English  |  Français

General Foulkes - Foreign Honours

Citations, foreign orders and decorations

by Georgiana Stanciu, PhD

Throughout his career, Charles Foulkes received several foreign orders and decorations. Most of them came with a certificate citation including the date of the award, the reasons for which the honour was bestowed, and the signature of dignitaries in the respective countries. One of them was Harry Truman, President of the United States.

General Charles Foulkes was a prominent personality in the Canadian Army during the Second World War. Born in Britain, he went to school in London, ON, then joined The Royal Canadian Regiment in 1926. He arose through the ranks to become commander of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division in Normandy, of the 1st Canadian Corps in Italy and of the First Canadian Army in Holland. On May 5, 1945, General Foulkes was representing the Allies when the 25th German Army surrendered in Wageningen, Netherlands. He returned to Canada after the war as Chief of the General Staff. He was appointed Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff in 1951, but nine years later he resigned in opposition to Diefenbaker government.

Certificate, Order of Orange-Nassau, Grand Officer

This document was presented to General Foulkes by the Dutch government alongside the neck and breast badges corresponding to the Order of Orange-Nassau, Grand Officer, military division. The great honour was bestowed upon Foulkes for “excellent services rendered to the Kingdom of the Netherlands in preparing and conducting the operations of the Canadian troops to supply territory in EUROPE from September 1944 to May 1945.” The document has the autograph signature of the Chancellor of the Netherlands Orders.

The Order of Orange-Nassau is a military and civil order of the Netherlands created on 4 April 1892. It is a chivalry order open to "everyone who have earned special merits for society".

DATE: 7 Dec 1945
DONATED BY: General Charles Foulkes
OBJECT ID: RCRM1960.003.0052

Certificate, Order of the Crown and War Cross, Kingdom of Belgium

This document was presented to General Foulkes by the Belgian Ministry of Defence alongside the breast badge corresponding to Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown and the Belgian War Cross medal. Foulkes was awarded this high distinction for “exceptional war services” rendered to Belgium during its defence and liberation (1944 – 1945). The citation has the autograph signature of Raoul de Fraiteur, the Minister of Defence at the time, and a dry stamp from the Department of National Defence, Belgium.

The Belgian Order of the Crown was established on October 15, 1897 to recognize heroic deeds and distinguished service achieved for service in the Congo Free State, at the time under Belgian crown jurisdiction. In 1908, the Order of the Crown was made a national honour of Belgium. During the Second World War, the Order of the Crown was extensively authorized for Allied military personnel who had helped to liberate Belgium from the Germany occupation.

Initially created to recognize bravery during the First World War, The War Cross was reinstated on July 20, 1940, by the Belgian government exiled in London. It was intended for military personnel, but in 1942 it was extended to everyone involved in acts of exceptional bravery in front of the enemy. It was awarded to members of the Resistance as well as of the Allied military forces.

DATE: 6 Jun 1947
DONATED BY: General Charles Foulkes
OBJECT ID: RCRM1960.003.0044


Citation, Legion of Merit, Commander

The Legion of Merit was formally approved by the American Congress on July 20, 1942. It is the only military decoration in the US issued in degrees (Chief Commander, Commander, Officer and Legionnaire). This is applicable to members of foreign armed forces based on rank or position of the recipient. The award is presented to U.S. military personnel without distinction of degree.

As a General officer, Foulkes qualified for Commander of the Legion of Merit. He was presented with this distinction for his exceptional service during the Italian Campaign in the Second World War, more precisely “the outstanding leadership […] in the crushing defeat of the enemy forces in Italy.”

DATE: 1945 – 1953
DONATED BY: General Charles Foulkes
OBJECT ID: RCRM1960.003.0046