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.