Small miniature circular gilt medal with laterally pierced ball suspension; the face with the crowned head and shoulders portrait of Elisabeth, Queen of the Belgians (1876-1965) facing left within a border of oak leaves; the reverse inscribed ‘CN’ (for National Committee) and dated ‘1915 1918’, stalks of wheat above and below, circumscribed ‘EN SOUVENIR DE SA COLLABORATION – HERINNERING AAN ZYN MEDEWERKING’ (In memory of his/her co-operation in French and Flemish languages); diameter 12.88mm (0.5 inch); without ribbon.
The Medal was instituted on 31 May 1919 and awarded to those who had been active in the ‘National Committee’. Much of Belgium was German-occupied from August 1914 and by the following month groups of civilian volunteers had sprung up to alleviate hunger and hardship.
The Committee was able to direct aid and assistance to the most needy, operating under American protection and within the constraints of the occupying German forces. The Committee was also important politically and culturally in maintaining a Belgian civil identity through the period of occupation.