British Honours for French Soldiers 1916

French soldier wearing medals that include the British Medal awarded for Bravery in the Field.

French soldier wearing medals that include the British Medal awarded, For Bravery in the Field. (Wikipedia: From the Imperial War Museum collection)

Honorary Awards

In this unique picture soldiers of the French Army, during the Battle of the Somme, are probably shown after an awards ceremony, wearing both French awards and the British Military Medal. During the Great War honours were granted between the allied nations. It was not uncommon to see the awards of Belgium, the United States of America, Serbia, Japan and others adorning the tunics of sailors, soldiers and airmen.

THe British Military Medal was founded in 1916 for award to Non-Commissioned Officers and other ranks in the army.

THe British Military Medal was founded in 1916 for award to Non-Commissioned Officers and other ranks.

In particular, France distributed several of its own awards to troops of the British and Commonwealth Forces. Among them, the Légion d’Honneur, the Médaille Militaire  and the Croix de Guerre.

In all Britain awarded 2,472 awards of the Military Medal and one second award bar to French soldiers. The medal was founded by King George V in 1916 and was awarded to Non-commissioned Officers and other ranks. Interestingly some French women also received the award including 1 nurse and 5 civilians who likely served with various French nursing organizations.

Nearly 5,700 honorary awards of the British Military Medal and two second award bars were made to allied nations during the Great War.

French Awards to the 16th Battalion C.E.F.

77333 Sergeant J.A. Scroggie (Médaille Militaire)
700577 Sergeant J.H. Langtry (Médaille Militaire)
Captain A. Lyons (Croix de Guerre)

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and in Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was further amazed by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and with time he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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