Medalla de la Solidaridad, awarded by the Republic of Panama 1918

Image["Medal of Solidarity (Panama), 1918"]

Obverse, a woman inscribing the inscription on a stone tablet to left, holding a shield in her other hand, in a border done in imitation of a cross with foliage between its arms

Image["Medal of Solidarity (Panama), 1918"]

Reverse, Panama's national arms within a border imitating a cross with foliage between its arms

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Medalla de la Solidaridad, awarded 1918

The Republic of Panama joined the Great War of 1914-1918 late, in 1917, and its active participation was limited, but in 1918 it did issue this medal to express its solidarity with the other Allies' armed forces and what the medal calls "la guerra del derecho", `the war of justice'. It was awarded in gold to commanders-in-chief of the Allied armies, in silver to generals and senior officers, and in bronze, albeit silvered bronze as this example makes clear, for other ranks. Awards of this medal made to British soldiers were recorded in The London Gazette; it appears that only a hundred medals or so were given to each Allied country, so the number even of bronzes must have been quite small.
This medal is unnamed, and it cannot now be known to whom it was awarded, or even in what country's army he fought. Lester Watson appears to have thought this a French medal--it is listed as such in his catalogue--which suggests that he may have acquired it with other French medals and therefore that the recipient may have also been French, but Watson's lists record no provenance for the piece so none of this can be considered certain.


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