The Orderly (or Supporter's) Medal (Verzorgingsmedaille)
The medal rewards those who give support to those who walk the Vierdaagse.
It is seen in bronze, (by far the most common award), silver and gold. Except for their metal colour, all are of the same design. The silver and gold varieties are dealt with on a separate web page:
The medal has a diameter of 38 mm. The side bearing the letters “KNBLO” is the official obverse, although the medal is sometimes seen worn with the torch side facing outwards. The inscription below the torch: "Uw toewijding deed anderen volharden" translates as "Your dedication made others succeed".
The design has not formally altered since it was established in 1965. However, there are a number of small differences in the medals produced by each of the two makers.
The Bronze Medal
Established: 1965. The award was not retrospective, and any orderly who served before 1965 could not claim the medal. Prior to 1940, many orderlies who supported a team throughout the event received the Vierdaagse Cross.
1965 – 2016
Orderlies (Verzorgers) were entitled to the medal when they support a registered marching group during the entire four day march. They do not qualify for the Vierdaagse cross.
Each registered group is allowed an orderly on a bicycle (not motor assisted) to support them during the marches, carrying food, drink and first aid supplies. To qualify, orderlies must be registered in advance. Groups of between 11–20 participants may register one orderly and groups of 21 or more, a maximum of two.
The conditions of award for orderlies to both civilian groups and military detachments were the same.
Being an orderly can be hard work. Groups typically march 40 km per day for each of the 4 days. The team Orderly usually cycles about 60 km per day since there are sections of the walking route where cyclists are not allowed as the path is too narrow and crowded.
The bronze medal was also be awarded to others who give support to Vierdaagse walkers:
In 1968 it was awarded to KNBLO Board member Wim van der Laaken for meritorious service. This was a unique award of the bronze medal, all later Verzorgingsmedaille awards for merit being in silver or gold.
Between 2008 and 2016, an adult who accompanied a child between 12 and 15 years throughout the march and thereby walked less than their own regulation distance also received for the medal, provided they had registered as a companion in advance.
From 2017, the Orderly Medal is no longer mentioned in the March regulations. It is therefore no longer awarded as an official Vierdaagse medal. It can however still be purchased from Praefero, the official Vierdaagse supplier, and worn by those whose support during the event contributes to walkers' success.
Further awards: The medal is only earned once. If an orderly qualifies again, the relevant number is attached to the ribbon.
Wearing in military uniform: The medal has never been recognised by the Netherlands Ministry of Defence and is not approved for wear on Dutch military uniform. The medal and ribbon bar are however worn by some service personnel, especially in the Royal Dutch Air Force, (Koninklijke Luchtmacht). It is therefore sometimes seen mounted with official Dutch medals.
1965 – 1976
Manufactured by Koninklijke Begeer
Further awards: The same design of ribbon numeral was used as for the Vierdaagse Cross.
Suspension: Issued with a safety pin sewn behind the ribbon.
Some recipients added the brooch bar inscribed ‘4-daagse Nijmegen’ sold separately at the marches, and which was initially intended to be added to the Vierdaagse Cross.
1977 to date
Manufactured by W. van Veluw.
Although these are of the same design as the earlier Begeer medals, there are a number of small design differences. For example, the Begeer medals show the torch flames touching the medal rim while, for those made by Veluw, only the left most flame touches. The style of the letters on the reverse inscription also varies slightly.
Further awards. A bronze octagon bearing the relevant number is awarded for further service as a Vierdaagse orderly. Only the number most recently received is worn on the ribbon. By 2008 the highest number awarded appeared to be 34.
The ‘75’ pin to be added to the Cross ribbon to commemorate the 75th March in 1991, was also given to those who qualified for the bronze medal that year.
Suspension: From 1977 to 1982 a pin, as illustrated, was used. From 1983 the medal was awarded with a bronze version of the standard ‘Vierdaagse Nijmegen’ brooch bar used for the Vierdaagse Cross.
Left: This version was manufactured between 1965 and 1976 by Koninklijke Begeer. It has a diameter of 16 mm.
Right: The post 1977 version has a diameter of 20mm. It is manufactured by W. van Veluw.
The ribbon numbers that indicate further participation are on a bronze pentagon, rather than the octagon seen on the full size medal.
These are not awarded with the medal, but can be purchased from Praefero, the official Vierdaagse supplier.
Supporter’s Medal (Verzorgingsmedaille) in Silver and Gold
These medals are dealt with on a separate page of this website: