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Erskine 1916: Croix de Guerre

By Bethany Lane, University of Glasgow MSc Museum Studies postgraduate student

ERS 40.3This week’s object is the Criox de Guerre medal which was awarded to Harry Patterson during 1917. Created in France in April 1915 to award acts of bravery in the face of the enemy, these medals were mostly given to allies who assisted the French. Roughly two million were issued to the allies and many can be counted amongst the University of Glasgow alumni.

Harry Patterson was awarded his Criox de Guerre for assisting the wounded under enemy fire in early 1917. Below is a description of the action that earned him the medal:

“Patterson was driving one of their (British Ambulance Committee) ambulances and his mechanical and general work were of great assistance. The Section to which he was attached was of great service to the French Army, the wounded being evacuated from the First Line behind the trenches often under shell-fire.” He showed “Greatest courage by crossing strongly bombarded zones to go to look for bring back the wounded of the division, principally from the 15th to the 31st May, 1917”

Read Bethany’s previous posts on silk embroidered postcards, battlefield pillowcases, a pantomime leaflet, a regimental insignia quilt, and a 1914 Princess Mary Christmas tin in the collections of the Erskine Hospital.

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