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Automatic awards for KIAs

Chris Boonzaier

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Hello Chris

It was not quite so cut-and-dry. The French felt the same way about men (and women) who had been Killed in action as the British did. They reacted differently.

Il was felt that when someone had given his/her life for the Country he/she deserved the highest level of recognition. This was the Médaille militaire for all ranks except commissioned officers. But the Médaille militaire was also very much like the MSM and given for long and distinguished services. This was why the Croix de guerre was always added.

Commissionned officiers received the Legion d'honneur since they were not eligible for the Médaille militaire + Croix de guerre for the same reasons.

This special recognition had to be requested by the next-of-kin and they were set apart from the other awards. A citation was issued mentioning the dates and places where the men had fallen, so justifying the Croix de guerre.

So it was not all that automatic.



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