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History of the ONACVG

History of the ONACVG

The first office was created in 1916 during the First World War.
Then it was called the National Office for the Wounded and Discharged, attached to the Ministry of Labour, and it was responsible for honouring and recognising the commitment, sacrifice and suffering of thousands of soldiers fighting for the freedom of France.

But soon, this single office was no longer sufficient. In 1917, the State decided to create a second office: the Office for Wards of the Nation, to take charge of the thousands of children made orphans in recent war years.

This office was placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Instruction and its financial resources quickly became very significant in view of the amount of aid that had to be provided. It was also stated in the Treaty of Versailles the this office’s costs should be paid by Germany.

Finally, in 1926, following the Great War, a third office was created: the office for veterans, responsible for looking after the general needs of veterans.

This office was intended to concern itself with veterans without pensions, i.e. neither wounded, maimed nor invalided. There were approximately 3 million in 1926. The office had, in particular, to manage all matters relating to assistance, insurance, social providence, credit, unemployment, etc.

These three bodies merged in 1935 to become the National Office for the Maimed, Veterans, Victims of War and Wards of the Nation. At the end of the Second World War, in 1946, the office adopted its current name: the National Office for Veterans and Victims of War – ONACVG – and it is committed to modernising itself, in order to adapt to new categories of person in particular, such as deportees and internees.

During the succession of conflicts which have marked the history of France since the beginning of the 20th century, the National Office for Veterans and Victims of War has seen the aspects of its original purpose of recognition and reparation grow. Its current motto “Memory and Solidarity” remind us that the Establishment is fully committed to preserving the material and moral rights of veterans but also to passing on their values.

Today, the ONACVG is a public body, under the auspices of the Ministry of Defence and attached to the Secretary of State for Defence and Veterans, currently Monsieur Hubert Falco. In the context of a general revision of public policy, he has been confirmed in his duties by the Government and has been given additional responsibilities with regard to veterans’ matters.

For more than 90 years on, the ONACVG has continued to provide moral and material support to its 3 million constituents and looks after maintaining this unique and privileged link which it has with veterans and their world.

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