Flood Medal 1855, 1861 Flood silver
(Watersnoodmedaille, watersnood 1861 zilver)


Instituted / (code) 1855 / (EW.61z)
Amount issued 95
Value category Ultra Rare

The Flood Medal was instituded in 1855 to honor those who showed diligence, courage, policy and selfscrifice during waterfloods. Medals were issued in silver or bronze for the floods of 1855, 1861, 1876, 1916, 1926. For repetitive issued medals clasps could be worn. Remarkably no medals were issued for the bigflood of 1953!

The big flood of February 1861 in the Land of Maas and Waal in was a flood caused by ice conditions in the Waal. By ice shelf was a hefty ice-dam in the Pannerdens Canal, which resulted in an increased discharge of water and ice floes by de Waal. There on 31 January an ice-dam had already formed at Ochten, but this collapsedunder the pressure of the water. At a taper at Varik t he ice got stuck again. This time it did not come loose and the water began to rise. The water flowed over the dykes in several places until on 1 February by the Waal at the current "bandijk" Beneden Leeuwen the dyke broke. The subsequent flood drowned 37 people, all residents of Leeuwen. The victims were people who lived behind the dyke or who had sought protection behind an emergency dike. The breakthrough made flooded all the Land of Maas and Waal. It took until May for most of the water to disappeare again.

Material: Silver, Diameter: 50mm. Obverse: King William III facing right. Reverse: "Watersnood van 1861" above a paper which shows the recipients name. On top a crown, the paper is surrounded by oakleaves. The medal on the left was issued to H van Koolwijk, former mayor of Ewijk.