Bar with the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Africa Medal and a Belgian Award

Photo Seeheld

The medals on this bar in order of seniority from left to right are-
Mecklenburg-Schwerin Griffin Order with crown
Mecklenburg-Schwerin Africa Medal
Belgian Order of the Crown
, Knights Cross

The original owner of this medal bar was Dr. Werner von Raven, Government Doctor ("Regierungsarzt") in Togo. All three medals were awarded for service on Duke Adolf-Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin's expedition across Africa in 1908. The Belgian medal was awarded by the Congo Free State on 7th October 1908 (one month before the so-called "Free State" ceased to exist and the Belgian Government took over control of the colony, reforming its administration). The Mecklenburg-Schwerin medals were both awarded in 1909, though take precedence over the Belgian medal as all German awards did over foreign ones. This style of folding medal ribbons is curious as it is not usually seen on German bars and was more commonly worn by the Russian or Danish armies.

Werner Alborus von Raven was born in Berlin on 14th January 1873, the son of a Prussian army officer, Premier-Lieutenant Otto von Raben. He studied medicine at the Kaiser Wilhelm Academy between 1896-98, after further studies he qualified in 1902. As recorded above he served in Africa before the First World War as a government doctor in Togo and on Duke Adolf Friedrich's Expedition of 1908. After the First World War he worked in the German Ministry of Agriculture.

Thanks to Seeheld, Rick Research, Glen Jewison and Stijn David at the Gentlemen's Military Interest Club for identifying this very interesting bar.


Please contact me here if you have more information on this topic or if you have a medal bar you would like to share. 

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