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Belgian Bat D'Angleterre bar


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This medal seems to tell a whole war time story on its own. I wondered specifically what the Bat D'Angletere bar represents, is it that following Flanders a Belgian soldier came across from Dunkirk? to England? or a Belgian pilot involved in the Battle of Britain?

Any ideas would be gratefully received.56e3f83dd4316_Belgium-O-CommemorativeMed

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Shots Dave,

Here is what I was able to find on the net here the devices on this ribbon.  No explanation of what each bar was awarded for.

Regards,

Gordon

A number of ribbon attachments were created for this medal,

amongst others two crossed swords for those who had taken part in the 18-Day campaign in 1940,

later extended to all who did active duty with the armed forces or the resistance

(sailors would receive two crossed anchors for this).

There are also emblems for war wounds, mentions in dispatches, volunteers, secret agents, POW's, etc.

and bars (some elliptical) to commemorate battles and theatres of operations.

The official list of bars reads: 
Ardennes; Ardennes Belges; Atlantique Nord; Bataille D'Angelterre; Battaille de Belgique 1940; Beauquesne; Belgique; Campagne D'Allemagne; Campagne De Hollande; Canal Albert; Canal Albert-Kanne; Canal De Terneuzen; Canal de Wessem; Dieppe; Emden; Escaut; Flandres 1940; Frontiere; Italie; Knesselare; La Dendre 1940; La Gette; La Lys 1940; Liege 1940; Manche; Namur 1940; Nevele; Normandie; Oldenburg; Ronsele; Vinkt; Walcheren; Winterbeek; Yougoslavie; Zelzate; Zwinjndrecht.

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Hello Dave,

The "Bat.d'Angleterre" bar reflects the citation (dated 1 Nov. 1945) awarded to the Belgian Military Avation for courage and good conduct displayed by its personnel during the Battle of Britain between 28 August and 15 September 1940. The handful of Belgian pilots flying with the RAF had 21 enemy planes shot down and a further 9 probably destroyed.

The "Flandres 1940" bar was awarded (1946 citation) to the 1st, 5th and 6th groups of the 1st Aeronautic Regiment for heroism and dedication by its air crews while performing reconnaissance flights without fighter protection and opposed by enemy aviation and anti-aircraft fire.

My source : Emblèmes et Citations des Unités" by L.A. Lecleir (1971)

Regards,

Hendrik

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Hello Gordon,

The ovals are "France 1944" and "Allemagne 1944-45" respectively. They were awarded for participation in the later stages of the war mainly to members of the "Brigade Libération" and the newly formed fuselier battalions of liberated Belgium (using the newly available manpower resulting from the liberation).

Regards,

Hendrik

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Good Morning Hendrik

There appear to have only been 28(30?) Belgian Battle of Britain pilots so I presume there were only 28(30?) bars issued?

So I am guessing it is not very likely this is an original bar on the medal?

I presume as 7(10?) were killed during the Battle and  18 did not survive the war someone out there could have a good idea who this set of awards might relate to?

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Hello Dave,

I concur with your idea it's not an original set-up : the mixture of air force bars and land units' ellipses would point to someone having embellished the medal's ribbon. The WW1 type wound cross (the WW2 device is much smaller) doesn't help either ...

Regards,

Hendrik

Edited by Hendrik
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Thanks Hendrik.

Peter 

I guess a genuine bar would be rare but knowing the amount of other counterfeit medals/bars around I would doubt the validity of mine. As Hendrik has commented in item 10(and 7)  the components dont appear to add up as they  are a mixture of land force/air force and there is a differing WW wound cross.

As I wasn't able to ascertain specific ctiteria with regard to size and shapes available I have naively been buying allsorts like a child in a sweet shop and now doubt most of them as officially correct. 

Edited by Shots Dave
picture sizes bigger than 2mb
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17 hours ago, peter monahan said:

It sounds as if this should be quite a rare medal, then, given the small number of pilots involved.

I wonder if the 'ovals' are the equivalent of the French stars and palm fronds - indicating a mention in despatches, second award or some such.

Hello Peter,

The medal itself is quite common. Bars and even ellipses were still being produced and could easily be found till a few years ago but since then quality seems to have detoriated. Hence, it would have been no problem to mount these devices on the medal's ribbon at the time.

The bars and "ovals" serve the same purpose : they are unit citations basically.

