The War Cross 1914-1918
Awarded to military personnel for an act of bravery against the enemy.
This bronze cross was instituted on 25 October 1915 and was also awarded to foreign military personnel. Except for bravery, it could also be awarded in a number of other cases, e.g. to military personnel with at least 5 front stripes (3 years of frontline duty) for good conduct, to volunteers either over 40 years or under 16 years old with at least 18 months of service in a combat unit, for escaped military personnel who re-entered the army or for military personnel who, through severe war wounds, were invalided out.
Emblems could be worn on the ribbon when mentioned in the Order of the Day : a mention on Army level was recognized by a bronze palm with the letter "A" (King Albert I), five mentions on Army level by a similar but silver palm while 5 silver palms were replaced by a gold one, a mention on regimental, brigade or divisional level was recognized by bronze, silver or gilt lion devices.
The obverse of the cross, which has crossed swords between the arms, shows a rampant lion in its central medallion. The reverse is identical but for the replacement of the lion by the royal cyper "A". The ribbon is red with five green stripes.
War Cross (with 2 bronze palms and 4 bronze lions, reverse, with silver and gold palms)
© Hendrik Meersschaert, 2017