The Commemorative Medal of the War 1940-1945
This light bronze medal is the commonest of the Belgian WWII decorations. It was instituted on 16 February 1946 for award to all that served, during the war (i.e. between 10 May 1940 and 7 May 1945) in any of the Belgian armed forces, resistance, Merchant Navy, etc. on the side of the Allies.
The obverse has a large "V", symbolising the Victory-sign made famous by Winston Churchill, the head of a roaring lion and the years "1940" and "1945", while the reverse bears the bilingual title of the medal.
A number of ribbon attachments were created for this medal, amongst others two crossed sabres for those who had taken part in the 18-Day campaign in 1940, later extended to all who did active duty with the armed forces or the resistance (sailors would receive two crossed anchors for this). There are also emblems for war wounds, mentions in despatches, volunteers, secret agents, POW's, etc. and bars (some elliptical) to commemorate battles and theatres of operations.
Commemorative Medal of the War 1940-45
© Hendrik Meersschaert, 2017