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Carol I

Dr. Ilarie (Hilarion) Mitrea

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ilarionmitreaop0.jpg

Dr. Ilarie (Ilarion, Hilarie, Hilarion) Mitrea had a most interesting career in the second half of the 19th century, being in the service of three states on three continents. Here are some details of his remarkable life.

Ilarie Mitrea was born on 6 May 1842 in a Romanian family from the Transylvanian village of Răşinari (at that time in the Austrian Empire and known in German as St?dterdorf). He studied medicine in Cluj and Vienna and in 1864 he obtained a doctoral degree from the University of W?rzburg. After serving for a few months as a military medic of the Austrian Army in the Mediterranean garrison at Pola he became part of Maximilian's expeditionary corps to Mexico. After Maximilian's execution in 1867, Dr. Mitrea worked briefly (until the end of the year) in the service of the Mexican republic of Benito Ju?rez. Upon returning to his native village in 1868, Dr. Mitrea was harassed by the local authorities who threatened to charge him with treason (even though he entered the Mexican service only after becoming unemployed following the failure of Maximilian's expedition). The real reason was probably the general persecution of ethnic Romanian intellectuals as part of the Hungarisation policy introduced following Austria's 1867 cessation of Transylvania to Hungary. Disappointed by the unfair harassment, in 1870 Dr. Mitrea enrolled as captain in the Dutch Army with the name Hilarion Mitrea and served for 21 years as military medic in the Dutch colonies in Asia. There, Dr. Mitrea gathered an important collection of specimens from the local fauna that was donated in 1882 to the National History Museum in the Romanian capital of Bucharest. In 1891 he retired from the Dutch Army with the rank of General Medic. He briefly returned to his native Transylvanian village and then settled in Vienna where he died in 1904.

He had two children. One of them settled in Switzerland after studying there and the other one in Romania.

If you find any further details about this officer, please let me know. Thank you.

I have also posted this short biography in the Austrian section.

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GREAT

I was researching this man a short while ago;

Officer of Health second class - H. Mitrea

Commander in the Order of the Crown of Romenia

Medal for the expedition to Mexico (French)

Cross for important war actions (Dutch)

15 years service cross (Dutch)

Ranglist KL-KNIL van 1889.

"Rangs- und Eintheilungsliste s?mmtlicher Herrn Stabs- und Ober-Offiziere und Parteien des kais. mexicanischen Corps ?sterreichischer Freiwilliger".

Dr.med. Hilarius Mitrea Oberlieutenant-Arzt (1st April 1866)

http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/mex.../mxranklist.htm

Edited by Herr General

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GREAT

I was researching this man a short while ago;

I am glad Herr General that I can add maybe something to your research. I have found his biography in an article in a Romanian history magazine and a reference to his donation on the homepage of the National History Museum in Bucharest.

Officer of Health second class - H. Mitrea

...

Ranglist KL-KNIL van 1889.

What does "Officer of Health second class" mean? Is there any error in the Romanian biography? Wasn't he in the army? The list you mention is only two years before his 1891 retirement.

"Rangs- und Eintheilungsliste s?mmtlicher Herrn Stabs- und Ober-Offiziere und Parteien des kais. mexicanischen Corps ?sterreichischer Freiwilliger".

Dr.med. Hilarius Mitrea Oberlieutenant-Arzt (1st April 1866)

http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/mex.../mxranklist.htm

We have to add another spelling to his name, the Latinised Hilarius.

And it seems Dr. Mitrea might have had a fellow Romanian during the Mexican adventure: Dr.med. Johann Arseniu Hauptmann-Oberarzt 2.Classe (30th March 1866). It could be that his name was in fact Ion/Ioan Arseniu. Any details on him?

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Commander in the Order of the Crown of Romenia

Medal for the expedition to Mexico (French)

Cross for important war actions (Dutch)

15 years service cross (Dutch)

Thanks for the list. The last decoration in the photo I posted appears to have the unmistakable ribbon of the French Commemorative Medal for Mexico. The second is probably the Dutch 15 Years Service Cross and the third the Dutch Cross for Important War Actions.

Then the first one is the Order of the Crown of Romania, but it is an Officer's cross not a Commander's cross. This could mean either that the photo was taken before 1889 when the list you posted was made or that there is an error in the list and Dr. Mitrea held only the Officer's cross of the order.

