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The Resistance Medal

History

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 39,827 living individuals, and to 25,468 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, 1947.

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 De Gaulle;
- 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 events.

Its last National President was Mr. Lucien Duval.


 

Last updated: March 24th, 2014
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