From 1909 to the present day.

Introduction What's Vierdaagse? History 1909-1958 1959-1976 From 1977 1-39 years From 1977 40+ years Miniatures Orderly Medal Group Medal Aniversary Awards Other Civilian Awards World War II Sources/Links Vierdaagse Cross Contact Group Medal 1977, Close up 1948 March (zdetail) Silver & Gold Medal Youth Medals Replacement Medals Other Military Awards Nijmegen History 1940-45 Non Dutch Awards

Medals of the Nijmegen Vierdaagse.

From 1909 to the present day.

British Participation

 

1966.  Awarded to commemorate the fiftieth Vierdaagse.  The medal is oval with a height of 34 mm (exclusive of suspender) and a width of 44 mm.   Obverse:  the coat of arms of the City of Nijmegen.   Reverse: the inscription “Willen is Kunnen.  Jubiläummarsch Schweizer Delegation.  Nijmegen 1966”.  The medal is silvered grey metal with green enamel behind the obverse coat of arms.  A silvered metal cross is attached to the ribbon.

The Air Training Corps (ATC) is the British Royal Air Force's cadet force.  The ATC send about 20 teams to the Marches each year, each of 2 adults and 10 cadets.  

 

ATC uniform includes a brassard on the right arm on which qualification badges earned while a cadet are worn.  With large numbers of cadets completing the Marches, an unofficial practice developed of wearing the Vierdaagse Cross or its ribbon bar on the brassard.  

 

In 2003 the system was regularised when the Vierdaagse Cross ribbon bar was authorised for wear on the brassard.  In 2005, a committee reviewing ATC badges decided to replace this with a specific ATC brassard badge, to be awarded to each cadet who successfully completed the marches from 2006.  As the marches that year were cancelled after the first day, the badge was first awarded in 2007.  

 

The cloth badge is 4cm wide and is 3cm at its highest point.  It is only awarded once, even if a cadet completes the march again in a subsequent year.  It is not given to adult staff, who are not permitted to wear it even if previously earned while a cadet.  The exact position to wear the badge on the brassard depends on the cadet’s other badges.  

United Kingdom.  Air Training Corps Nijmegen Brassard Badge.

Brassard Badge Brassard

With thanks to Richard Courtney for supplying relevant information and the close up photograph of the badge.

Swiss Jubillee 1966 Swiss Jubillee 1966  (R)

1998.   Awarded to members of the Swiss military contingent to commemorate forty years of participation by the Swiss Armed Forces.    

The medal is of bright bronze with a width of just over 45 mm.  

Obverse:  Marching group passing a windmill with the inscription: “Internationaler Viertagemarsch.  Schweizer Marschbataillon. 40 Jahre.”

Reverse: Plain, save for the maker's name “FAUDE /CH-GIPPINGEN” within an oval repeated in a pattern across the medal's surface.

Swiss Jubillee 1998 40

 

Switzerland.

The first Swiss group participated in the Vierdaagse in 1933, with Swiss Military contingents regularly taking part since the late 1950s.

Over the years, a number of commemorative medals have been awarded to Swiss contingents.

Canada, Challenge Coins.

The Canadian Armed Forces have taken part in the Vierdaagse every year since 1952.

Canada Coin 2011 (R) Canada Coin 2011 Canada Coin (R) Canada Coin

2006.  Each Canadian Forces team is drawn from a different unit or command. This coin was presented to members of the MARLANT (Maritime Forces Atlantic) Team who completed the March in 2006. It is of bronze coloured metal and has a circumference of 37mm.

2011.  This coin was presented by contingent commander Brigadier-General John C. Madower to all Canadian Forces teams that participated in the 2011 Vierdaagse. The contingent comprised 205 marchers in fifteen teams, plus support personnel. It is of enamelled bronze coloured metal and has a circumference of 41 mm.

In addition to Challenge Coins produced for the Vierdaagse, commanding officers of a number of Canadian Forces training centres now present challenge Coins to those who obtain key qualifications.

While Canadian Forces are not authorised to wear the Vierdaagse Cross in uniform, a number of special Challenge Coins have been presented to those participating in, and supporting, the March.  

The presentation of Challenge Coins began in the US Armed Forces to mark membership of a group or to recognise achievement at a local level.  Most are designed and awarded at unit or facility level and depict a unit badge with an appropriate inscription.  Those receiving a Challenge Coin are expected to carry it with them in order to prove group membership if challenged by a fellow member.  They are seen as a means to enhance group identity and morale.

