German Bar with Dutch Colonial Medals

Photo Neerlandia

Note that the medals appear at a 45 degree angle and in reverse order of seniority. This type of bar (known as a "Frackspange"), was for wear on a tuxedo or evening dress and would follow the angle of the lapel thus showing the most senior decoration at the top. From upper right to lower left they are-

Prussian 1914 Iron Cross, second class
1914-18 Honour Cross for combatants
Prussian Red Cross Medal, third class
Prussian Other Ranks Long Service Award, second class for 15 years service
Dutch Military Order of Willem, fourth class
Dutch Expedition Cross, with clasp for "Atjeh 1901-05"

The original owner of this bar had a curious military career. His awards show that he not only served in the German armed forces during the First World War but also that he fought in the Dutch colonial army in Indonesia prior to that. He has the Expedition Cross ("Expeditiekruis" or more correctly the "Ereteken voor Belangrijke Krijgsbedrijven" with the bar for Atjeh 1901-1905) showing that he served in the Aceh War in Sumatra. The Military Order of Willem ("Militaire Willemsorde 4de klasse") is an award for bravery.

The Royal Dutch Indies Army ("Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger" or KNIL) recruited many foreigners, mainly Germans, Belgians and French to fight in Indonesia. In 1910 there were 947 German other ranks in the KNIL.

This man's First World War service in the German army was probably in Europe. His Iron Cross and Honour Cross are those of a combatant, his Red Cross medal shows he also served as a medic perhaps later in the war. The Red Cross Medal was awarded in dull grey metal from 1917 onwards (as opposed to the bright brass used for the third class prior to that date).

Recommended Links
Onderscheidingen - Dutch Medals
De Militaire Willems Orde - The Military Order of Willem
Ereteken voor Belangrijke Krijgsbedrijven - The Expedition Cross on Dutch Wikipedia
Atjeh-Oorlog - The Aceh War on Dutch Wikipedia
Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger - The KNIL on Dutch Wikipedia
Het Depot - The KNIL 1945-50
Neerlandia - Militaria of the Dutch Army
This bar was originally seen on the Pickelhaubes Forum



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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