THE BELGIAN RELIEF CORPS
1944 - 1945
1944 the Belgian Government in Exile created the Belgian Relief
consisting of several aidcolumns with a medical and surgical task.
The Relief Corps depended of the Belgian Red Cross in the United Kingdom.
was recruited among medical staff of the Belgian Red Cross in the
and among the military.
Several training camps existed in the United Kingdom.
Kingdom, August 1944.
Minister August De Schrijver inspecting female personnel of the Belgian Relief Corps at their training camp.
January 5 1945.
Baron DE WAHA-BAILLONVILLE inspecting a relief column before its departure to Belgium.
The relief columns were supposed to follow the fighting Allied Forces once Belgium was reached.
The purpose was to procure indispensable medical aid to the population of the freshly liberated territory.
Due to the
rapid advance of the Allied Forces through Belgium in September
the main mission for Belgian relief columns became obsolete.
beginning 1945, place unknown..
Female personnel of the Belgian Relief Corps in action.
Corps was redirected to the Belgian Ardennes, after the Battle of
and to areas who suffered severe losses in men and infrastucture
due to the attacks with V1 and V2 rockets.
After the Liberation of belgium a Ambulance Company was also created.
They rendered great services after the Battle of the Bulge.
At the end of the War in Europe they helped repatriating POW's and political prisonners.
The Relief Corps was disbanded by law-decree on October 31 1945.
BADGES AND INSIGNIA
A non official Formation Badge existed which was worn on the dark blue overalls.
The words "RELIEF CORPS" in capital blue letters on a red white blue diamond.
|Female personnel wearing the "RELIEF CORPS" diamond on their overalls.|
A second non official badge existed in the Ambulance Company.
The blue capital letters "CA" (Compagnie d'Ambulances) on a red white blue diamond.
Compagnie d' Ambulances badge
official arm title also existed which was worn on left sleeve of
the the battle dress,
beneath the white "BELGIUM" arm title.
The words "RELIEF CORPS" in dark red lettering on a curved khaki background.
sergeant of the Belgian Relief Corps.
She wears the white "BELGIUM", the red "RELIEF CORPS"
and the non official sergeant stripes.
(Picture collection Jean-Paul Vaes)
The Relief Column Commanders wore the rank insignia of civilian assimilated Senior Officer.
A Belgian ramping lion with a bar beneath, worn on both collars.
|Rank Insignia worn by the Relief Column Commanders on the collars of their Battle Dress.|
Officially all other personnel wore no rank insignia, but British NCO rank insignia were tolerated.
On the hat and field cap the Belgian ramping lion was worn.
Gold for the Relief Column Commanders, bronze for the other personnel.
On the right sleeve the Belgian National Colours were worn.
It was also
foreseen that all personnel should were a Belgian ramping lion on
halfway between elbow and shoulder.
This was rather rarely done.
January 5 1945.
Lieutenant VAN STRYDONCK DE BURKEL inspecting a relief column.
Note the Belgian lion on the sleeve, halfway between the elbow and the shoulder.