The insignia of the Order consisted of a golden medal with the portrait of William I, surrounded by a golden wreath and suspended from a heavy golden collar. This collar with a weight of 222 grams bore the words WIRKE IM ANDENKEN AN KAISER WILHELM DEN GROSSEN and was designed by the jewellers Emil Weigand en Otto Schultz, one of the first to be decorated was Otto von Bismarck. Also among the recipients were, Heinrich von Stephan, General Post Director -1896, count Arthur von Posadowsky-Wehner, politician -27 January 1900 - on the occasion of the Emperor´s birthday. Princess Marie Elisabeth of Saxe-Meiningen and composer -28 August 1913 - the last recipient of the Order, media related to Wilhelm-Orden at Wikimedia Commons Picture on
Ladies Merit Cross
The award was ranked just behind the Order of Louise. To be awarded the first class, a member must have held the class for ten years. In exceptional cases, this requirement could be waived, the insignia were returnable upon death. The badge is made of gold in the first class and of silver for the second class medallion, in the center is a cross fleury with stylized cornflowers between the arms of the cross. The medallion is framed by a string of pearls and is surmounted by a crown, on the edge of the medallion is the blue enameled inscription FÜR VERDIENSTE. On the lower half of the edge are laurel branches flanking the intertwined letters AV, the insignia of the order was worn on a white bow on the left chest. Jörg Nimmergut, Deutsche Orden und Ehrenzeichen bis 1945, zentralstelle für wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, München 1997, ISBN 3-00-001396-2
House Order of Hohenzollern
The House Order of Hohenzollern was a dynastic order of knighthood of the House of Hohenzollern awarded to military commissioned officers and civilians of comparable status. Associated with the versions of the order were crosses and medals which could be awarded to lower-ranking soldiers. The House Order of Hohenzollern was instituted on December 5,1841 by joint decree of Prince Konstantin of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and these two principalities in southern Germany were Catholic collateral lines of the House of Hohenzollern, cousins to the Protestant ruling house of Prussia. On August 23,1851, after the two principalities had been annexed by Prussia, the order was adopted by the Prussian branch of the house. Also, although the two principalities had become a region of the Prussian kingdom, the princely lines continued to award the order as a house order. The Prussian version was known as the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern. The Princely House Order continued to be awarded, after the fall of the German Monarchy, Prince Karl Antons second son, Karl Eitel Friedrich of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, had become prince and king of Romania as Carol I.
Carol I had died childless and was succeeded by his nephew Ferdinand I and this form of the order existed until the Romanian monarchy was abolished in 1947, King Michael awarded a slightly altered order in exile. The Royal House Order of Hohenzollern came in the classes, Grand Commander Commander Knight Member Member was a lesser class for soldiers who were not officers. The Members Cross, especially swords, was a rare distinction for non-commissioned officers. Another decoration, the Members Eagle was often given as an award to lesser officials such as schoolteachers. The Eagles were solely civilian awards, and could not be awarded with swords, all other grades could be awarded with swords. When awarded with swords it was worn on the ribbon of the Iron Cross, all grades could be awarded with swords. During World War I, the grade of the Princely House Order was often awarded to officers. 40, a regiment raised in the principalities of Hohenzollern. Soldier in the regiments sister reserve and Landwehr regiments received the decoration.
