obverse design : Virgin Mary, bust, right profile, veiled. In the background, faintly depicted, two
reverse design : Rheims Cathedral, view of, smoke issuing from behind the two west towers
First World War French medal by Emile Dropsy (1843-1923) commemorating the damage done to Rheims Cathderal as a consequence of the destructive German progress on the Western Front in 1914. During September 1914 German troops occupied the ancient city and ransacked it for a week before being driven out by forces of the Fifth French Army. Between 18- 28 September 1914 the Germans bombarded Rheims with explosive and incendiary shells. The cathedral, in use as a hospital, was a primary target. For the next four years the city remained within German artillery range and was constantly shelled and bombed. See also MED 393.