The Order of Liberation
Instituted on 16 November 1940 by General de Gaulle as an award to those who would be rendering exceptional services in liberating France and its colonies.
This order, in one class only, is made of bronze and its recipients are known as "Compagnons de la Libération" (a special collar version, Grand Master of the Order, was created on 31 August 1947 for the General himself). The reverse legend reads "PATRIAM / SERVANDO / VICTORIAM / TULIT" (He brought victory by serving the homeland) and the ribbon colours are black (for mourning) and green (for the hope for future liberation).
This order is highly regarded and comes right after the Legion of Honour and before the Military Medal in the wearing order.
The Medal of Liberated France
On 12 September 1947 this bronze medal was created to reward French or Allied personnel for service towards liberating France.
The obverse is very symbolic : a map of France surrounded by a chain that is broken by two shellbursts, one in the northwest, the other in the southeast, i.e. one for each Allied landing place. The reverse inscription simply reads "LA FRANCE - A SES LIBERATEURS" (France - to its liberators). The ribbon has the WW1 Victory Medal's colours (rainbow) inverted.
In June 1948, further decrees broadened the possibilities of awarding this medal but at the same time stated that holders of the Légion d'Honneur, the Medal of the Resistance, the Médaille Militaire, the Order of Liberation or the Medal of Gratitude could not recieve this medal.
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Copyright Hendrik Meersschaert 1998,2000 ©