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The Traveling Museum has taken advanatge of a lull in "global warming" to pass through again and I share these with you courtesy of the National Association of Collecting Pilgrims Without Epsons. :cheers:

Johann Gottlieb August Hille was a career noncomissioned officer in Field Artillery Regiment 5. A veteran of the wars of 1866 (Königgrätz) and 1870/71, he was a recipient of the 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class--

Amazingly, Herr Hille (below the 1910 Prussian Court and State Handbook entry for his Protestant churches administrative position) was-- see threads on Rechnungsrat Zingler and Geheimer Rechnungsrat David

ALSO a recipient of the Red Eagle Order 4th Class (31.08.1896) and ... :Cat-Scratch: Crown Order 3rd Class (15.09.10) despite "Captain" level civil service position. So much for social and professional glass ceiling stereotypes of Wilhelmine Germany!

But church railings, now church railings were another story...

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First though, time and place to correct a 102 year old MISTAKE. This is why the work of the Research Cyborgs Collective™©® is never ever done nor ever ever something to take for granted--

after all, when uncorrected errors were made during the people's lifetimes... it REALLY screws us up all these years later.

The 1908/09 edition of the German Orders Almamac MISTAKENLY listed Herr Hille as a holder of the "SA3bX." He was NOT. Anyone trying to match that LISTED group up would be led astray. Good thing we are around, eh? :catjava:

Back to church railings. Prussia, like most of the imperial German states, required return of most Orders and many decorations after the recipient died. Prussia took things to even greater lengths by freakishly requiring some (not all) of their 19th century war campaign medals and crosses be pinned up on display at the recipient's local church or synagogue after the wearer's death. Those of you also past 50 Out There may even remember when (usually) black velvet "banners" with dozens of such medals and crosses pinned on sometimes came up for sale.

Why are so few 1870 Iron Crosses still around?

One reason is... as late as 1913 the next of kin had to APPLY for exemption in order to keep Papa's Iron Cross.

This letter, from Hille's boss Curt Balan (born Breslau 04.10.1855, RAO3mSchl, KO2)

is an extremely rare piece of documentary evidence of how some of the awards we CAN still collect ARE still Out There.

Präsident Balan graciously grants his permission to the late Herr Hille's son Georg to keep and preserve his late father's Iron Cross as a memento.

I can't recall ever seeing a bestowal document and a permission to retain letter preserved together and thank the group's owner for permission to share these. :cheers:

Edited by Rick Research
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:Cat-Scratch: Cannot ever get better than all of THAT!!!!!!!!


Those documents would make another excellent BDOS article!!!! :cheers:

I would love to see the Returned Awards "list" from the Prussian General Orders Commission, if that ever existed--

Lippe-Detmold, for example, listed returns (with dates) on their awards rolls and... THOSE statistics are truly (truly) horrifying:

"numbers awarded" - "numbers returned"- "ravages of time" = :speechless1: for many awards whose "numbers" we take for granted!

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