- Medals of the Netherlands

Page © 1997 Micheal Shackelford
Image and data courtesy of Hendrik Meersschaert.

With the world at war all around them, the Netherlands had to work hard to maintain their neutrality. A large standing army (450,000 at peak) had to be fielded to patrol Dutch borders. Allied or German combatants had to be captured and interred if they crossed the border. This huge effort had to be scrupulously adhered to and vigorously applied. To allow any 'slack' for the forces of any one combatant would quickly put the Netherlands into one 'camp' or the other and make them a fair target for the opposing side. The Netherlands maintained their strict neutrality throughout, and even after the war.

- The Mobilisation Cross 1914-1918 (in Dutch : Het Mobilisatiekruis 1914-1918) is a bronze cross instituted on 1 August 1924 by the "National Committee forthe Commemoration of the 1914 Mobilisation" (Nationaal Comité Herdenking Mobilisatie 1914) and because Queen Wilhelmina accepted the cross offered to her by the committee, this decoration became officially recognized (Army Order of 26 november 1924). It was awarded to those that during the 1st World War had worn an official Dutch uniform (between 4 August 1914 and 11 November 1918), including reservists and civilians which served under military supervision. Obverse : the vertical cross arms have the dates "1914" and "1918" on them, the horizontal ones "AUGUSTUS" and "NOVEMBER". Between the cross arms lie bundles of arrows symbolising the power of unity. Reverse (shown above): the words "MOBILISATIE / VREDE / EER" (Mobilisation, Peace, Honour) in the same lettering as the obverse. There's also a maker's mark at the bottom.

On 27 September 1927 an almost identical cross was created: the so-called "White Mobilisation Cross" for civilians who performed distinguished service to the mobilised troops. The reverse is different bearing the words "MOBILISATIE / WAARDERING" (Mobilisation, Recognition) and the ribbon's central blue is replaced by white.