Queen Elisabeth Medal

The Belgian government created the Médaille de la Reine Elisabeth (Queen Elisabeth Medal) in 1916 to honour Belgian and foreign women who had performed outstanding services in aid of Belgian refugees and the military. Thirty-three New Zealand women are known to have received this medal during the First World War.

Description from the Royal Decree establishing the Queen Elisabeth Medal :

Art 2. The medal is of silver plate, lightly polished, 35 millimetres in diameter.

On the obverse, the medal is decorated with the profile of Queen Elisabeth.

On the reverse, the figure of a woman, under a nurse’s veil, symbolises the spirit of sacrifice and obedience to the work of duty and humanity, emphasised by the motto: Pro Patria, Honore et Caritate.

The medal is topped with a crown of olive leaves; it encircles a red enamelled cross when it is intended to reward those dedications which have occurred in hospitals. 

Art 3. The ornament is suspended by a ring to a ribbon of blue silk moire, with pink edging on each side; the strips of the edging are 4 millimetres wide.

The medal cannot be detached from the ribbon.

See also image of reverse of the medal on the Mary Downie Stewart page.

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