Medal for Honour for Prison Administration, Type V, in Silver (with royal crown)
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This Medal was awarded to guards and administrators of Belgian prisons for meritorious service, and acts of courage and devotion while on duty. It was awarded in two grades by the Minister of Justice depending on the quality of service.
The Medal is classified into five types according to the ruling monarch. Type I Medals have a portrait of Leopold I, Type II Medals have a portrait of Leopold II, Type III Medals have a portrait of Albert I, Type IV Medals have a portrait of Leopold III, and Type V Medals feature the Belgian coat of arms rather than a portrait.
It is interesting to note that this Medal appears to have neglected by the legislator responsible for discontinuing all civic decorations in favour of the Civic Decoration in 1867. Apart from Article 69 and 71 from March 10, 1857 and Article 117 from September 30, 1905, there is no official documentation of the award. These articles do not outline the design, ribbon, or dimensions of the Medal. The changes in effigy are also never the subject of an official decree, and as a result Type dates are estimations based on engravings on consulted examples.
Type V Medals have a reverse inscription that translates to “Prison Administration, Medal of Honour.” When the Minister of Justice requested that a Medal be produced in 1951, he requested a medal with the portrait of Baudoin I, who had only recently been crowned. Because there was no engraving that existed of the King at this point in time, the Belgian coat of arms was accepted instead.
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