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Croix de Guerre, with Palme en Bronze, 1915

Croix de Guerre, 1915

Obverse, a bust of Marianne facing right with inscription around, with crossed swords in the angles of the cross

Croix de Guerre, 1915

Reverse, inscription, with crossed swords in angles of the cross

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Croix de Guerre, 1915

As the Great War endured beyond the initial months that it was expected to last, the French government decided that a new medal was required to recognise oustanding service in the ongoing conflict. The Croix de Guerre was instituted in 1915 for all officers and men who had earned a mention in despatches. The first issue was struck bearing the years 1914 and 1915; the dates on subsequent issues were updated annually.
The bronze palm decoration on the medal, which is of the first, 1915, issue, demonstrates that the recipient was mentioned in Army Despatches--several higher categories were possible, which merited different adornments--but despite this, as the medal is unnamed, its recipient cannot be identified. This was one of the last medals that Lester Watson bought, from the Amsterdam dealers Schulman in 1936.