From 1909 to the present day.
Medals of the Nijmegen Vierdaagse.
From 1909 to the present day.
Gold Cross: tenth and eleventh successful march.
Silver gilt: awarded from 1946 to the 1950's.
Made of gilded silver and hallmarked [†], usually in the same way as the silver cross.
The reverse is plain, with many crosses stamped with the maker’s name ‘Kon Begeer Voorschoten’.
For the twelfth and every subsequent completed march, a silver gilt number was attached to the ribbon. This type is shown on the gold medal above.
Bronze & Silver Crosses.
These are dealt with on a separate page:
In 1949 Mr P.J. van der Kaay of Arnhem became the first walker to complete 25 marches, followed by a number of others from the early 1950’s.
To note this milestone, a wreathed number was introduced from the twenty-fifth march, to be worn on the ribbon of their original gold cross. It is silver gilt and enamel and is 25mm widest at its widest point.
The first Gold Cross was awarded in 1926 to Ritmeester (captain of cavalry) Van der Goes from Amersfoort. He could only officially wear the decoration in uniform from 1928 when the regulations were amended to permit officers to wear the Vierdaagse Cross.
Solid gold: awarded from 1926 to 1939.
Made of solid gold, with an oakleaf hallmark (denoting 14 carat gold) above the top arm of the cross.
The maker's name, ‘Kon Begeer Voorschoten’ is stamped on the reverse.
It is identical in size and appearance, although slightly thinner, than the later gilded version.
Silver gilt: awarded from the mid 1950's to 1958.
By the mid 1950's the gold crosses were struck with a roundel at the centre of the reverse, bearing the inscription ‘Kon Begeer Voorschoten’.
Otherwise the design was as before. They were made of hallmarked silver gilt.
Awarded without a crown for the tenth successful march. For the eleventh year a separate crown was awarded for attachment to the suspension of the ten year cross.
Obverse. The design of the cross remained consistent throughout this period.
Reverse. The main types are shown below.
These pictures show the position and design of the gold hallmark. This style of hallmark was in use from 1906 to 1953.
These are two examples of presentation cases seen with high number gold crosses of the pre 1959 NBVLO type:
The cases bear the name and logo of Koninklijke Begeer who manufactured the medals.
With thank to Marc Poelen for supplying the photos.
- the second bears a '39' year wreath of the kind awarded from 1977 to the early 1980's:
- the first bears a '32' year wreath of the kind awarded from the 1950's to 1976;
These cases do not appear to have been presented with all gold medals, as few are seen.
A Koninklijke Begeer source confirms that:
- the logo on the cases is typically pre-war, which suggests they were produced between the 1920's and 1940.
- it is likely they were only used for presentations to the military and members and staff of the royal household.
- both crosses have a plain back, suggesting they were manufactured before the mid 1950's.
Of the two gold medals:
The first Gold Cross holder, Captain Van Der Goes, and the first English recipient, Mr Robert Martin - photographed wearing his silver medal in 1934. [Both photos: Regional Archive Nijmegen]
In 1934 Mrs Kley-Vrijenhoek became the first woman to receive the Gold Cross. She had accompanied her husband on the marches every year since 1925.
The first non Dutch recipient was Mr Robert Martin of England. This north London accountant had captained one of the four British teams in 1928, the year the Vierdaagse went international. He received his gold cross in 1938.
Between 1932 and 1939 all walkers who attained a number higher than ‘12’ were required to hand in the previous number before receiving their new higher number.
Option of a solid gold cross: 1946 to 1949.
Post war conditions meant that from 1946 the standard ‘gold’ crosses were of silver gilt rather than solid gold. The March Regulations however permitted those completing their tenth march to receive a solid gold cross in exchange for 15 grams of gold and a 30 guilder fee. In 1947 this became 17 grams of gold and 65 guilders. This option was discontinued in 1950, when all ‘gold’ class crosses became silver gilt.