Bar and Miniature with the Combatants China Medal
Photo JW Collection

The medals on this bar in order of seniority from left to right are-
Prussian 1914 Iron Cross, second class
Hamburg Hanseatic Cross
axon Knights Cross of the Albert Order, second class with swords
Austro-Hungarian Military Merit Cross, third class
1914-18 Honour Cross for combatants
1900-01 China Campaign Medal for combatants
Prussian Wilhelm I Centenary Medal

The original owner of this medal bar was an officer combat veteran of the Boxer Rebellion and the First World War. Note that he wears his Austro-Hungarian Military Merit Cross, probably earned in the First World War, ahead of some German awards whereas imperial era regulations stated that foreign medals should be worn after all German medals. This shows that the bar was made after 1938 when Austria was annexed into the German Reich. From then, Austrian medals were no longer classed as foreign and took an equal place to other German medals in the order of seniority. Most of these medals could be awarded to both officers and other ranks, the Austro-Hungarian Military Merit Cross was however for officers only. This, along with a lack of other ranks long service awards for someone who had clearly been in service over nine years, shows the original owner was an officer.


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