France: Medal of French Recognition 1914-1918 (Medaille De La Reconnaissance Francaise 1914-1918). 1st type. 1st Class 'Gilt' medal with silk rosette
The Medal of French Gratitude was created on, 13 July 1917, and originally was intended as a decoration for award to civilians - albeit the award criteria was subsequently expanded to include reward to military & nursing personnel (French & Allied). The medal was created to express gratitude by the French government to all those who, without legal or military obligation, had come to the aid of the injured, disabled, refugees, or who had performed an act of exceptional dedication in the presence of the enemy during the First World War. The creation of this distinction was mainly the result of unsuccessful offensives of General Nivelle in 1917 and the serious crisis of confidence in France. The French government thus wanted to thank those who, despite the crisis, were always volunteering
The decoration was awarded to: Persons who, in the presence of the enemy, have performed acts of exceptional dedication, the duration of these services having spanned one year (Decree of December 2, 1917); Deserving communities (whose members were are not allowed to wear the ribbon or individual medal by decree of December 2, 1917); Citizens of Alsace and Lorraine who were deported, exiled or imprisoned, before August 1, 1914, by German authorities because of their attachment to France and those in the departments occupied themselves, for their courageous stand while exposed to reprisals (Decree of 1 April 1922); and Prisoners of war, civilian prisoners, hostages and deportees because of exceptional acts courage and dedication for the allied cause. The inhabitants of occupied areas or Alsace and Lorraine who helped these people (decrees of 29 November 1926 and December 8, 1928)
The decoration was awarded in three grades: Gold, Silver and Bronze
The decoration was awarded in two different designs: Type I by Jules Desbois (for Great War awardees) and Type II (for Second World War wardees) by Maurice Delannoy. It has been estimated that an estimated 15,000 people and communities were recipients of this award
This decoration is now obsolete, with the last award being issued on February 14, 1959.
Rare seen as a 1st Class award