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Medals of Belgian Municipalities (WW I & II)

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After the war, many municipalities and cities awarded some medals to honor their combatants or victims of the war. These medals are not official and information about them is scarce. In this topic I show my own collection of them and share the information I have found.

Feel free to contribute your own pieces and/or information.

Ghent

Awarded by the city of Ghent during the "Gentse Feesten" (Eng: The Ghent Festival) of 1920, in presence of members of the royal family, to all WW1 combatants and deported of the city of Ghent. The medal was also awarded to the widows or the rightful claiments of a fallen soldier.

On of the shown pieces came in the box of the manufacturer "Jules Jooris".

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Medal of the Three Cities (Ypres, Diksmuide and Nieuwpoort)

Created in 1955 and awarded by one of the three cities to combatants (usualy French or Belgian) who fought in their region. A bar with the name of the city is added on the ribbon of the medal. It is possible that one combatant has two or all three bars on the ribbon. 

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Medal of Liège

Awarded in 1920 during a ceremony, with crown prince Leopold (later King Leopold III) en General Leman (Commander of the Fortifications of Liège in 1914), to the defenders of the fortifications around the city and to inhabitants of the city who were political prisoners and tried by a German Court.

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Frameries

The date on the medal indicate a commemorative medal to the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the war.

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Roeselare

The date on the medal indicate a commemorative medal to the 50th anniversary of the Armistice.

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Wetteren

Awarded to their combatants. The date on the medal indicate a commemorative medal to the 50th anniversary of the Armistice.

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Massemen

Awarded to the civilians of the municipality who were claimed by the Germans for forced labour.

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Jemeppe-sur-Meuse

Awarded to combatants of the municipality.

"Jemeppe S/M [sur-Meuse] in recognition to their combatants 1945"

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St. Jean-Geest

"The Municipality of St. Jean-Geets Gratitude 1940-45"

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Liège

The medal shows the city's gratitude towards their liberators (3th US Armored Divison) in the design of the medal. It shows the head of a G.I. with a laurel wreath on his helmet. To it's side it shows the Perron of Liège (symbol of the city) and the Statue of Liberty (symbol of America).

"City of Liège V [Victory] 1940 1945"

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  • Blog Comments

    • Thanks for your reply Patrick, just in case some might not know what the Belgian WW1 Medal you were referencing looks like I have included one here. I understand that the small crown on the ribbon denoted the recipient was a volunteer.  
    • Brian, Thanks for initiating this discussion. For me, it’s a combination of the thrill of the chase, the history behind the item, and the aesthetics, although this latter factor may seem a bit strange to some. To illustrate this, the very first thing I collected as a kid in the 1950’s was a Belgian WW1 medal, for service in 1914-18, which is bell shaped, with a very striking profile of a very dignified soldier, wearing an Adrian helmet which bears a laurel wreath. It was the image that
    • Thank you for sharing your story, it was most interesting and greatly appreciated, it makes this blog well worth the time to post. Regards Brian  
    • Hello I started collecting when I found my first Mauser cartridges in a field next to my parents' house next to Armentières. I was eight years old.  Then shrapnel, schrapnell balls, darts... That's how I became a historian. When I was 18, we used to walk through the fields with a metal detector to find our happiness. It was my time in the army as a research-writer in a research centre that made me love the orders of chivalry. I've been collecting them for 24 years now. Christophe
    • Thank you for your most interesting comment. The thrill of the chase didn't interest me in the beginning but over time it started to overshadow the act of simply adding yet another medal or group to the collection. Regards Brian  
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