Canada Coin 2002  (R) Canada Coin 2002

2002.  Coins of broadly this design have been presented by the contingent commander to all Canadian Forces teams that have participated in the Vierdaagse since about 2002.

It is of enamelled bronze coloured metal and has a diameter of 41 mm.

Swiss 1972

Swiss Army contingent during the Vierdaagse in 1972 (left) and on the Via Gladiola, on the fourth day of the March in 2008, (right).

Denmark.  March from Copenhagen to Nijmegen.

The Danish Home Guard (Hjemmeværnet), a voluntary service which supports the Armed Forces, regularly sends teams to take part in the Nijmegen Vierdaagse.  In 2002, 2007 and 2012 the Home Guard organised a 16 day march from Copenhagen to Nijmegen for walkers who then participated in the Vierdaagse.  This is a distance of 650 km, or over 800 km including the four day march itself.  The march was also open to other Danish Vierdaagse marching teams as well as teams from other countries, several from Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands taking part.  

In all three years, those who successfully marched the whole distance to Nijmegen were presented with a non wearable medallion.  This shows  the symbol of the Home Guard Operational Command  (also used by the Home Guard's army branch) and the inscription  KØBENHAVN – HJEMMEVÆRNET - NJMEGEN on the obverse, the reverse bearing the name of the recipient.

The example here was awarded in 2007 to Lieutenant Thorbjørn Hein of the Royal Life Guards Emeritus Marching Company, (now known as the March Team Bjørnebanden or "Bear Bandits").

Incidentally, to qualify for the medallion, participants do not have to march back to Copenhagen after the Vierdaagse!

More information on the Copenhagen to Nijmegen march can be found at:

With thanks to Thorbjørn Hein for supplying photographs of the medaillion.

Danish coin Danish coin (R)

Awards made by non-Dutch organisations.

Swiss 1987 Swiss 1986

1986, 1987.   Awarded to members of the Swiss military contingent for participation in the March.  

Each medal is of bright bronze and has a width of 51mm.  The red and white ribbon is 30mm wide and is suspended from a broche bar bearing the Swiss shield and the appropriate year.  

Obverse:  Marching group passing a windmill with the inscription: “Internationaler Viertagemarsch.  Niymegen" with, below, "Schweizerisches Marschbataillon”

The medal for 1986 bears the shield for the Canton of  Jura, while that for 1987 bears the shield for the Canton of Lucerne.

Reverse: Plain, save for the maker's name “FAUDE GIPPINGEM” stamped in black ink.

Similar medals were awarded for participation every year until 1998.

Faude Medaillen, who made the Swiss contingent's medals in the 1980's and 1990's, were medal manufactures based in Gippingen, in the canton of Aargau.     In 2002 Faude merged with Huguenin & Kramer to form the company of Faude & Huguenin, still based in Gippingen.

Swiss - rev x 10 Swiss - rev x 15 Swiss - ob Swiss - rev x 10

2009 to date. Since 2009, only Swiss military contingent participants who complete their 10th, 15th, 20th march, and then every five further years, receive a medal. This is in white metal with an obverse similar to earlier medals, the reverse indicating the number of marches completed.  It is awarded without a suspension ring or ribbon.

Swiss 1972 Swiss- march past

United States, Challenge Coins.

The U.S. Army has  taken part in the Vierdaagse every year since 1947.  The Vierdaagse Cross can be worn by U.S. Army personel in uniform, Army Regulation 600-8-22 Appendix E describing the award as the 'Holland Four Day Event Cross'.

The presentation of Challenge Coins began in the US Armed Forces to mark membership of a group or to recognise achievement at a local level.  Most are designed and awarded at unit or facility level and depict a unit badge with an appropriate inscription.  Those receiving a Challenge Coin are expected to carry it with them in order to prove group membership if challenged by a fellow member.  They are seen as a means to enhance group identity and morale.

1996 Challenge Coin. This coin was presented to members of the U.S. Army who completed the 80th Vierdaagse March in 1996.  

It is made of a light bronze coloured metal and has a diameter of 50 mm.

US challenge coin (2) US challenge coin (1)

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Danish challlege coin 100 O Danish challlege coin 100 R US challlege coin 100 O US challlege coin 100 R

2016 Challenge Coin for the One Hundredth March. Presented to members of the US Armed Forces who completed the 100th Vierdaagse March in 2016.  

Challenge Coin for the One Hundredth March. Presented to members of the Danish Defence Forces who completed the 100th Vierdaagse March in 2016.

The reverse side features the seals of the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

The reverse side depicts the archway erected every year at the entrance to Camp Heumensoord, where the various military contingents stay during the Marches.