Circular gilt bronze medal with laterally-pierced barrel suspension; the face with a railway locomotive wheel, the initials ‘S.N.C.F.’ centrally (for Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français = French National Railways), circumscribed ‘MEDAILLE DES CHEMINOTS’ (Medal for Railwaymen), initialled ‘RF’ below (for République Française) and signed ‘CH. FAVRE-BERTIN’ (for the French sculptor and medallist Charles-Maurice Favre-Bertin, 1887-?); the reverse with a right hand grasping a points switch lever, attributed below to ‘F. VALLETTE’ and dated ‘1951’, with Paris Mint bronze assay marks; on original slightly age-faded ribbon mounted for wear in the French style.
The Medal was instituted on 19 August 1913 to reward long service or exceptional acts of courage and devotion by those working on the railways. For the gold medal, an act of outstanding bravery or merit or 35 years’ service (30 years as mechanic/driver) in France or 25 years on the Colonial railways was required.
This good example is of the second type, awarded from 12 August 1939 to 5 June 1953.