Apart from individuals who had participated in the Polish-Soviet War, the medal had also been awarded retroactively to some soldiers of the Polish Legions, of World War I military units, of the Silesian Uprisings, of the Great Poland Uprising, and to members of the Polish Military Organization. It had been awarded, as well, to veterans of the January 1863 Uprising and to the city of Plock. On 20 September 1940, the President of Poland agreed to award the medal to eligible individuals who had already been awarded it four times during the Polish-Soviet War. In 1943, after the Battle of Lenino, General Zygmunt Berling awarded the Cross of Valour to several soldiers.
The medal itself was approved as a military decoration by order of the Home National Council on 22 December 1944. Until 1947, some 40,000 of the medals had been awarded to Polish soldiers fighting alongside the Red Army. The medal is given only in wartime or shortly after. The Cross of Valour Design.
The award has the shape of a bronze cross. On the obverse, in the center is a Polish crowned eagle with spread wings within a central shield. On the arms an inscription "Na Polu Chwaly 1920" meaning "On the fields of Glory 1920".
The reverse bears an upright sword piercing a laurel wreath leaf crown with the inscription "Walecznym" meaning, "Valourious". The cross is suspended from a purple and white ribbon.
This medal is from the esteemed collection of Allan Zakrzewski, WWI historian, member of Cross and Cockade International and Orders and Medals Society of America. He was also a Charter member of The League of World War One Aviation Historians. In 2001, he became an editor for Over the Front quarterly magazine and while a member of the Gulf Cost Chapter of the League of WWI Aviation Historians, he earned the Thornton D. Hooper Award for Excellence for his article on Monoplane Fighters of World War I. In 2007, he received his second Thornton D.
Hooper Award for An Evening with Rodney Williams, 17th Aero Squadron. Much of his collection is on display at the University of Texas at Dallas' Eugene McDermott Library.
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