230: French Army Medals

This entry was posted by Sunday, 19 December, 2010
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French Army Medals

Medal of the National Union of Combattants (Médaille de l’Union Nationale des Combattants)
Bronze medal in the form of a soldier’s helmet imposed on a wreath of oak and laurel with a ribbon inscribed ‘U.N.C.’, with loop for ribbon suspension; the reverse plain; on original ribbon. The concept of the Union came from convalescent soldiers during 1917 and on 25 November 1918 its statutes were lodged, being published on 11 December 1918. The government recognised it as a society of public interest on 20 June 1920. Membership is open to former combatants in all conflicts from all branches of the French armed forces and their widows and to former and currently serving military. Its aims are to preserve the interests of France, peace and friendship between peoples and the remembrance of former servicemen. A striking and unusual design.

Cross of the European Confederation of Former Combattants (Croix de la Confédération Européenne des Anciens Combattants)

Yellow, red and orange enamel cross quadrate fichée imposed on a gilt Maltese cross decussate, on laterally-pierced ball suspension; the reverse plain with a circular central medallion inscribed ‘CONFEDERATION EUROPEENNE DES ANCIENS COMBATTANTS’, with maker’s mark ‘LR Paris’; age oxidisation and loss of gilding to the upper left branch of the Maltese cross (see illustrations); on original ribbon of the European Union. The Confederation was recognised as of public interest by the French government on 19 April 1962 and is recognised by the Council of Europe in a consultative role. Its aim is to strengthen links between both former allies and enemies in Europe, to foster peace, security, co-operation and friendship and to defend human rights. During the height of the Cold War it acted as a point of contact between the opposing sides and was amongst the leading proponents of the Helsinki Accords. In recent years it has worked to ease the path of the former Soviet bloc countries into a united Europe.

Medal of the National Union of Combattants (Médaille de l’Union Nationale des Combattants)

Circular silvered bronze medal with laterally-pierced ball suspension; the face with a French soldier’s helmet imposed on laurel leaves, inscribed below ‘UNIS COMME AU FRONT’ (United as at the Front), circumscribed ‘UNION NATIONALE DES COMBATTANTS’; the reverse inscribed ‘M. A BIEN MÉRITÉ DE L’U.N.C. (Well merited from the U.N.C.) within a wreath of oak and laurel; on original ribbon. The medal is awarded for merit and for long and dedicated service to the Union. The concept of the Union came from convalescent soldiers during 1917 and on 25 November 1918 its statutes were lodged, being published on 11 December 1918. The government recognised it as a society of public interest on 20 June 1920. Membership is open to former combatants in all conflicts from all branches of the French armed forces and their widows and to former and currently serving military. Its aims are to preserve the interests of France, peace and friendship between peoples and the remembrance of former servicemen.


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