Awarded to all that shortly after the war received the so called "Fire Card", i.e. all who came under fire at the front. Holders of this card also received a plaque in either French or Flemish, according to their mother tongue.
The decoration is a bronze cross with short, broad arms and was instituted on 6 February 1934; it is worn immediately after the Yser Medal (or Cross) and could not be awarded posthumously.
The obverse depicts in a large rectangular panel, flanked by a vertical laurel twig on either side, an abandoned battlefield : a helmet on top of a bajonet in front, a hill with a 75mm field gun at the back, with the sun shining through some clouds. The reverse has in its panel a royal crown with seven rays emanating from it, a large oak leaf branch with a latin text across : "SALUS PATRIAE / SUPREMA LEX" and the years "1914 / 1918" in the lower right corner. In the lower left corner is the designer's name : A. Rombaut. The ribbon is red with light blue edges and a light blue centre stripe.
Three main types of this medal exist with several differences (all relative to the producing manufacturer) for models 1 and 2. The 3rd model can best be described as a smaller and narrower type 2.
The Fire Cross 1914-1918
Fire Cross (obverse, reverse)
© Hendrik Meersschaert, 2017
Fire Card and Fire Card Medal
The main types, obverse and reverses
There is also a buttonhole badge which is related to this medal and was in fact properly and officially instituted on 27 April 1933, prior to the medal. It was conferred on the same holders of the "Fire Card". The reverse reads "1914-1918 / Salus / Patriae / Suprema / Lex" as on the later medal's reverse.
Buttonhole badge (enlarged)