THE VERDUN MEDALS
The original Verdun Medal, as created by the City Council in 1920 is a table medal, 37 mm in diameter. It was struck in silver or in bronze and delivered either in a leather pouch or later, in a red box, to personalities that visited the town shortly after the war's end.
Its wearable version (diameter 26.5 mm, thickness 15 mm) has a red ribbon with border stripes in the French national colours: red-white-blue. The medal is awarded without a ribbon clasp.
The obverse depicts a harnessed, helmeted female head (and shoulders, representing France), holding an officer's sword in her right hand. On top is the famous Order of the Day from General Pétain: "On ne passe pas" (Nobody gets through). The engraver's name, "Vernier" is along the medal's outer edge, bottom right.
The reverse shows the "Porte Chaussée", a Verdun town gate with two fortified towers. Over it, the town's name and along the bottom rim the starting date of the battles: 21 FEVRIER 1916, is present.
Suspension of the earlier medals is by a double ring, later medals are on a ball suspension.
At least three variations are known:
-a gilded bronze medal, otherwise identical to the above bronze;
-a silver medal, again otherwise identical;
-a bronze medal with a ball suspension. Diameter of this type is 27.5 mm, thickness 1.9 mm.
Certificates for this medal come in either French or bilingual French and English form.
© Hendrik Meersschaert, 2002 - 2017
The Verdier model