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.

 The 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.





Geneva Cross
Guide to Belgian Medals Index Page  Site Home Page
Guide to British Medals Index Page Guide to French Medals  Index Page


 Copyright. Images digitally watermarked / filigrane numérique copyright
 © 2004 -2007 all rights reserved.  North East Medals ©