The Resistance Medal
The French Resistance Medal was instituted
in London by edict on February 9th, 1943, by General De
Gaulle, "Leader of the French Combatants". The purpose
of the Medal was, "to recognize remarkable acts of faith
and courage that have contributed, in France, the Empire
and abroad, to the French people's resistance against the
enemy and their accomplices, as of June 18th, 1940".
It was the second and only decoration established by General
De Gaulle, after the Order
of the Liberation, during the war.
The French Resistance Medal was awarded
to approximately 38,288 living individuals, and to
24,463 individuals posthumously, who belonged to both the
Free French and the Resistance in France. The Medal has
also been awarded to 18 communities and territories (17
French cities and towns, including Lyon, Brest and Ile
de Sein, and New Caledonia, a territory), 21 military
units from all three parts of the military, and 15 other
groups (high schools, hospitals, convents, etc.).
The French Resistance Medal was no longer awarded as of
March 31st, 1947, except for the Resistance movement in
Indochina, for which the date was extended to December 31st,
The French Resistance Medal could only be awarded by means
of a decree written by the Leader of the French Combatants,
then by the President of the provisional government of the
French Republic, and later, as of January 1st, 1947, by
the President of France.
Today it can still be awarded posthumously,
following the same guidelines, but only to individuals who
were killed during the war.
The Resistance Medal (front)
The Resistance Medal and the Order of the Liberation
The Resistance Medal (back)
Two decrees, dated 26 August
1944 and 10 august 1945 (and approved by the loi du 26 mai
1999, which dictated the future of the Order of the Liberation,
established the official connection between the Order and
the French Resistance Medal.
The Chancellor of the Order
of the Liberation presides over the awarding process and has
authority over the Secretary of the National
Commission of the Resistance Medal, an official organization
whose twelve members are named by decree of the President
of France, and whose duty is to enforce the discipline of
the awardees and to be aware of any breach of honor or integrity.
The Commission had the exclusive right to propose (unless
there was an emergency during the war) the award of a medal.
Today it is still the Commission that has the right to propose
the posthumous award of a medal. Only the Commission has the
right to hold and manage the files on the awardees.
The Order of the Liberation has been given back the duty to
carry out all the measures "required to preserve the memory
of the Order of the Liberation, its members and the recipients
of the French Resistance Medal" and to help the Companions
of the Liberation, the recipients of the French Resistance
Medal and their widows and children with any moral or material
needs they may have.
Finally, the Order of the Liberation
is generally in charge of "providing the Services of the
French Resistance Medal".
The National Association of the French Resistance Medal (A.N.M.R.F.)
The National Association of the recipients
of the French Resistance Medal (A.N.M.R.F.) was created in April
of 1947 by Claude Hettier de Boislambert, and other outstanding
leaders of the Resistance movement.
Its official role is:
- to preserve and transmit the message
of the Resistance embodied by the works and the role of General
- to maintain the solidarity and companionship that united fighters
both inside and outside the French territory, no matter what their
political, religious and social backgrounds were.
The A.N.M.R.F., especially through
the branches and delegations it has in French territories and departments
abroad, acts as a relay agent for the missions of the Order of the
Liberation and the National Commission of the French Resistance
Medal involving the recipients of medals, with whom organization
leaders have a constant working relationship.
The A.N.M.R.F. is thus supervised
by the Chancellor of the Order of the Liberation, who monitors its
work, asks for regular reports and presides over all of the important
Its National President
is Mr. Olivier de Sarnez.
The Association's Website is under construction and should be online
before the end of the year. It will include the following topics:
The many accomplishments
of the Resistance movement
The history of the Medal
- Its creation
- Conditions for nomination
The Institutions :
- The National Commission of the
French Resistance Medal (C.N.M.R.F.)
- The National Association of the French Resistance Medal (A.N.M.R.F.)
- Aim and duties
- Board of Directors
- The Office
- The departments, branches
The National Committee of 18 Cities
- The Guardian
- Tomorrow the memory
Names and numbers:
- The 18 Cities and Territories
- The 21 Military Units
- The 15 Civilian organizations
- The 62,000 Medal recipients
Conclusion: Medal and duty to preserve Memory
Last updated: april 28th, 2011
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