The Medals of Arras

Harry Cator's medals

The medals of Harry Cator (Picture author’s own)


There is no easy way to compare medals across different armed forces – they remain distinct entities without comparison. Harry Cator won a VC and a Croix du Guerre for his actions at Arras, but the majority of medals awarded are for Commonwealth forces – the awards for German forces are primarily for generals – the Iron Cross is awarded more often, and is perhaps, more akin to the military medal. Do these differences demonstrate a greater bravery, or risk, in the French and British Empire actions?

A stranger case may be that of Louis Astoul, the French winner of the Croix de Guerre, of whom there is little trace in online resources – all of our other recipients merit, or have substantial Wikipedia pages and pictures – for Astoul, the most common picture is that of his memorial.

Some of the co-ordinates relate to places of birth, but for some soldiers their journey before the war means their place of birth doesn’t reflect who they fought for, and so the army unit HQ, or place of disembarkation has been used (we’ve made the data available should you wish to change it).

See the map in Google Maps.

You can access the data via our Github account as well.

Cite : The Medals of Arras ( by Pat Lockley ( licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales (

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About Pat Lockley

I helped to develop this site's structure and elements of the theme. I worked to develop a series of visualisations and open data resources for this site and to help approach World War One from new perspectives More examples of my work exist on my website
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