Orders & Medals Society of America Forums French Medal Collecting French Medals post-1870 Commemorative Medal of the War 1914-1918

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    Médaille commémorative de la Guerre 1914-18 / Commemorative Medal of the War 1914-18

    The French war medal for the Great War (WWI). Created on 23 June 1920.

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    This medal exists in several patterns.

    One clasp exists : "Engagé Volontaire" (Volunteer Enlistee). This clasp has been replaced on 4 July 1935 by the creation of the Croix du Combattant Volontaire 1914-1918 (Volunteer Combatant Cross for WW1).



    Hi guys,

    Here is one puzzle for French collectors;

    Commemorative of the Great War 1914-1918 (Médaille commémorative de la Grande Guerre)

    I picked it up mainly because (good price) the clasp and considered to find correct ribbon for that – white with five red stripes, so I can remove the incorrect one. Now I am not so sure and maybe even keep it as it is!


    There is now another same medal, with the same incorrect ribbon and clasp on the WAF forum + thank you to Tim, a link to French forum, what shows that ribbon in use (third same example in this case)!

    User “colo” picture:

    Any extra information, thoughts and ideas how to proceed with this medal, would be great!
    I presume I better keep the incorrect ribbon and clasp on it. Same medal with the correct ribbon is easy enough to get in the future….. Meantime, it is not correct… because I am not French collector (have just some pits and pieces as a part of my international collection), then this kind a unofficial “mysteries” is not for me as much as proper examples.



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    Keep it like it is, an interesting variation, maybe the owner was a WWI volunteer vet and was a proud of it but did’nt want to wear an unofficial medal and choose to put the ribbon and clasp on his WWI commemorative medal (odd as this combination is unofficial…) or the person took an old medal because he didn’t want to purchase the complete medal set ? Hard to know the true story.

    The WWI commemorative medal is common and cheap, if you just want a filler for your collection just wait to find a good one and keep this interesting variation as it is.


    Hi Timo,

    This is an interesting subject… I have seen several of these medals, modified with this ribbon. I have one of these in my collection.

    Two similar medals with this ribbon are even displayed in André Pascual’s book "Petite histoire de la Grande Guerre au travers des décorations attribuées aux Poilus. 1914-1918" (see page 38).

    The first theory given by Felix seems interesting to me.



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