French Military Decorations

+4 votes

I was recently told of a family legend that my 3rd great uncle had received the .Croix De Guerre.

I have searched for resources to confirm this, but can only find lists of famous recipients. Anyone with more military knowledge than myself know where I might be able to search non-famous recipients? 

Much appreciated! 

WikiTree profile: Louis Gardet
in The Tree House by Sylvia Benton G2G6 Mach 1 (12.7k points)
When did he emigrate? Did he serve in the French or the American army?

2 Answers

+5 votes

The best way would be to find his file in the military archives. Since he was born in Lyon, you have to search for him from the Recrutement Militaire at the Archives du Rhône website.

Année de recrutement (classe) would be the year he turned 20 (so 1906) then pick a bureau de recrutement (I would start with Lyon Central). Then browse the Répertoire Alphabétique (the first document in the list of results) for him. On page 15 there is a Joseph Louis Henri Gardet with the matricule number 1334. Would that be him? If you think so, note down the number and look for the file in the "Registre Matricule"  document that contains files 1001 to 1500. Joseph Louis Henri is on slide 515. Is this your Louis? If it is not, you'll have to look for him in Class 1907 and/or other Lyon recruitment offices. 

According to the matricule file, Louis Gardet did not receive any decorations. I believe if he had one, it probably should be listed there, and if you look at the next file, on the following page, this is a soldier who did receive the Croix de Guerre. You can see it in the "Blessures, Actions d'éclat, décorations" frame. 

But, even when there is no decoration listed on the file, there is still a wealth of interesting information on the file - birth details, names of parents, details of his military affectations, where he lived, that he was injured, what he looked like (height, color of hair and eyes...) etc.

by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (553k points)
edited by Isabelle Martin
Thank you! Thank you!

I don't know if it is the same one or not, but you have given me an excellent resource! He did arrive in the U.S. in 1909, he also entered the military in 1918 here. So I assume it's possible. His wife was the president of the American Legion for Mays Landing, NJ for a few years, so they were certainly military involved.

I will investigate further this evening. Again, thank you!
+3 votes
The Bio for Louis Gardet appears to focus on his French Army Service.  It also notes service with the United States Army, but no details.  Have you considered looking at the US Army service aspect?

The Croix de Guerre (FR) was a significant and notable award.  During World War I - it was awarded to members of both French and non-French Forces.

The award should be noted in french government documents similar to the London Gazette.

If awarded prior to his desertion in 1917 - then the award would have possibly been forfeited.

If awarded while a member of the US army then it should be published in both French and American government Gazette like documents.  The award should be listed regardless of rank or status.

Another question is did he use an alias after deserting from the French Army.

Also note that if that is he was awarded the Croix de Guerre - it may be listed on his US Army service documents.

I know that this does not provide a direct like or answer but introduces additional scenarios which may lead to new clues.
by Elgin Smith G2G6 (7.5k points)

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