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WWI British War Medal bar ... French, Belgian, and...


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I am posting this one here because despite the order in the photo, I believe the British War Medal is in the senior spot of precedence.  This is an odd combination to my eye.  If we go left to right (again reverse the photo order): British War Medal, French War Commemorative Medal, Belgian War Commemorative Medal, and...a blue ribbon of an unknown medal.  So, does this bar make sense?  What could the blue ribbon represent?

My first thought was maybe a Red Cross volunteer or an ambulance driver.  If British, however, wouldn't this have the British Red Cross Society medal (a white ribbon)?  The American Red Cross has a blue ribbon medal, but were Americans awarded the British War Medal?  I can see an American receiving the French and Belgian medals, but I don't see that happening with the British medal in my opinion.

Or is this just a fantasy piece?

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On 11/02/2019 at 04:49, SillyOldGrandad said:

It might be the Volunteer Combatants Medal (Belgium).

That is a guess I looked as well.  That would make the bar appearing in correct order as in left to right of the photo.  A Belgian who received the French and British medals.  But the "combatant" part confused me a bit because I thought that the British War Medal was awarded only to Belgian civilians, not combatants.  Unless of course, the Belgian Volunteer Combatatants Medal was also issued to civilians in some cases...

On 11/02/2019 at 03:35, Herman said:

Maybe an Italian Valor Medal?

A possibility as that was awarded to ambulance drivers and red cross.  Would mean that the person got around to both fronts.  But I'm starting to lean in the Belgian direction as suggested by SOG.

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12 hours ago, Kvart said:

My money is on the  Volunteer Combatants Medal (Belgium) too. Or the Belgian Congo Service Star.

But why no Victory medal?

I hadn't thought of why no Victory Medal.  Good point...

12 hours ago, Stuka f said:

The blue ribbon would be the Belgian Congo service star for me too..

Stuka, why do you think the Congo Service Star? 

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 Belgian Congo service star to me because of the color and the second one being the Belgian WWI commemorative medal.

Most nco, officers and government officials, where not Belgians, they had to rely on many other nationality's.

Great part came from Scandinavia, but we had French also serving in Belgian Congo.

So that could explain the French ribbon... and it is not uncommon to see British medals given to people who served in Belgian Congo during both war's.

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If I was to make a guess, I would say it is not British. If British, there are too many foreign ribbons compared to the one single British ribbon. It can of course be, but I think it is unlikely any British subject would be awarded 2-3 low ranking foreign campaign medals, and only qualify for the BWM on the home nationality front.

So I would guess it is Belgian. I'm not quite sure what order Belgian (campaign) medals are worn in, I have seen many variants. This ribbon bar could be part two of two ribbon bars. Part one could contain some Belgian orders, CdG, Victory medal and so on. And this part two contains the lower ranking Belgian medals and foreign medals.

In my own collection I have this group with volunteer medal, Victory medal, WW1 medal and Congo star. But I will never know if this guy was in Congo during WW1 or only after.

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On 15/02/2019 at 12:18, Kvart said:

.....

In my own collection I have this group with volunteer medal, Victory medal, WW1 medal and Congo star. But I will never know if this guy was in Congo during WW1 or only after.

Capture.JPG

The bar shows at the end the 1940–1945 Colonial War Effort Medal, that means he served for at least one year  in Africa between 10 May 1940 and 7 May 1945, and the previous medal stands for 20 years of service in Africa; so my guess would be he served in Europe during WWI...

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