Red Cross King's Medal 1870
(Medaille des Konings van het Rode Kruis)
Instituted / (code) 1870 / MK
Amount issued

208 / 57

Value category Next to Rare

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 The Netherlands was neutral. Out of compassion for the victims of war King William III suggested the main committee of the Dutch Society to honor aid to sick and wounded soldiers in time of war. The King ordered three hundred medals in bronze and cheap white metal to "reach out to those who had been connected during the war and who worked on the battlefields or hospitals." There are 208 bronze and 57 white metal medals awarded. The white metal or "Berlin silver" medals were intended for ladies. Gents got bronze medals. The list of the names of the men and women decorated is preserved. The decorated men worked according to statements in Mannheim, Le Havre and 'Dusseldorp', so on both sides of the front. The organizing committee in the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies was also came up with medals.

It is a round medal with a front image of a flag with the Cross of Geneva above the year "1870" is inserted. Under the banner is to read: "JOB.XXVI.12". The inscription is a Latin quotation from the book of the Old Testament; "ANIMA VULNERATORUM CLAMAVIT" ("The soul of the wounded cries out") with the date "22 AUGUST 1864" (the date of the first Geneva Convention was signed). The reverse shows the coat of arms in the center of Geneva, a ribbon above the name of the city. Under the coat of arms is the date "XXVI.OCT.1863" read. That was the date on which Henri Dunant, the first International Conference on the care of war victims in Geneva convened. Around the edge of the coin are the coats of arms of countries which had in 1871 a national Red Cross organization. The medal was worn around the neck with an orange ribbon. The medal is heavy and has a remarkably large eye and a heavy ring