Service Medal, in Gold (with crown, 1955-1960)
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The Service Medal was created by Leopold II, King Sovereign of the Congo, on November 4, 1892. It was revised a number of times after its creation and was permanently discontinued after the declaration of Congolese independence on June 30, 1960.
It was originally awarded as a Bronze Medal to Congolese civilians and members of the Force Publique for service to the State. The Silver Medal was added by Royal Decree on December 22, 1927. By the same decree, different ribbons were introduced for civilians and military personnel. The Gold Medal was added by Royal Decree on March 23, 1955, as well as a version of each grade with a surmounting royal crown for medals that were conferred under exceptional circumstances.
Beginning in 1957, the Gold Medal could be awarded with a “MORT AU TRAVAIL – ARBEIDSSLACHTOFFER” (Deceased at Work) clasp for those who died during service. A bar clasp with three stars could also be awarded for nine years of service.
In addition to the changes in awarding statutes outlined above, the medals themselves were also altered a number of times. From 1892-1910, the medals featured a portrait of Leopold II, from 1910-1934 they featured a portrait of Albert I, from 1934-1955 they featured a portrait of Leopold III, and from 1955-1960 they featured a portrait of King Baudoin. Within each of these time periods, multiple engravings may exist. Additionally, from 1910-1955, the obverse featured the monarch's name with the inscription "King of the Belgians." All versions feature a reverse inscription that translates to “Loyalty and Devotion.”
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