North East Medals Footnote
I refer to H. Quinot's caustic comments in his book 'Recueil Illustré des Ordres de Chevalerie et Décorations Belges de 1830 à 1963'

'N'était-ce pas une erreur psychologique d'attribuer une décoration belge de la guerre 1914-1918 à des anciens combattants allemands de la Wehrmacht ? Pour ceux qui l'ont sollicitée ou obtenue, n'était-ce pas se désigner à l'attention des " revanchards " et à la malignité publique, se faire qualifier de traitre à la Patrie Allemande et leur attirer beaucoup d'ennuis lors d'une réoccupation allemande éventuelle, même temporaire ? N'oublions pas que Hitler faisait déjà des siennes en Allemagne, en 1934'


The Commemorative Medal of the 1914 - 1918 War
Medaille Commemorative de la Guerre 1914 - 1918

     Instituted 21st July 1919 initially for award to Belgians who had served with the armed forces in the 1914 - 1918 war. The award criteria were similar to that of the Belgian Victory medal.
    Description: In bronze,  triangular in shape 48mm high by 30mm wide, with bowed out sides. Suspension is in the form of a free ring. Obverse depicts the helmeted head of King Albert, this set into a circular recess the width of the medal. A spray of ivy and laurel either side of the Belgian lion are at the apex, and the dates 1914 1918 in the bottom corners. Reverse ; the Royal  Belgian crown flanked  by ivy and laurel at the apex, while the rest bears the inscription MEDAILLE COMMEMORATIVE DE LA CAMPAGNE 1914 - 1918 HERINNERINGS MEDAILLE VAN DEN VELDTOCHT .
Ribbon ; Red with a  (black edged) broad orange central band.
A number of ribbon emblems were authorized for this medal as outlined in the following table: -

Emblem Date  authorized. /  announced Entitlement / recipients.

Gilt crown 6mm wide (illustrated)

with initial announcement.


2mm wide silver ribbon bars (illustrated)

with initial announcement.

first bar for 12 months service at the front, subsequent bars for further periods of 6 months service.

2mm wide gilt ribbon bars.

with initial announcement.

replaced five silver bars (see above)

10mm red enamel cross.

with initial announcement.

one cross for each wound chevron

Silver five pointed star.

with initial announcement.

those who returned to active service after wounds or sickness caused by war service.

Silver crown 6mm wide.

3rd February 1920

The award of the medal (with silver crown ribbon emblem) was extend to Belgian Intelligence services and agents on this date, provided they had received a Belgian order.

10mm bronze anchor.

21st February 1921

The award of the medal (with bronze anchor emblem) was extend to the Mercantile Marine on this date. - further extended to Fishermen in 1936 provided  they held a Maritime decoration.

Silver Lion (rampant).

31st March 1933

The decree of this date now extends the medal to all Belgian Intelligence services and those who served with merit in foreign intelligence services. All recipients entitled to the silver crown emblem, and those who served with the Belgian Intelligence a silver lion emblem.

Gilt ribbon bar 5 mm wide:
 ' 1916-R-1918 '

3rd November 1950

Men deployed with the Belgian Expeditionary Corps to Russia
(armoured car units) see link below.
An earlier bar had also been produced
 '1916-R-1917' from an unconfirmed royal decree.

Crossed anchors.

3rd November 1950


2mm ribbon bar in black enamel.

24th June 1952

Prisoners of war, one bar per 6 months of captivity. (a uniform chevron for captivity being authorised at the same time.)

The Belgian  WW1 Commemorative Medal issued to the German Army ?
Belgium gained a small amount of German territory after the war under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles; namely parts of  Eupen, Malmédy, and St Vith. On the death of King Albert in 1934 The new King Leopold decided to grant the commemorative medal to the ex-servicemen of these districts in recognition of the loyalty they had shown to the old King and the Belgian royal household in previous years. Therefore after Leopold's decree of 14th July 1934, and provided the potential recipient could demonstrate allegiance to the Belgian royal family and applied for the medal, then the award could now be given to ex servicemen of the German Army (the old enemy) living in the annexed territories.  (No doubt that went down like a lead balloon with the Belgian veterans, and certainly potentially hazardous to those Germans that took up the offer considering what was coming  - WW2.  N )

Belgian Armoured Cars in Russia (offsite)


The WW1 Belgian War Medal 1914 - 1918

above a volunteer's medal for 2½ years service at the front.

The Commemorative Medal of the 1914 - 1918 War

Medaille Commemorative de La Guerre 1914 - 1918


Above gilt crown ribbon emblem for volunteers

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