Saar Mines Medal, Silver Medal
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Historically, the Saar (also Saarland, Sarre) had been a point of political interest due to its rich coal resources. This territory had been a French Department following the Revolution, and was lost to Germany in the Franco-Prussian War. The control of the territory was ceded by Germany to France in the Treaty of Versailles (1919) for a term of 15 years.
The Medal was awarded by the French government to workers of the mining industry for long service. The Bronze Medal was awarded for 30 years of service, the Silver Medal was awarded for 40 years of service, and the Gilt Medal was awarded for 50 years of service. It could be awarded in absence of this service requirement for exceptional acts of courage and devotion.
The Medal was discontinued in 1935 after the Saar was relinquished from French control. A plebiscite was held in the same year which showed that 91% of residents were in favour of allegiance to Germany.
The Medal had inscriptions in both French and German. The obverse inscription translates to “French State, Sarre Mines,” and the reverse inscription translates to “Honour and Labour.”
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