Vierdaagse Cross 1959 – 1976

On 3 April 1958 Queen Juliana bestowed the title ‘Royal’ (Koninklijke) on the NBVLO to mark its 50th anniversary.  This meant the organisation’s initials had to be changed to either KNBVLO or, as was finally adopted, KNBLO.  The Vierdaagse medals were redesigned to reflect this.  The new title change came too late to be reflected in the medals awarded for the July 1958 March, although the programme for this year did use the new Royal name.

Medals reflecting the Royal title – both Crosses and Group Medals – were awarded from 1959.  Apart from the change of initials on the arms from NBVLO to KNBLO, the design of the cross remained as before. All medals produced continued to be made by Koninklijke Begeer, ‘Kon Begeer Voorschoten’ appearing on the reverse of all crosses. There were no other significant design changes before Begeer ceased making the medals after 1976.

Bronze Cross: first and second successful march

Made of gilded bronze.  Awarded without a crown for the first successful march.  For the second year, a separate gilded bronze crown was awarded for attachment to the suspension of the first year cross.

The background behind the letters on each arm was plain on earlier crosses (as for the year one medal above), but given a slightly frosted texture on later ones (as for the year two medal).

Ribbon numbers. Bronze gilt numbers were attached to the ribbon for a third and fourth successful march.

Silver Cross: fifth and sixth successful march

The five year example here, without crown, is court mounted in the form worn by the Dutch armed forces.

For the sixth year a separate silver crown was awarded for attachment to the suspension of the five year cross.

They are solid silver. Most are hallmarked with the dagger hallmark [] for silver.  This is normally on the front of the cross, immediately below the suspension ball and often obscured if the crown for a sixth march is attached.

Ribbon numbers. Silver numbers were attached to the ribbon for a seventh, eighth and ninth successful march.

Gold Cross: tenth and eleventh successful march

Awarded without a crown for the tenth successful march. For the eleventh year a separate gilded silver crown was awarded for attachment to the suspension of the ten year cross.

These are gilded silver and are usually hallmarked [] in the same way as the silver cross.

Ribbon numbers. Silver gilt numbers were attached to the ribbon of the  gold medal for between twelve and twenty-four successful marches.

A wreathed number was presented from the twenty-fifth march.

40 year wreath.  In 1964 Mr P.J. van der Kaay became the first walker to complete 40 marches, followed by several others by the early 1970’s. Each year, these walkers continued to receive the relevant wreathed number to place on their original gold cross. It was only about 1978, after the makers changed to W. van Veluw, that a special 40 year cross was produced and awarded.

Suspension

Throughout most of this period all Vierdaagse medals were presented with a safety pin sewn to the back of the ribbon.

Some / all of those awarded in 1975 and 1976 had a separate pin that goes through the loop of ribbon, as shown to the left. These were in bronze/gilt and silver colour to match the award.

Suspension bar. While not awarded with the medal, from 1958 a suspension bar was introduced and sold separately at the marches.  These were made in gilt (for bronze and gold awards) and in white metal (not silver).  Recipients could add the appropriate bar to their medal if they wished.  Minor variations in the design are found.

50 Anniversary number

In 1966 a small bronze ‘50’ pin was given to all successful walkers to be added to the ribbon to commemorate the 50th March.

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