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22/04/2021 12:58pm

Canadian Memorial Cross

Conflict
 
World War II.
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
History
 
The Canadian Memorial Cross, often referred to as the ‘Silver Cross For Mothers’, was instituted in December 1919 to commemorate the dead of the Great War. The cross was reinstituted in August 1940 for the Second World War. However, it is known that the first 5,000 Crosses issued for WWII were actually the ‘old’ WWI version.
 
The cross was issued to relatives of any member of the armed forces who lost their lives as a result of war service.
 
Originally worn around the neck, in January 1945, in consequence of a common practice of the recipients to have the cross privately mounted on a brooch the cross was officially modified to be worn in that style.
 
The cross was revived again in December 1950 for the Korean conflict and was eventually modified to include the current Queen’s Cypher (EIIR) - this is the version that is still issued today.
 
A major review of the criteria became effective on 1 January 2007, expanding eligibility to all service-related deaths and allowing the member to select up to three potential recipients of the cross. On 12 December 2008, these changes were made retrospective to 7 October 2001 (verses 1 January 2007) to ensure all deaths occurring since the beginning of the international campaign against terrorism would be treated in a similar fashion.
 
Description
 
The cross is 32mm wide and is cast in silver, with arms slightly flared at the ends with a wreath of laurel leaves appearing between the arms of the cross.
 
The original (WWI) cross bore the cypher of King George V (GRI) the second cross (WWII) had the cypher of King George VI (GVIR) in the centre while the current version has the Royal Cypher of Queen Elizabeth (EIIR) at the centre of a Greek cross superimposed on the main cross, with the Royal Crown at the end of the upper arm and maple leaves on the three remaining arms.
 
The reverse of the cross is plain. The service number, rank (at time of death), initials and surname of the person being commemorated are engraved on two lines in the centre. There is also a sterling mark on the lower arm.
 
Ribbon
 
Order of the Sun Ribbon.jpg
 
The original cross was worn around the neck from a 750mm long, 11mm wide, purple ribbon. Purple stands for suffering and misery and traditionally was the stained-glassmaker's colour for black, expressing negation, mourning, and death.
 
The cross issued since 1945 is suspended by means of a loose ring linked to a fixed ring at the bottom of a brooch which is 32mm wide, in the form of the lateral arms of the cross.
 
Bars/Clasps
 
None were authorised for this medal.
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
Dealer Retail Value */**
 
Canadian Memorial Cross GVR
£120.00
Canadian Memorial Cross GVIR
£120.00
Canadian Memorial Cross EIIR
£175.00
 
* It should be noted that the values quoted above reflect the average price that a medal dealer may expect to sell this medal for - please see the ‘things you should know’ web page for more details about valuing medals.
 
** The individual medal value will vary considerably based on the recipient’s details.
 
Further Historical Context
 
This section contains information on:-
 
- Canadian Forces During World War II.
 
Canadian Forces During World War II - In Canadian military history, North-West Europe has been used to refer to the land campaigns in that approximate area during World War II. Two separate battle honours were awarded to regiments who took part in these campaigns 'North-West Europe Campaign of 1940' and 'North-West Europe Campaign of 1944-1945'. The North-West Europe Campaign of 1940, during the Battle of France, was restricted to Belgium and the French Channel ports.
 
The North-West Europe Campaign of 1944-1945 started with the landings in Normandy and ended with Field Marshal Montgomery taking the German military surrender of all German forces in Holland, Northwest Germany and Denmark on Lüneburg Heath in Northwest Germany was fought by the British 21st Army Group. In the First campaign the French Army was responsible for the rest of the Western Front from Luxembourg to Switzerland, as were the American 12th Army and 6th Army Groups during the second campaign.
 
Units of the First Canadian Army fought in five major campaigns in North-West Europe, including the Battle of Normandy, the battles for the Channel Ports, the Battle of the Scheldt, the Rhineland fighting in February and March 1945, and the final operations east of the River Rhine. A period of static warfare existed from 1 November 1944 to 8 February 1945 during which time the First Canadian Army manned positions in the Nijmegen Salient.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.