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Order of African Star awarded to Nordic citizens?


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The last years I have been focusing on Belgian decorations awarded for service in the Congo free state and Belgian Congo. Several hundred Nordic officers, sailors, doctors and lawyers also served in the colony.

I’m wondering if any of them were awarded The Order of The African Star. So far I have not found any documentation supporting such awards. I know the Norwegian officer Kristian Rikardsen Løken (nicknamed Congo Loken) was awarded the silver medal for service in Belgian Congo during World War I, but I’m not aware of any awards of the order itself to Nordic citizens.


Do you guys know about any such awards?



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Hi , 


I been looking for any info of Swedish officers awarded the Order of the African Star but I can´t find anything...


The Order of the Lion has been awarded to some Swedish officers but thats the only connection I found so far 


Maj Carl Alfred Murray Knight LO  and Col Pehr Hasselrot Officer LO are two examples .



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  • 4 weeks later...


Thank you for your reply and your interesting information about Swedish recipients of the Order of the Lion. Do you have any more information about colonel Pehr Hasselrot, who was made officer of the Order of the lion? Perhaps a clipart of a “befalskalender” or something?

I am not aware of any Norwegians made officer of the Order of the lion. Several were made knight, and some NCOs got the gold medal of the order, but so far I have not found any higher.

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Hi again Kvart , 

I was a little interested after my last post so I started to look closer on the two Swedish officers and found .....:blush:

No one of them got the Lion Order at all .... The first info I got was totally wrong , they both got the Leopold Order , not the Lion Order.

But now I got really interested so I will look more and come back here when I find someone who really got the Lion Order ....;)

Best regards Christer



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Found some more !

Kongo awards was´t very common to Swedish officers what I can see .  I now found two officers with awards from Kongo

Maj Arvid Wester born 1856 he got the l´Etoile de Service medal 

and Capt Peter Glimstedt born 1871 he got the I´Etoile de Service and Kongo Lion Order Gold Medal , I will check if I find anything else 





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Interesting. If they got the Leopold order, they might never even have been in Congo.


Ah yes, the l´Etoile de Service, aka “Congo Star”. Awarded for one tour, about three years of service, in Congo. From what I understand, the first clasp was awarded together with the star, after the first tour.


I looked in a book about Norwegian reserve officers in 1917. A handful of them were listed with former service in Congo. Almost all of those who served in Belgian Congo (after 1908), were also knights of The Order of The Lion. For the guys with service in the Congo Free State (before 1908), it was more common to just have the Congo Star. Apart from this guy. The star is from my collection, but has not belonged to the guy pictured.

Kongostjerne til Schiøtz.jpg

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After some research I found out more about Swedish Ofiicers in Congo.

1883-1902 there was 44  Swedish officers who went to Congo and not less then 22 died there.or short after coming home. It seems that a total of 58 Swdish military pesonal was in Congo so the number of awards must be few. 

I found 26 names so far 

, Lt Emil Sbastian von Krusenstierna , Lt Esten Sundvallson, Capt Matts Julius Juhlin-Dannfeldt (Died 1897), Lt Peter Möller ,

Lt Axel Svinhufvud  ( Knight of the Order of the Lion) , Lt Per Tore Frisell (Died 1894) , Lt Arwid Wester.Lt E Arhenius , Lt Emil August Liljewall (Died 1884) ,

Lt Peter Per Hintze (Died 1885), Rudolf Augustin Cederström (Died 1891) , Lt Knut Svensson (Knight of the Order of the Lion ,Died ) . Lt Bengtsson (Died 1894) , Capt Cronstedt ,

Capt Schagerström, Lt Wilhelm Ahnström (Died 1900) , Hjalmar Elfström , subLt Arwid Wester , Peter Glimstedt (Knight of the Order of the Lion)

Birger Fahlander (Died 1898) , subLt Gustaf Larsén (Died 1907) , Lt Nils Liedholm ( Died 1907) , subLt Gustaf Nyblom , subLt E Sandström , 

subLt Otto Sjölander , Eskil Sundhagen , 








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Three More !

Now 29 names out of 58 .. Capt Johan Adolf LIlliesköld ( Knigh of the Order of the Lion ) and Lt Knut Gustaf Stålhandske (1898-1900)

Knut Gustaf Stålhandske was also in German service 1914-1918 ( Maj ) . Capt Sten Edward Gleerup (1883-1886)

Coming closer to have all the names ;)   I also found out that about 200 officers where from Norway...

