France Croiseur Jeanne d'Arc 58.4mm bronze medal 92.8 grams by G. H Prud'Homme with case marked CROISIER JEANNE D'ARC
Obverse: Joan of Arc facing left, JEANNE D'ARC / ORLEANS REIMS ROUEN
Reverse: coats of arms of Orleans, Reims and Rouen (A similar medal comes with the same obverse die, but the reverse depicts the ship facing left, JEANNE.D'ARC. // .CROISEUR.ECOLE. at the top, and at the bottom an engravable plaque sitting on an anchor
Edge: Cornucopia privy mark (Paris Mint) BRONZE
Jeanne d'Arc was a training cruiser built for the Marine Nationale (French Navy) during the late 1920s. She was designed both as a school ship and a fully capable warship. She saw service through the Second World War, escaping to Halifax after the fall of France and eventually joining the Free French forces before the end of the war. Post war, the cruiser resumed her duties as a training ship, being retired in 1964.
In 1931, Jeanne d'Arc departed for her first cruise under Capitaine de vaisseau André Marquis. As a prestige ship, she toured countries of South America where France wanted to increase her influence. During the Second World War, Jeanne d'Arc was assigned to the West Atlantic Naval Division, taking part in blockading German cargo ships in neutral harbours. In late May 1940, along with the Émile Bertin, she departed from Brest for Canada with a cargo of gold from the Bank of France*, under the command of Rear Admiral Rouyer. After an Atlantic rendezvous with the aircraft carrier Béarn, the flotilla reached Halifax safely. Jeanne d'Arc then went to the French West Indies, where she remained in the Martinique until July 1943.
*The Cruiser Jeanne d'Arc was part of Operation Fish, and carried the Bank of France gold reserves from France to Halifax, Nova Scotia early in World War II. For more information on the transfer please click the link to the Bank of Canada article
Georges-Henri Prud'Homme (1873-1947) sculptor and medallist, born in Capbreton, Landes. Studied in Paris at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he studied sculpture under Falguière and engraving under Alphée Dubois. Exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1894.