Unlike the Royal House Order, awards of the Princely House Order were made on the ribbon of the order regardless of whether they were with or without swords. As with the Prussian and Hohenzollern versions, crossed swords could be used to indicate a wartime or combat award, the badge of the House Order of Hohenzollern was a cross pattée with convex edges and curved arms
Order of the Red Eagle
The Order of the Red Eagle was an order of chivalry of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was awarded to military personnel and civilians, to recognize valor in combat, excellence in military leadership and faithful service to the kingdom. As with most German orders, the Order of the Red Eagle could only be awarded to commissioned officers or civilians of equivalent status. However, there was a medal of the order, which could be awarded to non-commissioned officers and enlisted men, lower ranking civil servants and other civilians. The predecessor to Order of the Red Eagle was founded on November 17,1705 and this soon fell into disuse but was revived in 1712 in Brandenburg-Bayreuth and again in 1734 in Brandenburg-Ansbach, where it first received the name Order of the Brandenburg Red Eagle. The statutes were changed in 1777 and the Order named therein as the Order of the Red Eagle, the Order was conferred in one class, limited to fifty knights. The Kingdom of Prussia absorbed both Brandenburg-Bayreuth and Brandenburg-Ansbach in January,1792, and on June 12,1792, King Frederick William II again revived the order as a Prussian royal order.
After the Order of the Black Eagle, the Red Eagle was the second highest order of the kingdom in order of precedence, in 1810, King Frederick William III revised the statutes of the Order, expanding it into three classes. In 1830, a breast star was authorized for the Second Class, the statutes were further revised in 1861, and a Grand Cross was established as the highest class of the Order. By 1918, an affiliated soldiers medal had been available to commoners. The monarchy collapsed on November 9,1918, a new German constitution was signed into law, August 11,1919, effectually putting a legal end to the monarchy. Among these were, All classes but the Medal of the Red Eagle Order could be awarded with swords for distinction in wartime, the swords passed through the arms of the cross behind the center medallion. All classes above the 4th Class could be awarded with Swords on Ring, indicating that the recipient of that class without swords had earlier received a class of the order with swords. A pair of crossed swords were worn above the cross on the ring or above the medallion on the upper arm of the breast star.
All classes could be awarded with or without crown as an added distinction, the Grand Cross, 1st and 2nd Class could be awarded with oak leaves, indicating prior receipt of the next lower class of the order, and/or with diamonds, as a special distinction. Royal family members were awarded the Grand Cross with crown, the Maltese cross badge was suspended from a miniature of the Prussian crown, which covered the usual suspension ring. The Grand Cross was awarded at least once with crossed marshals batons, the crossed batons were worn above the Maltese cross badge of the Grand Cross, on its suspension ring. The 3rd Class could be awarded with bow, indicating prior receipt of the 4th Class, prussians who were Knights of the Order of St. John of Malta
Order of Merit of the Prussian Crown
The order was presented in one class and consisted of a badge and a breast star. For military merit the award was presented with crossed swords, the order was presented once with diamonds. In each of the compartments between the four arms of the cross is a crown surmounting the royal monogram. The central disc on the obverse of the shows a golden crown with red enamel, surrounded by a blue-enamelled circular band bearing the gold-lettered motto. The disc on the bears the intertwined initials IR W II. The star of the order is a golden eight-pointed star with straight rays, the sash of the order is blue, edged with orange stripes. The medal was awarded only 57 times, general von Gossler was the only person who received the awards in both departments. Zentralstelle für wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, München 1997, ISBN 3-00-001396-2, kurt-Gerhard Klietmann, Der Verdienstorden der Preußischen Krone, Mitteilung aus dem Institut für Wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde, Der Herold - Band 12,32
Order of the Swan
Order of the Swan was a religious association of princes and nobles formed in 1440 by Elector Frederick II of Brandenburg. The order originally comprised, with the Elector Frederick at their head, thirty men and seven women united to honor Mary and its headquarters was a monastery on a hill near Brandenburg. The order spread rapidly, numbering in 1464 about 330 members, as well as established in the Margraviate of Anspach. Along with encouraging more enthusiastic homage to Mary, the sought to foster perseverance in works of mercy. It was extinguished during the Protestant Reformation, since that movement discouraged devotions to Mary, in 1843 the order was revived, perhaps as no more than an idea, by Frederick William IV of Prussia. In this incarnation, it was an association, open to men and women of all creeds, thurston, H. T. Colby, F. M. eds. Rines, George Edwin, ed. Swan, Order of the and this work in turn cites, Urkunde und Nachweise zur Geschichte des Schwanenordens
Red Cross Medal (Prussia)
The Red Cross Medal was a German medal set up on 1 October 1898 by Wilhelm II. It had three classes and could be awarded to all those who carried out service to the sick in peace or wartime. The Red Cross Medal was awarded in three classes, the Second and Third classes being worn as circular medals suspended from a red ribbon with white, the First Class was a red enameled Geneva Cross with gilded Prussian Royal Crowns at the ends of the arms. This award was worn as a steckreuz on the breast like the Iron Cross, recipients could be promoted to the next class of the medal with five years time in service, with the first level anyone could be initially appointed to being the Second Class. The Red Cross Medal, First Class was a Steckkreuz in the form of the red enameled Geneva cross in gilded silver, at the ends of the cross arms are gilded Prussian Royal Crowns. The red enamel bears a hatch pattern, the back is plain gilded silver except for the single vertical attachment pin on the back. The cross is 46.6 to 48.8 mm high, the Red Cross Medal, Second Class is a round, silver medal,33 mm in diameter.
