The History of the French
Médaille d'Honneur pour Actes de Courage et de Dévouement
Today, this innocuous little medal with its tri-color ribbon does not draw much attention.
Refusing to “judge the medal by its cover” and lifting the pages reveals a long and varied history dating back to the pre-French Revolutionary Days of Louis XIV.
In the early years, the award seemed to be primarily a maritime recognition for sea rescues. In time though, the system was expanded to recognize all acts of bravery on a systematic basis. All of the iterations in this complex award as it developed from an art medal to a modern systematic recognition of heroic deeds, served as the basis for the preparation of this work.
Frustrated by the lack of any central reference source, my partner, Hendrik Meersschaert, and I sought out various experts on the different eras of the award. We are both extremely grateful for their willingness to share their knowledge and their images with the readers of this work. Personally, we were amazed at the depth and breadth of some of the private collections, especially those in Europe. In reflection, it made us feel humble when considering our own collecting activities.
Edward Emering - Hendrik Meersschaert
Part I - Ministry of the Interior
Part II - Ministry of the Marine (Navy) & the Merchant Navy
Part III - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Part IV - Special Colonial Lifesaving Awards
Price 25 Euro