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    Belgian Carte du Feu

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    I have some questions about the Carte du Feu. 1-When was the Carte du Feu authorized, by whom, and when was it first issued? 2-Was the medallion issued with the Carte du Feu or was it a private purchase item? 3- There seem to be a number of copied of the Carte du Feu medallion.  What is the best way to tell an original from an authentic one?



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    The "Carte du Feux" (or Vuurkaart, Firecard) was created by Royal Decree on 14 may 1932 and was awarded to Belgian soldiers who served at least 12 months in an unit that was in contact with the enemy. This time could be reduced to 9 months in certain situations. So to answer your first question: it was created by the Belgian government.

    The "Golden Book of the Firecard" was first published in 1933 or 1934 and contains the names of those who held the "firecard". It is not complete because the holders must send an application if they wanted to be mentioned in the book. If I'm not mistaken they received this personilized medal when they buy the book.

    The difference between real ones and fake, I can not tell you. But since this medal is not very expensive (25-30 euros in Belgium) I would not worry about it too much. I have seen silver(ed) ones but I don't know if they are reproductions or custom made by the recipient. Maybe they can help you on the website www.yser.eu. Unfortunately it is only in dutch but you can send them an e-mail.

    Your medal belonged to soldier Armand -L.-F.C. Le Roye who served with the 12th regiment of the line. He is mentioned in the 1937 edition of the "Golden Book of the Firecard" pg. 191 (with picture). He had 5 frontstripes, received the Warcross with palm, Victory Medal and Commemorative Medal of the War 1914-1918.
    All this can be found on the website Guy mentioned: click on "goldebooks online" -> "1937" -> and then search page 191 (he's on the top row, second picture).

    NOTE that it also says "Ostend". This might be his place of birth but it is not certain since the placed mentioned is the place they lived when they applied for the book.
    Example: My great-grandfather was born in Haacht but "Zaventem" is mentioned because he lived there at that time.



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    Guy and VC89,

    I have visited the site you recommended several times it is very useful.  VC89 has answered my question about the date of the  institution on the Carte du Feu and the requirements for having it issued which helps a lot.  The medallion that I posted pictures of is not mine.  It is one that is for sale on ebay.com.  I have purchased one but it is in the mail and hasn't arrived at my home yet.

    VC98s comment about silver ones is also interesting.  I have also seen silver ones and it would be interesting to know more about them.

    Thank you both for your help.




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