On the obverse is a Geneva cross with Prussian royal crowns at the ends the arms of the cross, the Geneva cross is enabled in red. Between the arms of the cross are the initials W and R at the top, on the reverse is the inscription in four lines FUER / VERDIENSTE / UM DAS / ROTHE KREUZ. To the left of the inscription is an oak branch. The Red Cross Medal, Third Class is a bronze medal,33 mm in diameter. The design is identical to the silver medal except it lacks the red enameling of the cross on the obverse, in 1900, clasps for the medals were created to recognize service in war. Three were awarded, Südafrika 1899-1900 Ostasien 1900/01 Südwestafrika 1904/06
Cross of Merit for Women and Girls
The Cross of Merit for Women and Girls was created on 22 March 1871 by Kaiser Wilhelm I, German Emperor, in his capacity as King of Prussia. The award was presented only to women, but was not a Ladies Order in the most narrow sense and girls were awarded at the request of Empress Augusta, and the award was bestowed by the Kaiser. The appearance and shape is similar to the Iron Cross. On the reverse there is the crown above the intertwined monograms A and W. The cross was worn suspended by a bow on the left chest. The ribbon is the same as that of the Iron Cross for non-combattants, maximilian Gritzner, Handbuch der Ritter- und Verdienstorden aller Kulturstaaten der Welt
General Honor Decoration (Prussia)
The General Honor Decoration was a decoration of Prussia. The decoration can trace its origin back to awards established in 1793 by King Frederick William III of Prussia, the various levels of the decoration recognized peacetime merit to Prussia. These awards were often to commemorate long and particularly meritorious service or for contributions from people who would not be considered for appointment to an order due to their rank. In general, recipients were lower and mid-level officials and officers, the General Honor Decoration originally consisted of a First Class medal in gold, and a Second Class medal in silver. After 1814, the medal was discontinued being replaced by a silver cross for the First Class. In January 1830, the cross was made into the Fourth Class of the Order of the Red Eagle, in 1890, a gold medal was reestablished as a higher level class
Jerusalem Cross (Prussia)
The Jerusalem Cross or Jerusalem Memorial Cross was a decoration of Prussia established 31 October 1898. The cross was awarded to those who traveled with Emperor Wilhelm II on his 1898 visit to Palestine and attended the inauguration of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, the Jerusalem Cross is made in the shape of the Jerusalem cross. The cross consists of a large cross portent with four plain crosslets between the arms, the crosses are red enameled with silver-gilt borders. In the center of the cross is a gold colored medallion. The obverse side, the medallion depicts the Imperial Crown of the Prussian German Emperor surmounting the letters IR over the royal cypher of a stylized W II, the reverse of the medallion bears the date 31 October 1898. This date is depicted using a large Roman numeral X in the center for October, to the left is MDCCC and to the right side IIC for the year 1898