Bar with the Colonial Service Medal

Photo © Captain George Albert

The medals on this bar in order of seniority from left to right are-

Prussian General Honour Decoration, second class
Colonial Service Medal, with clasp for “TOGO 1894/95”
Prussian Wilhelm I Centenary Medal
Portuguese Military Merit Order of St. Bento d´Avis, Knights Cross

Judging from the lack of combat awards and the foreign medal it might well be that the original owner of this bar was an official or administrative officer. The German colonies of South West Africa and East Africa both shared common borders with Portuguese colonies and until the First World War relations between them were cooperative. It is possible that the original owner earned his Portuguese award in one of these colonies.

The Colonial Medal with “TOGO 1894/95” clasp was earned during the German campaign to pacify tribes in the interior of the colony. This particular clasp was probably made in the 1920s. 

Recipients of the Colonial Medal had to buy their own clasps. The majority of the original clasps were made following strict rules on size and appearance. In the years following the First World War jewellers made clasps for recipients that had either lost or not purchased their original clasp. Some of these later clasps (as seen here) were more ornate and larger than the earlier versions.


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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