Friday, 4 December 2015

Military History Photo Friday: WWI Moroccan Soldiers Receiving Medals

This photo shows General Joffre, Commander-in-Chief of French forces on the Western Front, decorating soldiers of the French Moroccan Division in 1914 or 1915. The general is seen giving one lucky soldier a friendly peck on each cheek, a French (and North African) tradition. One of those things you have to get used to when traveling in North Africa!

It's hard to see what medal they are receiving but an enlarged image of this photo suggests that at least for the man to Joffre's right it is a Medaille Coloniale ("Colonial Medal"). That's what it looks like to me anyway, although that medal was generally given to soldiers fighting in the colonies, not colonial soldiers fighting in France! It certainly isn't the Croix de Guerre I wrote about earlier on this blog.

Anyone else out there have a guess?

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kiss on the cheek - that's good to know.
Pretty good old photo.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.