Gold Star Pilgrimage medallion belonging to Maidie B. Jones
In March 1929, 11 years after the First World War, Congress authorized fully-funded, government-organized pilgrimages for mothers and widows to visit American military cemeteries in Europe. Between 1930 and 1933, the United States government transported nearly 7,000 women to visit the graves of their fallen sons and husbands buried in Belgium, England, and France. Mothers and widows from all over the country participated in the pilgrimages. From the state of Mississippi, 108 women were eligible to attend, and over 30 made the journey overseas.
Maidie B. Jones, of Corinth, Mississippi, participated in one of the official Gold Star Pilgrimages to the gravesite of her son, Private Alfred P. Jones, in France. Private Jones was killed on July 21, 1918, near Soissons, France and was buried at Oise-Aisne Cemetery.
To commemorate the journey, each mother and widow attending one of the pilgrimages received a serialized medallion made by Tiffany & Co. This medallion, with serial number 322, was presented to Maidie B. Jones. A red, white, and blue striped ribbon was issued with the medallion so that it could be worn around the neck. The obverse of the medallion features a ship at sea flanked by the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower with a gold star above. “Gold Star Pilgrimage to the Battlefields of the World War” along with the United States Lines emblem adorn the reverse.