The ysermedal was awarded for the battle on the yser from 17 till 31 October 1914 by wich the Belgian army halted the German advance and where later assisted by the French and Britains armies. The battle on the yser was one of the major allied victories in the beginning of the first world war. The ysercross was a replacement for the ysermedal in 1934 and had to paid for, when returning the ysermedal.
The Yzermedal was introduced on the 18th October 1918 as an award for those who fought bravely and gallantry during the battle for the Ijzer, which began on the 17th and ended on the 31th of October 1914. The battle took place between 4 Belgian divisions and one French under the command of admiral Ronarch. The objective was to hold the town Diksmuide and it's surrounding villages and citys. One of the famoused events in this battle was the flooding of the river Ijzer, which was caused by the Belgian civilian Hendrik Geeraert, who opend the locks in Veurne. This was the main reason why the six german armies of Albrecht van Württemberg were holded. Although the Belgians and French with the assistence of the British won the battle, dit the Germans conquer Diksmuide on the 10th of November 1914. The battle took the lives of 40.000 Belgian, 15.000 French and 86.000 German soldiers.
During the First World War there was a great conflict between soldiers who spoke French and Flemish. Officer only gave order in French, wich was not always easy for Flemish soldiers. This conflict lasted until many years after the war. This is way Flemish militants choice to by a so called 'Flemish ribbon', because the IJzermedal had a red and black color ( collors of Wallonie). The Flemish ribbon has a yellow stripe in the middle instead of the official red stripe.
On the ribbon of the Ijzermedal and Ijzercross can be a so called 'fourage' suspended. This fourage
The design of the medals came from the Belgian engraver E. Vloors.
The Ijzermedal was designed in a art nouveau style with on the front a naked men holding a spear. The dates 17- 31 Oct 1914 are cased in the lower right end of the medal. On the top of the medal we find an green enamelled shield with a scarve that holds the name 'Yser'. On the reverse we find a wounded lion, standing on a burning torch. Behind the lion we found another burning torch and the Yser is cast just underneath him. The top has the same shield as on the obverse, with the only difference that on the reverse the letter A (for King Albert I) together with a crown is set.
The ribbon has a big red strip in the middle, flanked with two black stripes.
The Ijzercross was a replacement for the Ijzermedal and was established by the Royal Degree of the 5th of February 1934.
The award has the shape of a Maltezer Cross with the same images as the Ijzermedal medal.