Medal of French Gratitude

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Medal of French Gratitude
Medaille de la reconnaissance francaise AVERS.jpg
Medal of French Gratitude (obverse)
Awarded by  France
Type Three grade medal
Awarded for "gratitude extended to all individuals or communities, who have arisen in France, with the Allies and the whole world, to help the wounded, the sick, families of soldiers killed in combat, the maimed, disabled, blind, orphans and people whose lives were destroyed by the invasion."
Status No longer awarded
Statistics
Established 13 July 1917
Distinct
recipients
15,000
Precedence
Next (higher) Combatant's Cross
Next (lower) Overseas Medal

Ruban de la Médaille de la Reconnaissance française 1stClass.png
Gold
Ruban de la Médaille de la Reconnaissance française 2ndClass.png
Silver

Ruban de la Médaille de la Reconnaissance française 3rdClass.PNG
Bronze

The Medal of French Gratitude (French: "Médaille de la Reconnaissance française") was a French honour medal created on 13 July 1917 and solely awarded to civilians.[1]

History[edit]

The medal was created to express gratitude by the French government to all those who, without legal or military obligation, had come to the aid of the injured, disabled, refugees, or who had performed an act of exceptional dedication in the presence of the enemy during the First World War. The creation of this distinction was mainly the result of unsuccessful offensives of General Nivelle in 1917 and the serious crisis of confidence in France. The French government thus wanted to thank those who, despite the crisis, were always volunteering. It has three classes: bronze, silver, and gold. Nearly 15,000 people and communities were recipients of this award. The medal is no longer awarded, the last award was on 14 February 1959.[2]

Eligibility[edit]

The Medal of French Gratitude was awarded during World War I to the following:[3]

  • Persons who, in the presence of the enemy, have performed acts of exceptional dedication, the duration of these services having spanned one year (Decree of December 2, 1917)
  • Communities whose members were not allowed to wear the ribbon or individual medal (decree of December 2, 1917);
  • People in Alsace and Lorraine were deported, exiled or imprisoned, before 1 August 1914, by German authorities because of their attachment to France and those in the departments occupied themselves, by their courageous stand, exposed to reprisals (Decree of 1 April 1922);
  • The inhabitants of the invaded areas or Alsace and Lorraine have helped these people (decrees of 29 November 1926 and December 8, 1928).

Recipients[edit]

See the List of Foreign recipients of the Médaille de la Reconnaissance française.

Communities Decorated[edit]

La Médaille de la Reconnaissance française was awarded to six French cities and eight foreign cities.[4]

French cities

  • Annemasse, Thonon et Evian 1921
  • Céret 1946
  • Cerbère et Hochfelden 1947

Foreign Cities

Description of the Medal[edit]

First model is round bronze, silver or gilded depending on the level of the award 30 mm in diameter was engraved by Jules Desbois. On the obverse: charity personified by France supporting a wounded soldier. On the reverse: in the center, inscription RECONNAISSANCE FRANCAISE and a palm on the right.

Second model is round bronze, silver or gilded depending on the level of the award 32 mm in diameter was engraved by Maurice Delannoy. On the obverse: a woman wearing a Phrygian cap representing France with a palm. On the reverse: the inscription RECONNAISSANCE FRANCAISE around a crown of roses surrounding an escutcheon bearing the initials RF.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Champenois, Marc (January 2004). "Médaille de la Reconnaissance française". France Phaleristique (in French). Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  2. ^ "Décorations". Comité d'Entente d'Associations de Combattants de l' Hérault (in French). 2005. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  3. ^ Champenois, Marc (January 2004). "Médaille de la Reconnaissance française". France Phaleristique (in French). Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  4. ^ Champenois, Marc (January 2004). "Médaille de la Reconnaissance française". France Phaleristique (in French). Retrieved 2010-12-06.