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Medaille des Evades


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I understand this medal was originally for WWI prisoners that escaped captivity and retroactive for the Franco-Prussian War and later included WWII.

Is there anyway to tell by construction, namely the attachment pin style, when this one might have been made? I never seen one like this.

Tim

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Nearly sure that it is a WW2 one manufactured in Great Britain ... please post pictures of the obverse and reverse of the complete medal too.

Cheers,

Hendrik

Tim

I agree with Hendrik, this could well be a British made Médaille des Evadés issued durint WW2 to Frenchmen who "escaped" from occupied France to join the Free French (Forces Françaises Libres) or North Africa after the Allied landing there in November 1942.

Generally speaking, this medal (which counts as a "titre de guerre = war credit") was given to men who escaped from war prisoner camps after capture and made it back to France to resume fighting. It was created after WW1 in 1926 and those who received it were also awarded a croix de guerre with a mention in dispatches (citation). Survivors of the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian war who had identical services were also intitled to it (but not the Croix de guerre, since it did not exist at the time).

It was reactivated in WW2 and given to prisoners of war who escaped (without the automatic croix de guerre) as well as to the men who escaped from occupied France as stated above. Most of these men sneaked through the rather well guarded border to Spain where they were interned for some time. These men were known as "Evadés de France" and there was enough of them to make up such units as the "Commandos de France" in North Africa. They fought the Liberation campaign possibly Elba and Corsica, certainly with the French First Army from the landing in St-Raphael to the final engagements in Southern Germany and Austria.

Most of these medals have been manufactured by the Paris Mint, but a number have also been struck by commercial firms. The attachment on your specimen could be British.

Regards

Veteran

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Okay guys,

Give me a bit to post some front/back PICS and I'll get back to this one. So, by the comments, I assume there are identifiable die traits that distingush one model from another?

Are the British made ones more "rare" or hard to come by?

Tim

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I understand this medal was originally for WWI prisoners that escaped captivity and retroactive for the Franco-Prussian War and later included WWII.

Is there anyway to tell by construction, namely the attachment pin style, when this one might have been made? I never seen one like this.

Tim

This pin reminds me of the arrangement we used to use when the admiral I worked for was awarding medals. In our case, a similar gadget was attached to the normal brooch, and the combination allowed the admiral to stab the single pin through the jacket without fumbling with the brooch. Ours were hand made out of paper clips. This looks a little more formal.

Best,

Hugh

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Hello guys!

Francois,

I think the dual pin setup on yours is the typical French/Belgian style mount we see on most of these awards, is it not? If the pins are brass, it might be a modern medal or replacement pin as I think the old ones were steel?

Hugh,

Many thanks for those thoughts as it was along those lines that I was thinking as well. A single needle-style pin would not hold the medal in place very long and would be easy to dislodge if too much moving around IMO. I was thinking this piece might be an award presentation medal used by local awarding authorities for ceremonial presentations/photographs.

As you noted, the presenting officer wants to present the award, pin it on the member and move on to the next person or part of the ceremony. I was also in the Navy, and over the course of 23 years watched everything from the presenting officer fight to pin the medal on using the actual pin, to finally this "bulldog clip" setup. The presentation medal belonged to the personnel office and was returned after the ceremony. The member was then given their medal (in the issue case if applicable) along with the award citations and folders after the presentation.

A lot easier to present, as the medal was already made up, ready to go. The presenter simply pressed the clip and attached it to the underside of the left breast pocket flap or collar if no pocket was available.

Tim

Edited by Tim B
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Hello guys!

Francois,

I think the dual pin setup on yours is the typical French/Belgian style mount we see on most of these awards, is it not? If the pins are brass, it might be a modern medal or replacement pin as I think the old ones were steel?

Hugh,

Many thanks for those thoughts as it was along those lines that I was thinking as well. A single needle-style pin would not hold the medal in place very long and would be easy to dislodge if too much moving around IMO. I was thinking this piece might be an award presentation medal used by local awarding authorities for ceremonial presentations/photographs.

As you noted, the presenting officer wants to present the award, pin it on the member and move on to the next person or part of the ceremony. I was also in the Navy, and over the course of 23 years watched everything from the presenting officer fight to pin the medal on using the actual pin, to finally this "bulldog clip" setup. The presentation medal belonged to the personnel office and was returned after the ceremony. The member was then given their medal (in the issue case if applicable) along with the award citations and folders after the presentation.

A lot easier to present, as the medal was already made up, ready to go. The presenter simply pressed the clip and attached it to the underside of the left breast pocket flap or collar if no pocket was available.

Tim

You know, I can't remember if we even had those bulldog clips when I was doing this. It's been a while (40+ years).

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:cheeky: Careful Hugh, we're showing our age! :beer:

I think the use of bulldog clips for awards are fairly recent, as I didn't remember seeing them much until in the 90's. They have ones even smaller than the one I shown and are better still. So many little "office" improvements since then.

Tim

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Hello guys!

Francois,

I think the dual pin setup on yours is the typical French/Belgian style mount we see on most of these awards, is it not? If the pins are brass, it might be a modern medal or replacement pin as I think the old ones were steel?

It is a French mount. My question was about whether the medal itself was of French or British manufacture.

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Hello François

This looks french, probably Paris Mint stricking. To make sure, look at the edge of your medal. If you can spot a hallmark such as a cornocupea or the letters BR or the word BRONZE, then you will probably be sure it is Paris Mint.

Hope this helps

Veteran

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Are there die differences or variations for these medals? Specifically, how can I tell one is period WW1 verses say, post 1945? That might be what Francois is looking for as well?

Tim

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Post WW1 issues are VERY SCARCE. They might be recognisable by their darker toned metal and possible Paris Mint Hallmark.

Both the medals shown earlier on this thread are identical to the medal I also have. It is without any marking at all, either maker's ou hallmark. The ribbon has a very particular shean, possibly some kind of artificial fabric.

I have a hunch that all these medals were in fact struck in UK during the war and released by the French administration a few years after WW2. There is no proof of this.

Hope this helps.

Vetean

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