Do you have any information on the uniform in the first photo? What was the rank he held at that time?

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An update to this thread, as I managed to scan the images from the magazine where I have found the story of Dr. Mitrea.

Dr. Mitrea during his studies in Vienna

mitrea1ej8.jpg

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"Rangs- und Eintheilungsliste s?mmtlicher Herrn Stabs- und Ober-Offiziere und Parteien des kais. mexicanischen Corps ?sterreichischer Freiwilliger".

Dr.med. Hilarius Mitrea Oberlieutenant-Arzt (1st April 1866)

Rank list of the officers of the Austrian Volunteer Corps

The medical section of Maximilian's expeditionary corps to Mexico. I presume Dr. Mitrea is the one standing to the right, with an X on the chest.

mitrea2pl9.jpg

I wonder who is the other (possible) Romanian, Dr. Arseniu.

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Ilarie Mitrea ... had two children. One of them settled in Switzerland after studying there and the other one in Romania.

Maria Mitrea, daughter of Ilarion Mitrea, with her husband, Nicolae Isdrăilă. After studies in Vienna, she settled in Răşinari and died in 1953 at Sibiu.

mitrea4fs4.jpg

Edited by Carol I

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Btw. 24.09 and 23.10. 2009 The Ethnographic Museum ASTRA in Sibiu organized an exhibition about Hilarie Mitrea. More to that: http://www.muzeulastra.com/2009_09_01_archive.html

Meanwhile, the online-research to the topic "Ilarie Mitrea" reveals more biography as four years ago:

- http://curentul.net/2009/07/06/calator-pe-trei-continente-ilarie-mitrea/http://curentul.net/2009/07/06/calator-pe-trei-continente-ilarie-mitrea/

- http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/mexican/mxranklist.htm

and the list goes on...

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A Dr. Hilarius Mitrea [Dr. Ilarie (Ilarion, Hilarie, Hilarion) Mitrea] was the Schffsartz/ Ship's Doctor on "Peter Godeffroy" in April-August 1865, for the voyage from Hamburg to Moreton Bay (Brisbane), Queensland. He was 23 years old at the time. He left Queensland on the same ship as a passenger, which returned to Hamburg via Valparaiso.

I believe this is the same man, and I see nothing in the postings above which preclude this from being him. I suspect that this was his first professional activity before he became a military medic.

There were 59 deaths on the Peter Godeffroy's voyage to Moreton Bay with emigrants, but while this raised some serious concerns about his competency, a parliamentary inquire exonerated him - the surgeon - "there is no ground for censure, affecting either the owners, master, or surgeon (Dr Mitrea) of the Peter Godeffroy, touching the mortality which has been made the subject of our inquiry."

I would welcome any response.


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Information from the Dutch East Indies Army Annual Lists reveals:

H. Mitrea (born 1842)

1893 Penisioned without promotion.

His promotion:

28-05-1889 Dirigerend Officier van Gezondheid 2e klasse [Directing Medical Officer, 2nd class], equaling the rank of Major

13-08-1878 Officier van Gezondheid 1e klasse [Medical Officer, 1st class], equaling the rank of Captain

31-08-1871 Officier van Gezondheid 2e klasse [Medical Officer 2nd class], equalling the rank of Lieutenant

27-03-1869 Officier van Gezondheid 3e klasse [Medical officer 3rd class], equalling the rank of ensign

His postings between 1871 and 1877:

1871 Mr.Cornelis (Java)

1872 Southern and Eastern departmenst of Borneo

1873/75 Southern and Eastern departments of Borneo, Bara-bei-ie

1876 Southern and Eastern departments of Borneo, Moera Teweh

1877 Atjeh

In 1879 he finished his medical training and qualified as a Medical Doctor.

Medals & Decorations:

in 1877 he received the Expeditions Cross (probably for his service in Atjeh, thus with the clasp Samalangan 1877)

Later, his other decorations are mentioned:

Rumanian Order of the Crown 3rd cl.

French Medal for the expedition to Mexico

Dutch Officers'Long service Cross, with the digit XV (for 15 yrs)and 1890 with de tigit XX (for 20 yrs)

Edited by Odulf

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