Colonial Service Medal

Obverse of the Colonial Service Medal
with Venezuela Clasp
Photo © Heiko Grusdat

Reverse of the Colonial Service Medal
Photo © Captain George Albert

Miniature Bar with the Colonial Medal
 fourth from left
Photo © JW Collection

Colonial Medal Ribbon with Three Clasps
Photo by C Dale from the Imperial War Museum Collection

Clasp for the Maji-Maji Rebellion
in East Africa 1905/07
Photo © Peter Klein

The Colonial Service Medal ("Kolonialdenkmünze") was instituted by Kaiser Wilhelm II in June 1912 and was retrospectively awarded to all German combatants (from the army, navy, Schutztruppe and Polizeitruppe) who had served in colonial and overseas campaigns (excepting the Boxer and Herero campaigns which already had their own awards). There was no non-combatants version of the Colonial Service Medal.

The ribbon was white with a vertical black stripe on either side and four thinner vertical red stripes in the centre. This ribbon is shown folded out  double as was often worn on parade. The medal itself (not shown here) was a brass disc with a profile view of the Kaiser on the obverse and the motto "DEN TAPFEREN SIEGREICHEN FÜR DEUTSCHLANDS ERHE" (roughly translated as "The brave victors for Germany's honour") surrounded by laurel leaves and topped with the imperial crown.  Brass clasps were authorised for additional purchase with the medal for specific campaigns such as "SAMOA 1888" (for the Second Samoan Civil War and the Battle of Vailele). and "OST-AFRIKA 1905/07" (for the Maji-Maji Rebellion).

The photograph on the left shows a Colonial Service Medal with the clasp for "VENEZUELA 1902/03". This was a clasp awarded to crews of the German naval ships (including SMS Panther, SMS Vineta, SMS Falke, SMS Sperber, SMS Stosch, SMS Charlotte and SMS Gazelle) that took part in the blockade, bombardment and occupation of Venezuelan ports and shipping between December 1902 and February 1903.
Recommended External Link - BNET- The Venezuelan Crises of 1902

The photograph on the top right shows a Colonial Service Medal ribbon with three clasps- "KAMERUN 1884" (for the Yos Rebellion), "KAMERUN 1891" (for the Abo Rebellion) and "PONAPE 1910/11" (for the Sokehs Rebellion in German New Guinea). This combination of clasps make it most likely that the original owner was in the imperial navy.
Recommended External Links - T
raditionsverband Colonial Service Medal and its Campaign Bars and MedalNet Colonial Medal


Oberstleutnant Kurt Freiherr von Schleinitz
of the East African Schutztruppe c1912
Von Schleinitz was the commander of the East African Schutztruppe from 1907 until April 1914. He wears a Schutztruppe 1897 grey home uniform with an impressive medal bar starting with the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle fourth class with swords and crown, the Prussian Crown Order third class, the Prussian Officers Long Service Award, the Colonial Service Medal with a clasp for the Maji-Maji Rebellion reading "Deutsch OstAfrika 1905/07", the Prussian Wilhelm I Centenary Medal, the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Military Merit Cross, second class (Schleinitz had previously served in the 89th Mecklenburg Grenadier Regiment), the Baden Zähringer Lion first class knights cross with swords and the Romanian Star Order knights cross.

Photo from WikiCommons

Naval Senior NCO, c1914
He wears the dark blue
naval dress jacket ("Affenjacke") with the sleeve anchor and double cuff lace of a senior NCO ("Deckoffizier"). His headdress is the Deckoffizier's dark blue peaked cap. On his breast he wears the Prussian Long Service Award in first class and the Colonial Service Medal with an unidentified clasp.
Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath

Prussian Army Feldwebel-Leutnant
He wears the German army field grey 1915 tunic with a Prussian Pickelhaube with the FWR monogram on the eagle's breast. Note the Feldwebel's collar lace and lace and the Leutnant's shoulder straps. His medal bar shows the Prussian Iron Cross second class, the Prussian Other Ranks Long Service Award first class, Colonial Service Medal with an unidentified clasp, the Prussian Landwehr Long Service Award and the South West Africa Campaign Medal with two unidentified clasps. This is a curious order of seniority to wear the medals in. Usually the two long service awards would be ahead of the campaign awards in this period.
Photo © Karsten Herzogenrath


Examples of Medal Bars with the Colonial Service Medal
See more on the Medal Bars Page

Bar of a Veteran of a Colonial Campaign
without a clasp on his medal

Photo © Captain George Albert
Bar of a Veteran of the Maji-Maji Rebellion
with the East Africa 1905-07 Clasp

© Peter Klein
Bar of a Veteran of a Togo Campaign
with the Togo 1894-95 clasp

Photo © Captain George Albert

Bar of a Naval Veteran
with the Venezuela Clasp

Photo © Captain George Albert

Bar of a Naval Veteran
with the Samoa Clasp

Photo © Captain George Albert

Bar of a Cameroon Schutztruppe Veteran
with two Cameroon Clasps

Photo © Heiko Grusdat



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