Regards,

Hendrik

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Good Morning Hendrik

I think what Peter and I are really commenting on rather than the rarity of the "medal" is the rarity of the Bat D'Angleterre bar. In England the Battle of Britain clasp was only given to "The Few", so only a few hundred exist and they are very valuable and sought after. As only 28(30?) of these were Belgian pilots who took part, this bar, if only awarded to the pilots would be even rarer.

Kind Regards

David

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Hello David,

I perfectly understand the rarity of authentic Battle of Britain clasps on the 1939-45 Star as delivered by the British government to those that qualified. The Belgian bar, however, was not issued by the Belgian government but had to be purchased by those that qualified. Only a certificate/diploma mentioning the entitlement was delivered by the Belgian government.

Hence, lots of bars were manufactured and put up for sale to anyone who wanted to buy one.

The real rarity in this context is the paperwork : the medal's certificate including entitlement to the Bat. d'Angleterre bar would be an extremely rare find indeed !

Best regards,

Hendrik

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Further to the number of pilots or aircrew entitled to the clasp, I have found the following names :

Flying Hurricanes in Fighter Command Squadrons nos. 87, 213, 32, 43, 145, 46 and 229 were M. Buchin; R. de Cannaert d'Hamalle; B. de Hemptinne; R. de Hemricourt de Grunne; F. de Spirlet; G. Doutrepont; A. Jottard; D. Le Roy du Vivier; R. Malengreau; J. Offenberg; V. Ortmans; J. Philippart; E. Seghers; A. Van den Hove d'Ertsenryck and W. Van Lierde.

Flying Bristol Blenheims, in Coastal Command squadrons 235 and 236 were L. Dejace; R. Demoulin; Giovanni Dieu; H. Gonay; L. Heimes; L. Javaux; J. Kirkpatrick; H. Lascot; O. Lejeune; A. Michiels; L. Prévot; R. Roman; A. Van Wayenberghe and F. Venesoen.

A total of 29 people. Whether those killed during the war were entitled posthumously, I do not know but any medal (or medal group) that can unequivocally be linked to anyone of the above would be an important part of one's collection.

Regards,

Hendrik

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Good Evening Hendrik

Thanks for the explanation with regards to the certificate/diploma, you will have to excuse my ignorance.I do try to make up for it with enthusiasm.

A further thank you for supplying the pilots names and squadron details, you are a real fount of knowledge.

All the best

David(novice)

 

 

 

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Hendrick

I've been away and just seen your additions to the thread.  I second Dave's comments in saying 'Thanks for the explanation'.  To we Commonwealth types, the notion that one can buy the medal and bars from a tailor is more than a little odd, though of course so long after the eents not as rare as it once once.  And of course, until the various penny pinching governments stopped naming the medlas, the award itself was the documentation: if the edge of the medal said Private Joe Blogs, Lancashire Imperial Guards, then one could generally assume that the medals was his.

Now, we're in the same boat as you are:  it's all about the paperwork and whether one is satisfied that the medal with the paper is the original medal for that original paper.  And, I must confes, I find that very frsutrating personally.  I still like my medals named!

All that said, you have a rare and imprtant piece there!  I'm envios.

Peter 

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry to be a spoilsport again, Dave : the "third attachment" is a set of miniature bars representing 2 years of being a POW. It has no official place on this medal's ribbon. They belong on the miniature version of this :

BV061-WW2POWX-1.jpg

Regards,

Hendrik

Edited by Hendrik
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Thanks again Hendrik

I did wonder if it was something to do with a POW but the version I have has  rectangular bars like those in your picture but are smaller, so I guess they might be wrong too.

Maybe third time lucky, I will look for a version with just the Bat D'Angleterre bar in future!

kind regards

Dave

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22 hours ago, Shots Dave said:

... something to do with a POW but the version I have has  rectangular bars like those in your picture but are smaller, so I guess they might be wrong too.

Not wrong, both "types" exist. Miniatures, and their ribbon attachments, are not officially regulated as to their manufacture. There is some similarity to this front stripe bar device on a WWI Commemorative Medal miniature :

BV114-Mini12group-3.JPG

But straight bars for the same exist there as well ... nothing's written in stone when miniature medals are concerned ...

BV100-Minigroup7.jpg

Regards,

Hendrik

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