On the 17th of April 2021 I put online the biography of a Dutchman who served 25 years in total in the French Army of which at least 11 years in the French Foreign Legion. He participated in 44 campaigns and obtained 7 military decorations. His name was Cornelis van Leijen, though sometimes his last name was written as Van Leyen or Van Leyden.
Amounts his decoration was the l’Ordre du Medjidié.
Most likely this distinction was awarded to him for bravery during the Crimea campaign.
Unfortunately I was not able to retrieve the service records of Van Leijen so far and hoped that I could find the reason he was awarded this distinction on the great French Website Gallica.
I did find some references to Van Leijen but not about any references why he got the l’Ordre du Medjidié.
What I did find was an interesting book containing the “ordres généraux de l’armée d’Orient”.
I this book the are numerous listing of orders and awards given to French soldiers serving in the Crimea campaign.
My special attention went to Ordre General No 203 bis, Nominations by the Armee d’Orient Etat-Major General.
The Ordre starts with:
Pour faire suite à l’Ordre no 203 A nom de l’Empereur
La médaille militaire a été conférée à
It were especially the last 6 men mentioned on this list all serving in the 2e régiment de la légion étrangère, because some of these men could by of Dutch origin.
VAN SELYVVERIN, Sergent
DE GROOT, caporal
Further research is ongoing, suggestions always welcome.
Titre : Collection des ordres généraux de l’armée d’Orient
Éditeur : (Devant Sébastopol)
Date d’édition : 1855
Notice du catalogue : http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb363795670
Source : Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Philosophie, histoire, sciences de l’homme, FOL-LH4-403 (A)
Provenance : Bibliothèque nationale de France