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Military awards relating to the Vierdaagse

These are medals relating to the Vierdaagse that have been awarded by Dutch military bodies.

Royal Dutch Army medal for first place at the Nijmegen Vierdaagse

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Military 1st place army ring (R).jpg
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Military 1st place army (R).jpg
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A bronze medal with a diameter of 40 mm, made by the company of van Veluw of Zeist. The obverse bears the army badge and the inscription ‘Koninklijke Landmacht' or ‘Royal Army’.  Up to 2005 the reverse inscription read: ‘Uitgereikt door BLS wegens het behalen van de 1e plaats bij de Vierdaagse van Nijmegen’ which translates as ‘Awarded by BLS for gaining 1st place at the Vierdaagse of Nijmegen'.  Some awards have a ball and ring suspension, although it is not presented with a ribbon and is not intended for wear.

Since 2006 the reverse has ‘C-LAS’ (Commandant Landstrijdkrachten) instead of ‘BLS’ (Bevelhebber der Landstrijdkrachten), reflecting the change of title for the head of the Dutch Army.

This medal is awarded each year to the Royal Dutch Army detachment judged as having the best conduct during the Marches in terms of training, dress, external appearance and behaviour.  Similar medals are also awarded to the best Royal Dutch Navy (including Marines) and Air Force detachments.  Navy medals are awarded with a long narrow red, white and blue ribbon to enable them to be worn round the neck when presented.

2004 Vierdaagse: Lieut General Marcel Urlings awards the Army First Place Medal to the detachment from 11 Air Supply Company, Manoeuvre Brigade.  [Defensie Krant]

Finishing ahead of other detachments is not, of course, one of the award criteria, since the marches are not a race.  In 1928, the first year foreign military detachments took part, the Norwegian group did treat the event as a race and finished first each day.  They were disqualified and denied both the Vierdaagse Cross and the Group Medal!

Royal Dutch Air Force medal for first place at the Nijmegen Vierdaagse

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The obverse shows the emblem of the Royal Dutch Air Force, while the reverse is engraved "Beste KLu [Koninklijke Luchtmacht] Detachement 4-Daagse 1993 BDL" BDL refers to the Bevelhebber der Luchtstrijdkrachten or Commander of the Air Force.

This white metal award is presented to the Royal Dutch Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht) detachment judged to have had the best conduct during the Marches, using the same criteria as used for the Royal Dutch Army award.

(With thanks to Richard Courtney for supplying photographs).

Royal Dutch Gendarmerie (Koninklijke Marechaussee) medal, awarded to Vierdaagse team orderly (verzorging)

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(With thanks to Gerrit Van Weeghel for supplying the photographs).

This bronze medallion is a general Koninklijke Marechaussee (Royal Gendarmerie) award, not specifically produced for the Marches.

The obverse has a flaming grenade, the gendarmerie badge, with the inscription 'Koninklijke Marechaussee' and the motto 'Zonder vrees en zonder blaam', (without fear and beyond reproach).

This reverse, otherwise plain, is engraved: 'Sgt A. J. Van Bedijk, verzorging Vierdaagse 1958 - 1959 - 1960', indicating that it was awarded to an orderly who supported the Marechaussee teams at the event over three years.

This award was made before the Orderly Medal was established in 1965 for those who support walking teams.

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