Switzerland: Awards relating to the Vierdaagse
The first Swiss walkers participated in the Vierdaagse in 1933, with Swiss Military contingents regularly taking part from the late 1950s.
Over the years, a number of commemorative medals have been awarded to Swiss contingents.
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.
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 brooch 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.
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.
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.
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 Army contingent during the Vierdaagse in 1972 (left) and on the Via Gladiola, on the fourth day of the March in 2008, (right).