Bar with Colonial Service Medal and Samoa 1888 Clasp

Photo Captain George Albert

The medals on this bar in order of seniority from left to right are-
Colonial Service Medal, with clasp for "SAMOA 1888"
Prussian Merit Cross for War Aid

The original owner of this medal bar was a naval veteran of the German actions in the Second Samoan Civil War, a clash between rival Samoan clans with Germany supporting one and the United States of America supporting the other. War between the German and American navies was narrowly averted when a cyclone destroyed both fleets in March 1889.

The Samoa 1888 clasp was only awarded to naval crews of the three German ships that served during the Samoan Crisis, the SMS Olga, SMS Eber and SMS Adler. The SMS Olga had come straight from East Africa where the crew had earned the Deutsch Ost Afrika 1888/89 clasp. As there is no East African clasp on this ribbon the Olga can be ruled out. Of the crew of the SMS Eber only 4 survived the storm of March 1889, and of those only two were still alive to claim the clasp in 1912 when the Colonial Service Medal was instituted. So this medal is most likely to have been awarded to one of the SMS Adler's crew.

The Merit Cross shows he served in a non-combatant role in the First World War.

Close up of the Clasp


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