The Garde Rurale (Farmers watch) in Flanders (Belgium) was an organization of monitoring of agricultural lands in occupied Belgium during the Second world War. It was intended to be an extension of the police and needed to protect livestock, fields and farmporperties in a time of great shortage against stealing.
During the WWII German occupation of Belgium, the nationalist movement of flemish VNV, and its mayors had already tried to create many local security forces between 1941 and 1942. Various types of guards had seen the light of day, including a guard on the railways, the factories, and the famous Black Brigade. It was for the most part of local initiatives, often without lasting success, apart from the Black Brigade. However, on june 24 in 1941 concrete plans were made for the creation of a guard rural: the “Boerenwacht” (Garde Rural)! At first temporarily volunteer farmers undertook to monitor fields and yields. With the progress of the war, the ideology of the VNV became more and more present in the Garde Rurale, the leading people were made up of radical collaborators, and it became a militia co-operative responsible for the enforcement of the law. The idea was to keep a good connection between the New Order and the farmers and protect their goods. In the end of 1944 when Belgium got liberated the Garde Rurale ended too of course.
The here offered set consists of a green Garde Rurale Armband and an accompaying permitment card with instructions. In two languages (both Germand and French) is written:
“The wearer of the armband is in function of the Farmerswatch and is allowed to be on the streets and in the fields during the “Sperrzeit” (forbidden time to be on the Streets/nightclock). Abuse of this pass will be penalized! After expiration or after ending of the servicetime it is to be given back”.
Both the card and the armband bear the same official stamps (showing two stems of wheat and a sword.
The pass was handed out in Nijvel (Nivelles) on 11 june 1944 and was valid until 31 oktober 1944 (at this date Belgium was already liberated)!
This is a very rare set and to my knowledge there is no other for sale anywhere!