Order of the Legion of Honor / Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur

Orders & Medals Society of America Forums French Medal Collecting French Orders post-1870 Order of the Legion of Honor / Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur

This topic contains 60 replies, has 12,176 voices, and was last updated by  Christophe 6 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 61 total)
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  • #13465

    Frank Dutil
    Participant

    Et voilà !

    #13466

    dave winther
    Member

    I frequently get requests for information on the French Legion of Honor being awarded to US WWII Vets.

    The following should help out if you think you or someone you know qualifies for this honor.

    CONSULAT GENERAL DE FRANCE
    A CHICAGO
    FRENCH LEGION OF HONOR MEDAL:
    FRANCE EXPRESSES HER GRATITUDE TO WWII VETS
    US veterans who helped in the liberation of France during World War II could be eligible to receive
    the French Legion of Honor Medal in the future. Created to celebrate extraordinary contributions
    to the country, this medal is France’s highest distinction. *
    To be eligible for this outstanding award, he/she has to fit strict criteria:

    Applying veterans of the Ground Forces, Air Forces, Navy, Coast Guard must have fought
    on French territory in one or more of the four main campaigns of the Liberation of France:
    Normandy, Southern France, Northern France and the Ardennes. Actions taking place in
    Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg or other border/European countries will not be taken into
    account.

    To provide written documentation, which is normally a copy of his/her military separation
    order, DD-214, will help verify their military history during combat.

    The veterans must provide citations for previous military awards such as Congressional
    Medal of Honor, the Silver Star Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal or
    higher distinctions. These awards will indicate meritorious actions during combat
    operations.

    To be considered, these citations must have been issued during WWII or the close
    aftermath and must relate to events (outstanding actions, wounds, having been taken
    prisoner of war, etc.) that took place on the French soil only.
    Copies of these documents should be forwarded with the request for consideration for the French
    Legion of Honor to the closest French Consulate in the US. The French Consulate in Chicago
    serves the following 13 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota,
    Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin. The Legion of Honor
    Committee in Paris must approve these French medals after appropriate review. Please note this
    process can take several months.
    * The Legion of Honor medal is not awarded posthumously.

    205 North Michigan Ave – Suite 3700 – CHICAGO IL 60601 – Tel. (312) 327-5200 – Fax. (312) 327-5201
    contact@consulfrance-chicago.org

    #13467

    Anonymous

    Thanks for posting this info.
    Is there a limit to how many qualifying WWII vets can receive this award? I had heard somewhere that they were (at least initially) limiting it to only 100 per year.

    #13468

    Henk-Willem
    Participant

    And a nice picture:
    96yxj8.gif

    Attachments:
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    #13469

    felix
    Member

    On 1st March 1808, Napoleon I re-established nobility in France (Noblesse d’Empire), and the recipients of the Légion d’Honneur became Knights.

    Napoleon III is the first having decorated women, and artists (writers, authors, theatre players…).

    If you don’t mind, some explanations. Recipients of the Legion of honour were called knights but became member of the new nobility only if they ask for it and just a few did it.

    Napoleon III was not the first to give the Legion of Honour to artists. For example, Goethe received it in 1808 and Victor Hugo in 1825 (he was only 23 years old…). Remember that the first Grand chancelor of the order, Lacépède, was a scientist. On 6 april 1814, 30000 members of the LH were soldiers and only 1500 civilians, but in 1815, when Napoléon came back to the power, he chose to honour more civilians.

    #13470

    Christophe
    Participant

    If you don’t mind, some explanations. Recipients of the Legion of honour were called knights but became member of the new nobility only if they ask for it and just a few did it.

    Hi Felix, many thanks for your comments.

    First, I would like to say that in such a small post in a Forum, it is not possible to be exhaustive, and this was not my aim. I just wanted to give our non-French members a flavour of what is and has been the Legion d’Honneur.

    In the official texts, please see the text below, it is not exactly said this :

    From the Decree dated 1st Marc 1808 :

    " Art. 11 : Les membres de la Légion-d’Honneur, et ceux qui à l’avenir obtiendront cette distinction, porteront le titre de chevalier.

    Art.12 : Ce titre sera transmissible à la descendance directe et légitime, naturelle ou adoptive, de mâle en mâle, par ordre de primogéniture, de celui qui en aura été revêtu, en se retirant devant l’archi-chancelier de l’empire, afin d’obtenir à cet effet nos lettres-patentes, et en justifiant d’un revenu net de trois mille francs au moins."

    In two words, except if I’m wrong, this means that "automatically" Knights of the Legion d’Honneur become part of the nobility.

    Now, how much did this ? I don’t know… Do you have figures or statistics ?

    Cheers.

    Ch.

    #13471

    Christophe
    Participant

    Napoleon III was not the first to give the Legion of Honour to artists. For example, Goethe received it in 1808 and Victor Hugo in 1825 (he was only 23 years old…). Remember that the first Grand chancelor of the order, Lacépède, was a scientist. On 6 april 1814, 30000 members of the LH were soldiers and only 1500 civilians, but in 1815, when Napoléon came back to the power, he chose to honour more civilians.

    Can you confirm Napoleon III has been the first to award the Légion d’Honneur to women ? For me, the first woman being awarded the Legion d’Honneur has been Angélique Duchemin, veuve Brulon, on 15 August 1851. I understand that during the Second Empire, Napoleon III awarded the Order to 6 women.

    Ch.

    #13472

    felix
    Member

    Christophe,

    Yes, the first woman was Angélique Duchemin. For the nobility an approbation was needed "afin d’obtenir à cet effet nos lettres-patentes" and apparently just a few asked for it, but I don’t have any figure.

    #13473

    Frank Dutil
    Participant

    I’ve been asked an interesting question…

    EXACTLY when did the 3rd republic model start being awarded? 1870? 1871? Later?

    #13474

    felix
    Member

    From 8 november 1870 until 27 february 1951.

    #13475

    Frank Dutil
    Participant

    Is that the date of the edict (décret) or the actual time when the award was produced and bestowed?

    #13476

    felix
    Member

    That’s the date of the edict, but as France was in war with a new government, new medals were certainly quickly made. I can’t find a date of production but I will ask.

    #13477

    felix
    Member

    There is no date of production, but the first medals were certainly made quickly after the date of the edict. Maybe there is something in the Paris mint files but someone needs to dig.

    #13478

    Frank Dutil
    Participant

    Merci… Thank you… Muchas Gracias…

    #13479

    felix
    Member

    I couldn’t find a date of production for the Legion of Honour, but it’s interesting to notice that in Belgium, the order of Léopold was founded on 11 july 1832 and the first award made to a french pionneer on 8 or 9 december 1832 during the siege of Antwerp. Before the beginning of this siege in november 1832, there was no military operation in Belgium, it’s certainly possible that the first awards were produced before that date and only awarded at this occasion. On other point , still in Belgium, it was decided to create a Star of Honour on 14 January 1831, but as this time belgian opinion was egalitarian and the idea was totally given up in may 1831, but some stars were made.

    (from : 175 ans de l’Ordre de Léopold et les Ordres Nationaux Belges, by Commandant Pat Van Hoorebeke, Musée Royal de l’Armée à Bruxelles, ISBN 2870510403, 2007)

    It’s certainly possible in France that the order was quickly made as it was not a new award but only a modification of an existing award. In my opinion the first crosses were certainly produced before the end of 1870 or the beginning of 1871.

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