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Christerd / What a fascinating thread! From beginning to end, the story gets more interesting, and the information that was given to Mira made it all the more exciting. 

   This is one example of why GMIC is the finest site on the whole damn internet!


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On 12/8/2017 at 16:29, HeikoGrusdat said:

AnhA3bX - thats a bit more interesting , Anhalt Orden Albrecht des Bären Ritterkreuz 2.Klasse mit Schwertern , I think he got this because he was a Anhalt native and the swords indicate that it was given as a combat award for some action in China , but I have to check this...

The Albert the Bear was awarded in 1902, so, yes, it was for China.

He was born in Roßlau, on the north side of the Elbe facing Dessau (and now part of the combined city of Dessau-Roßlau).  

He received the Friedrichkreuz on his birthday, 18.03.1917, as a Fregattenkapitän and Dezernent in the Reichsmarineamt.  He is one of 11 people with the surname Irmer who received the Friedrichkreuz (4 officers and 7 enlisted men).  Several of them were also from Roßlau.

One, Hauptmann der Reserve der Marineinfanterie and Schifffahrtsdirektor Erich Irmer (born 29 April 1878 in Roßlau, died 2 December 1936 in Hamburg), might have been his brother. His full name was Louis Hermann Erich Irmer.  


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Yes, about the Zigarrenfabrik Gebrüder Bornemann I heard! My dad still has a box of those cigars at home I think.... Didnt know the adress though! Where did you get the information from, this time? :D

@Dave Danner

The Albert the Bear was awarded for his time in China you said? And it is an award for combat? Does it mean he was probably involved in confrontations during the boxer-uprising?

That he was born in Roßlau, I had no idea! And you even found out about his possible brother! Thats amazing! What is your source there?!

And yes, all this is so exciting! @Mike McLellan is right!

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I am currently preparing the rolls of the Anhalt Friedrichkreuz for publication. I spent a lot of time in the archives in Dessau, where I reviewed the surviving Vorschläge for the awards, which included such information as birthdates and birthplaces, civilian occupations and the like. I can't say for certain if Erich was your great-uncle, but they were born in the same city and both served in the navy as officers, so there is a good chance. Roßlau's population grew from 3.772 in the 1871 census to 5.384 in the 1880 census.

Then-Oberleutnant z.S. Irmer served aboard the SMS Hela during the Boxer Rebellion. The Wikipedia article on the Hela states that it arrived after the main fighting, so he probably saw no direct action. Depending on the German state, awards with swords were often made to distinguish wartime from peacetime awards, not necessarily combat awards from non-combat awards. 

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Mira that info from his Bremen address is from the adressbook of the Marine Offiziers Verein in which he was a member. 

That was my thinking too... He got the bear with swords for complete being in China... I think there were not too many men from Anhalt - if it was for a special combat action I would expect a KO4X too...not only the award from his home state

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Thank you Heiko and Dave , its amazing what a single photo can lead to :beer:

I have find out what Finnish awards he got , but thinking of his rank he probably got a Liberty Cross 2nd class or even a first class

I will look further and see if I can find anything 



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@Dave Danner thank you for the detailled information! Yes, considering that Roßlau was a rather small town and they where both navy officers, it seems quite likely he is the brother! Maybe I should have a look, somehow, if there are more relatives still today in the area?! And by the way good luck with your research, sounds interesting! Are you a studied historian or are you doing this in your free time?

@HeikoGrusdat  you think I could get more information by contacting the Marine Offiziers Verein? Thanks for your post!

@christerd Its amazing indeed! :D Is that photo you posted a Liberty cross award then? What does it stand for? And is it only coinsidence or does it really show a Hakenkreuz / Swastica? 

And regarding to his time in china - Its the only part of his work our family knows about. Not especially, that it had to do with the boxer uprising... But we still have a few chinese objects at home, little ivory figures, a dagger and a sword! :beer:

Thanks again for all your effort! You are awesome! 

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Hi again Mira , 

Yes the Cross I showed is the 1st Class Liberty Cross from Finland , the second class was very similar but was placed on the breast instead of around the neck.  1st Class was awarded 44 times 1918 but I only have the names of 23 and no Irmer there so far.

2nd class was awarded 271 times and 102 of them to Germans , and 59 to German Navy , I would say that your relative is most probably 

one of them.I have only 38 names of German officers but no Irmer yet.

The Swastika in the Liberty Crossis a very old symbol and since the Order was made in 1918 it was long before the Nazi sign.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello everyone!

I hope you had a great holiday and wish you all the best for 2018! 

I took the chance and had a look for the objects we still have at home from my great-gandfather! I dont think they are all from China, and they are mostly in not a good shape....

Here are the pictures:









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Fantastic things Mira , sorry to say I´m not good at Chinese antiques :)  But they looks great !

The black sword looks Japanese ? Could be a real old one 

He must have picked up souvenirs on the way to and from China , and amazing that you still have them in the family.

i haven´t found any more info in my books about your grandfather but they are often written more about after the Germans have landed in Finland and almost everything is about the ground troops. But I keep on looking.

Wish everybody and good 2018


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  • 6 months later...


Is there a picture or any information on OLt.d.R. Richard Michelmann from 10. Komp., Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 255? He was either from the reserve of Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 135 or that of the 2. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß. Even a picture would help, if the uniform experts could tell if it was a guards or regular infantry uniform.

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On 09/07/2018 at 21:01, Dave Danner said:


Is there a picture or any information on OLt.d.R. Richard Michelmann from 10. Komp., Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 255? He was either from the reserve of Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 135 or that of the 2. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß. Even a picture would help, if the uniform experts could tell if it was a guards or regular infantry uniform.

Hi Dave , 

I keep looking but nothing so far , but if I find him I post the pic here 

Have a nice summer 


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