The French Colonial medal, later renamed the Overseas medal is one of the most well traveled awards to ever grace a soldiers chest. The medal was created in July 1893 to reward services in the French colonies and could be retroactively awarded for actions stretching back to 1827.
In June 1962 it was simply renamed the "Overseas Medal" and continued to be awarded as such.
Maybe the longest running service medal around it has been pinned on the chest of soldiers stationed in Beau Geste like forts in the deserts of North Africa, in the Jungles of Indo-China, in the Swamps of South America and on occasion for operations on some far off exotic island.
As the documents are a small side line collection of Mine I thought I would add a section to the site showing the variations as and when I get them.
Clicking on the text next to the pictures of the bars below will take you to the award documents.
An important link for those interested in the Medaille Coloniale is the section at Hendrik's Hompage
Diplomas listed below with a highlighted heading include a write up with a brief description of that particulat documents historical relevance.
An early "Sahara" bar to Jacob Gustave Rothwange, a Legionnaire in 2eme Regiment Etranger during the conquest of the Sahara HERE
"The Battalion of Pain" The Diploma for Capitaine Lucien Lannes of the notorious "Bat d'Af" HERE
A diploma for the Colonial Medal for Lieutenant Jean Marie Tavernier, a long serving member of the Bat d'Af. Tavernier rose up through the ranks and was awarded the Colonial Medal with the "Maroc" bar as a member of the 1er Bataillon d'Infanterie Leger d'Afrique HERE
Besieged in Fort Napoleon, Algeria 1872 Soldat Pierre Emiland Barault of the Garde Nationale mobilisee de la Cote d'Or was besieged in Fort Napoleon during the Franco-Prussian war. HERE
The road to Kairouan, Tunisia 1881 Auguste Henault was a supply soldier in the 15th Escadron du Train. Presented is Medaille Coloniale diploma, his short diary and a brief description to the background of the campaign. HERE
The Diploma for Jean Marie Delair of the 49eme Regiment d'Infanterie HERE
The Diploma for Adjudant-Chef Auguste Tiffay of the 5eme Regiment d'Infanterie Coloniale du Maroc HERE
The Diploma for Emile Marboeuf, Soldat in the 9e Regiment de Zouaves HERE
The Diploma for Lt. Col. Albert Royer, commanding the 3eme Regiment Etranger d'Infanterie HERE
The Diploma for Louis Saintoyant, a supply soldier in Tunisia HERE
The Diploma for Francois Theophile Fournioux, a soldier of the 23rd Battailon de Chasseur a Pied HERE
The Diploma for Canonnier Paul Fournes serving in a mounted artillery battery operating out of Oran HERE
The Aveyron Affair: Shipwrecked on the Horn of Africa Seaman 3rd class Mathurin-Marie Helias was a crew member of the ill fated Aveyron which ran aground of Cap Gardafin in August 1884 HERE
The Diploma for a Caporal in the 2eme Regiment Etranger d'Infanterie HERE
The Diploma for Marine Artilleryman Alphonse Jean Audubert serving with the 1e Regiment d'Artillerie de la Marine in Tonkin in 1899 HERE
An Algeria clasp medal to Joseph Morin of the 8e Bataillon de Chasseur a Pied HERE
A "Minister de la Marine" award document for the Madagascar clasp for Caporal Emmanuel Henri Jolider of the 13eme Regiment d'Infanterie de Marine HERE