inscription: "1870 Société Francaise de
Secours 1871" on the obverse and "Aux Blessés des Armees de Terre et
de Mer." on the reverse.
(2) Single sided, obverse inscription: 1870
Société Francaise de Secours aux Blessés des Armees de Terre et de
Mer. 1871" reverse blank, but occasionally engraved with the
recipients details. (see pictures below)
(3) various deluxe versions of the above
crosses exist in gold and silver.
The French Red Cross ( la Croix Rouge Francaise, CRF ) came into existence in its present form in 1940
by the order of Marshal Pétain, and was created by the unification of three
separate organisations of similar function (organisations which had
cooperated with each other anyway since 1907 ). The work of these bodies
was the same before and after unification - that is to provide
volunteer medical and relief aid services to the military and in
civil emergencies such as natural disasters. Manned by doctors, nurses and various aid workers.
three component organisations were:
(1) la Société de Secours aux Blessés Militaires (SSBM). ( The
society for the relief of
the military wounded. Established 1864)
(2) l'Association des Dames Francaises (ADF) (The association
of French Ladies)
(3) l'Union des Femmes de France (UFF) (Union of the Women of
France. Est. 1881)
All four organisations issued medallic awards and commemoratives,
which is quite an interesting field in itself. Hopefully I will be
able to include more here in time.