Commemorative Cross of the 1916–1918 War
|Commemorative Cross of the 1916–1918 War|
Obverse of the medal with 5 clasps
|Awarded by Romania|
|Awarded for||Campaign service|
|Campaign(s)||First World War, Hungarian–Romanian War|
|Status||out of use|
|Description||Iron cross, 40mm diameter|
|Established||8 July 1918|
|Next (higher)||The Country's Momentum|
|Next (lower)||Victory Medal|
The Commemorative Cross of the 1916–1918 War (Romanian: Medalia Crucea Comemorativă a războiului 1916-1918) is a Romanian First World War campaign medal established on 8 July 1918 by Royal Decree. The Decree was amended four times, in 1919, 1920, 1927 and 1939.
To qualify for the Commemorative Cross, recipients, civilians or military personnel of any rank, had to be mobilised for war service on any campaign between 1916 and 1918. This was later extended to 1919, thus being included the combatants from the Hungarian–Romanian War as well.
While initially the medal was to be used only by the recipient, in 1939 King Carol II of Romania authorised, for superior ranks only, the inheritance of the medal by the eldest son or older brother of the deceased recipient, who would become an active army officer. The inherited medal would receive a new clasp, inscribed Tradiție (tradition), and would have to be confirmed by royal decree
The dark iron cross has a diameter of 40 mm. Each rhombic arm measures 10 mm on the exterior and 7 mm on the interior. In the center of the cross, there is a 13 mm circle. The external borders of the cross and the circle have 1.3 mm. Inside the circle, on the obverse, there is the royal cypher of King Ferdinand I of Romania (two Fs facing away with a royal crown on top), while on the reverse there is inscribed 1916|1918 on the early models and 1916|1919 on later models, in two rows.
The 30 mm ribbon alternates four equal bars of dark blue with three equal bars of green.
Seventeen clasps were approved for the medal: eleven in the original Decree from 1918, three in 1919, one in 1920, one in 1927 and one in 1939. These clasps consist of small metal bars into which the name of the relevant campaign or theatre of operations was moulded (except for the last one). The clasps were then attached transversally to the medal's suspension bar.
- Jiul - actually Jiu on existing clasps
Usage and hierarchy
The medal was displayed on official occasions and ceremonies on the left breast of the jacket. On other occasions, it was customary to display only the ribbon bar, pinned on the left buttonhole. In the hierarchy of the Romanian military and civil awards and decorations from the mid 1930s, the Commemorative Cross held the very low 32nd place. The customary hierarchy of the military decorations was (not including those from the Independence War):
- Order of Michael the Brave
- The Military Virtue
- The Aeronautical Virtue
- The Cross of Queen Marie
- The Sanitary Merit Cross
- Valour and Faith with swords
- The Country's Momentum
- The Commemorative Cross 1916-1918
- Victory Medal
- Royal Decree nr. 1744 from 8 July 1918, published in "Monitorul Oficial" nr. 86 from 10 July 1918.
- Royal Decree nr. 4690 from 6 November 1919, published in "Monitorul Oficial" nr. 170 from 16 November 1919.
- Royal Decree nr. 3267 from 6 August 1920, published in "Monitorul Oficial" nr. from 1920.
- Royal Decree nr. 690 from 9 March 1927, published in "Monitorul Oficial" nr. 161 from 23 July 1927.
- Royal Decree nr. 3870 from 27 October 1939, published in "Monitorul Oficial" nr. 250 from 28 October 1939.
- Constantin Flondor, Constantin Moisil, Decorațiunile românești [Romanian decorations], in "Enciclopedia României", vol. I, Bucharest, 1938, p. 95.
- Crucea Comemorativă a Răsboiului 1916-1918 in Vintilă Ivănceanu, Petre P. Sterescu, Petre Ionescu, C. Tâmpeanu "Ordine, cruci și medalii române. Istoric, legi și regumamente", Imprimeria statului, București, 1927, pp. 125-128.
- Constantin Flondor, Constantin Moisil, Decorațiunile românești [Romanian decorations], in "Enciclopedia României", vol. I, Bucharest, 1938, pp. 96-97.
- Romanian Commemorative Cross of the 1916–1918 War at "Romanian Medals & Orders".