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Belgium - Commemorative Medal of the War 1914-1918

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Hi VC89,

Thank you so much for your answer. I believe that with respect to the black emailed bars, they are smaller than the one for the mothers' whose son died. On the Conmmemorative Medal they are used to indicate Prisioners of War status, one bar for every 6 months.

Any one else has an opinion?

Best regards,

GM1

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It seems you are right, GM1, they are smaller.

According to Borné (again) the measurements of the POW-bar is 40 x 2 mm and the mothers-bar is 40 x 4 mm.

It seems the recipient of your medal was a pow for 2 years, so ignore my comment :blush:.

Still, if anyone has an anwser (or opinion) to Jef's question about the possibility of more mother-bars on one medal I would love to hear it. (see post #49)

Vincent

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Have a question, Vincent. Suppose that mother lost four sons . Was she allowed to wear 4 bars on the medal? I checked it in the Andé Borne book but wasn't able to find it.

just wondering.

Kind regards,

Jef

If a mother had more than one son killed in action, she would wear each son's set of medals and there would be a single black enamel bar on each medal of each set. Multiple black enameled bars can't be right in my opinion ...

Regards,

Hendrik

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Thank you Hendrik, your answer was crystal clear.

Jef

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Thank you Hendrik to clarify that.

May I ask where you found that information?

Vincent

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Hello Vincent,

... reading between the lines in the Borné book :lol:

I doubt there's an actual written rule in Belgian legislation about it.

Regards,

Hendrik

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Yes, they are usually small, but I've seen of various sizes.
I have an example that is quite large ...

Lambert

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Hi,

I've come across a 1914-18 commemorative medal that is much thicker than I've seen before. I'm not a collector of them particularly, so maybe it's fairly common, but of the four I've seen, this is the thickest. I was wondering whether anyone could tell me whether this is unusual. In particular, I'd like to know whether it's a different type common to a particular manufacturer, or perhaps even a fake. It's 3 mm deep, compared to the 'normal' one I have, which is just 2 mm deep. Consequently, the thicker one is much heavier than the other. Otherwise, they appear to be the same.

I have a subsidiary question as well. I read in various places that the 6 month bars are silver and the 30 month bar is silver gilt. Being pedantic about these things, I would be interested to know whether they are actually silver, silver plated or a silver coloured metal.

Many thanks on my first posting.

Commemorative Medal 14-18.jpg

Comm medals side-on - s.jpg

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Hi Carey,
 
It is an unusual medal you have there.  Haven't seen anything like it either but as I've never paid all that much attention to this very common medal, I'm not at all into its various manufacturers and their particular manufacturing characteristics.  
 
Pictures can be misleading and bearing that in mind, I'm getting the impression of the thicker medal being a 2-piece construction with a thin lighter-coloured and a thicker and darker metal having been struck together. Is this correct ? A detailed picture of the ring suspension would be of interest in this respect, I think. I'm assuming there's no maker's mark anywhere on the thicker medal's rim.
And how's the reverse looking ?
I very much doubt a common, widely awarded decoration as this commemorative medal is, would have been copied and suggest a manufacturing variety is what you have there.
 
As to the front service bars, silvered and gilt metal is what I've come across so far. I would expect genuine silver to be identified by a silver mark (e.g. A950 or A850 etc.) on the bar itself.
 
Regards,
Hendrik

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Thank you very much Hendrik for your reply.

First, here's a picture of the reverse. This medal is a lovely deep bronze aged colour and wouldn't show much detail if I reproduced the colour properly, so I've lightened it a few shades, although it is still rather dark! I've also provided a close up.

CommMed14-18 Enlarged.jpg

CommMed14-18 BothSides.jpg

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Hmmm, they are still very dark indeed. Anyway, I'll carry on and send new ones if necessary. The two pictures below show:

a) The edge of the medal. You'll see that actually it's only a single casting, not made from 2 pieces. However, you can see that the lower part of the edge is rougher than the upper part. You can also see a bevelled edge top and bottom, which may be why you thought it was made from 2 pieces.

b) The other picture shows the suspension. Note that looking down onto the top of it, the pattern goes all the way from front to back which suggest to me that it wasn't due to a poorly constructed mould (despite the uneveness I referred to above), but the mould was designed to be very thick.

Thanks also for your comments about the service bars. This is what I had thought. So really they should be referred to as silvered and gilded base metal bars. Having said that, they are extremely malleable, very much like silver and more than I would expect from a base metal. 

CommMed14-18 Edges.jpg

CommMed14-18 Susp.jpg

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Thanks for the additional pictures. I think we can stick with the manufacturer's variety verdict as it is a 1-piece construction after all. The lack of pronounced details on this medal is quite typical.

Regards,

Hendrik

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Thank you very much indeed Hendrik. I'm pleased that you think it is genuine and an unusual version. Maybe someone out there knows about the manufacturers of this common medal and can add more.

Best regards,

Carey.

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Hello Hendrik and Carey,

I have seen another very thick specimen of this medal. It was, however, of French manufacturer and was produced by the firm of M.Delande, so not necessarily relevant to this discussion. The giveaway in the French made example is that there were minor die variations.

Regards,

Rob

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Hi Rob,

That's an interesting thought. Have you any idea what the die variations were? 

Regards,

Carey. 

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Hello Carey,

I can't recall the exact differences at this moment. I will look into my picture files and I should be able to post some pics of the example mention for reference here.

Regards,

Rob

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Hello Carey,

As indicated here are two French made examples from the firm of M.Delande. They were obtained at the close-down of stock from that vendor. Both examples do not have the signature on the front nor the initials on the lower back.

I hope that this was of use.

Regards,

Rob

1094-1.jpg

1094-2.jpg

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Hello gentlemen,

Been awhile for me here.  The examples Rob posted above appear to be quite common in U.S. groupings where the serviceman received awards from the Belgian government.  Here are some old file PIC's I've saved.

First pic: shorter neck with the areas notated.

Second pic: longer neck version.

Third pic: showing the sew-on style brooch commonly used by U.S. personnel.  I've seen this in groups and a couple of made up bars as well.

Tim

1.JPG

Belgian WW1 Commemorative.JPG

Belgian WW1 Comm.jpg

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Here are some of mine with the more common variety of attachments.  As you can see, the red cross came in several shapes and sizes.  I only have the one medal bar with the fairly common setup.

Tim

1.JPG

Medal bar f.JPG

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I meant to add this regarding the highly detailed version of the commemorative medal discussed above.

In the June 1943 George Studley catalog, you can see he was offering various foreign awards and the Belgian WW1 Commemorative Medal is of the style shown with the longer neck.

3.JPG

4.JPG

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