Major_Gleerup.thumb.jpg.e080431d690e9dd0 Sten Edward Gleerup 



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  • 4 months later...


in my documentation regarding the orders and medals : Order of the African Star before 1910, I have found the following person 

- Wall, J.L.  : knight  O.A.S, 03/02/1899 inspecteur mécanicien : knight - O.A.L, 30/10/1894 inspecteur mécanicien de première classe

for the Order of the African Lion I have found:


- Arrhenius C.A. - silver medal

- Astrand J. - gold medal

- Berg A. - silver medal

- Brannstrom - silver medal

- Dannfelt J.J.M. - knight

- de Schwerin baron J.H. - knight

- Ek F.E. - silver medal + gold medal

- Ericson E.A.F.- gold medal

- Erikson I. - silver medal

- Eriksson E. - silver medal

- Eriksson K. - gold medal + knight

- Forsman A. - gold medal

- Glimstedt P.G. - gold medal

- Goransson A. - silver medal

- Hagstrom B.L.S - knight

- Holmqvist I.A. - silver medal + gold medal

- Holmqvist Y. - knight

- Hoppenrath a.W. - gold medal

- Nilsson G. - gold medal

- Norin K.A. - gold medal

- Nyman J. - silver medal

- Pihl E.G. - gold medal + knight

- Saudelin K.V.H. - knight

- Svensson K. - gold medal + knight

- Tholander O.H. - gold medal

- Von Schwerin baron H.H. - officer

- Wall J.L. - knight



- Christiansen H. -silver medal

- Crone O. - knight

- Gamst-Pedersen H. - knight

- Haubrue J.F.C. - knight

- Holm C.G. - knight

- Jessen G. - gold medal + knight

- Jorgensen C.A. - gold medal + knight

- Knauer C. - gold medal

- Lindholm-Kurtzhals H. - gold medal

- Müller H. - knight

- Nielsen-Thor J.F. - knight

- Olsen F.V. - knight

- Olsen O.L. - silver medal

- Petersen H.R. - silver medal

- Scheuermann W.E. - gold medal

- Schönberg C. - gold medal

- Schou A.S.W. - gold medal

- Tandrup S. - silver medal

- Wright V. - gold medal + knight



- de Besche-Jürgens L.J. - knight

- Heiberg I.V. - knight

- Johansen F. - gold medal

- Lund O.A. - knight

- Myhre O.J.P - gold medal + knight

- Otto C.F. - gold medal

- Sannaes T.H. - knight

- Schiötz G.O. - knight


This is what I have found regarding those 2 orders. I have too check some other names because the nationality was not mentioned in this publication.

Hope this list will be completed by other members.


I am looking for any information and pictures of foreign wearers off Belgian Congo medals and orders.




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Dear Werner

 Wow, this is superb information! Thank you ever so much for posting this. May I ask, what is the source of your information?

Also, do you know the nationality of J. L. Wall, who was made knight of the Order of the African Star in 1899?

 Is it possible to make similar list of Nordic recipients of the three other orders prior to 1910, and for all the five orders after 1910? That would have been a stunning and outstanding database!


I can provide picture and information of several of the Norwegian recipients, in the same manner as I have for G. O. Schiötz above.

 And here is a picture of major Hunstad. It was first posted by hans-g on www.samlerforumet.net/forum some years ago. He wrote that Hunstad was a Norwegian lieutenant who was commander at the fortress of Chinkakasa. He could speak three Congolese languages fluent, and was appointed “border judge” (?) in 1912. During WW1 he was commander of the province Lisala. From 1924 to 1927 he was inspector of the diamond mines in Belgian Congo. He returned to active service in 1927, and served until he retired in 1929. Then he lived in Brussel, intil his death in 1935.

 He is wearing crosses of the knight of the Order of the Lion and Order of the Crown, plus Service star and three medals for service during WW1.


Major Hunstad.JPG

I also have this picture from Digitalt Museum, showing Konstans Bomhoff Halling, a Norwegian. He was captain in the Force Public. The writing on the photo indicates May 1901, but I think the Service Star looks like a post 1910 star.

Konstans Bomhoff Halling.jpg

Edited by Kvart
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hello Kvart,

posted with pleasure.

J.L. Wall has the Swedish nationality, I have forgotten to mentione this.

You can find this information in Bulletin Officiel d l'Etat indépendant du Congo, 1887-1908.  This was the official publication for new laws etc.

There is also a study, not published, from a student from the military academy in Brussels by Erik Peleman 1989-1990. 

I can provide the list for the Order of the Crown. The Leopold II order was not given to any Nordic recipients prior to 1910.

For a similar list after 1910, you should look into "Recueil des lois et arrêtés royaux de Belgique" witch would be a big job and I did not have found the time yet.

As there are 5 Orders, the only one not mentioned is the Order of Leopold. This order was also give to foreigners but not especially for Congo.

The Order of the African star, Order of the African lion, Crown order and Leopold II order were instituted by Leopold II for services in or to the Congo. 


thank you for posting the pictures.



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  • 1 month later...

Just reading a book regarding the search of the truth of the independent state of Congo, that is the periode befor 1910.

And came a cross the names of Swensson and De Besche - Jurgens (I wrote the names as they are in the book but they are of course the names mentioned by Werner!). Both involved in a 6 hours during heavy battle during a major rebellion.

Also mentioned is a German doctor named Leonard Kötz, beside Belgian officers and NCO's.




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