Belgian nurse Germaine De Smet
on war service for the
British Red Cross Society – WWI
Mademoiselle Germaine De Smet
Red Cross nurses made a name for themselves by helping the wounded during the First World War and took an important part in helping patients, soldiers and civilians, in temporary or auxiliary hospitals all over UK and abroad.
Auxiliary military hospitals were attached to central military hospitals, which looked after patients who remained under military control. Auxiliary hospitals were usually staffed by: a commandant, who was in charge of the hospital running; a matron, who directed the work of the nursing staff and women - from the neighbourhood or from abroad - who most of the time volunteered to help wounded servicemen.
Throughout its history the British Red Cross has awarded volunteers with many kinds of medals and badges in recognition to their rendered services, proficiency and courage.
Germaine De Smet memorabilia
Interesting unmessed with WWI grouping belonging to Miss Germaine De Smet who, like other Belgian young women, joined the BRCS on a volunteer basis. She was posted at Teddington Auxiliary Military Hospital, Manor Road in Middlesex. She must have been on active service in the UK between August 1914 and December 1919.
She was awarded the Knight Cross in the Order of Leopold II and the bronze Médaille Civique with the very special ribbon for bravery (Acte de courage, de dévouement et d'humanité).
Up for your consideration is a vintage grouping mainly consisting of a lovely brass frame (glass is broken) with its original contents and additional medals and badges of some interest. It goes without saying that all these artefacts are WWI period items and belonged to the Belgian BRCS nurse Germaine De Smet.
Framed medals and badges
Top left is a magnificent head-and-shoulders photograph of Miss De Smet in her nurse uniform, top right is a full-size Belgian Médaille Civique for bravery on mounting bar.
Bottom left are beautiful jewelry miniatures of awarded medals on double twisted mounting vermeil chain and pins, bottom right is the Teddington Auxiliary Military Hospital badge on "Service Rendered" bar.
Teddington gilt and enamel brass medal with "Service Rendered" bar
Reverse of Medal bar is stamped with makers mark J.R. Gaunt London, hinged pin back with an open locking C-style clasp
BRCS War Branche gilt and enamel badge on a chain hanger
Reverse of War branche badge is maked J.R. Gaunt London and is engraved 010071
Mdle Germaine De Semet (note the spelling mistake). Badge was worn on the left side either with nurse uniform or civilian dress
BRCS skeletal stamped bronze and enamel escutcheon hat badge
Badge is a very nice pin back one, with an open locking C-style clasp
Belgian Red Cross service medal during Brussels 1910 Exhibition
On service badge for Belgian Red Cross personnel during "l'Exposition Universelle de Bruxelles" in 1910. Very nice gold wash finish medal with enamelled centres.
Belgian Red Cross silver medal with enamelled red cross in the centre
Note that the text on the medal (obverse and reverse) is written in Flemish
Small Red Cross lapel pin badge