Jump to content

Researching a soldier awarded 1914 EK2 in 1939 (supposedly)


Recommended Posts

Hello, everyone.

I'm obviously new to this forum. I'm not an EK collector specifically (although I do have one), I'm more a collector of German (Prussian) and Canadian WWI militaria in general, driven mainly by my research interests. A topic I've been researching has been very difficult to find info about through google, I find. A colleague of mine told me that collectors are often the best source for knowledge, so I'll give this place a shot to see if anyone here can help fill in some gaps for me.

I'm researching a soldier who served with Germany in WWI and moved to Canada in 1923. The story as it has been passed down through his family, is that he was supposed to have been awarded a 1914 EK2 but he had left the country before it could be awarded to him. Jump forward to 1938 when the Nazi government invites recipients to apply for awards they had not received. He does, and eventually the medal is due to arrive in Canada a week before WWII breaks out. The Canadian government promptly confiscates the medal. Anyway, this is how the family describes the sequence of events.

I did find his name in the Verlustlisten, his listing published on June 21, 1917. Unless I'm mistaken, by this point in the war the majority of men who were wounded did receive an EK2, so I believe the family story that he was "supposed" to get one holds some weight.

My questions are these: Does this sound like a plausible story? Were 1914 EK2's still being distributed that long after WWI? I found a book called "German Iron Cross Documents of World War I" by William Hamelman that makes brief mention of late awards being sent out almost up to the beginning of World War II, which seems to support the story, but I haven't found reference to this anywhere else yet. Has anyone here heard anything about these late awards?

If this sort of thing really did happen, then it leads to my next question -- was there any discernible difference between 1914 EK's distributed in the Kaiser era vs. those in the Nazi era? Unique markings or construction methods, or were they just using old medals still on hand? Is there any sort of official documentation about these late recipients that survived WWII?

If anybody has any info at all about this topic to share, or even names of books that might help, I'll be super grateful.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

awards of the Iron Cross stopped in 1925, HOWEVER, it was possible at a later date to get the medal itself if an award had been made and approved before the cut off date in 1925.

Most likely is that your guy had his award approved before 1925, at which time he was in Canada, then in the 1930s he wrote saying "Where is my bloody medal!"

I have a group where the gus has a note from the division in November 1918 saying "Lt XXX deserved the EK1, but the division has none to award"... fast forward to 1934, the Reichswehrministerium issues his award document and sends him a cross.

Best

Chris

Link to post
Share on other sites

Funnily enough I have just archived one such document to a Bavarian, Peter Geimer, who won the award in 1916 and eventually got a certificate and presumably the medal in 1934.

100_1513.thumb.JPG.6e7634bd955b6670da935

Regards

Pete

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I assume most of the postwar ones were KO... then there were 10 years of private purchase.... I dont think it is possible to say 800 or Silber pieces were never awarded, but they were not really the Official Govt approved model.

Just what they handed out in the mid 1930s (which I think were the absolute exception) I cannot say :-(

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info, Chris. That's interesting. I didn't know about the 1925 cut off date. Or divisional shortages of medals for that matter. That definitely makes the sequence of events for my guy easier to wrap my head around. I'm also trying to figure out what unit he might have served with and what battle he was wounded at, going only by the vague details his son remembered many years after his death and a photo from 1914, and I'm kind of leaning toward the foot artillery, which I'm sure you know is extremely tricky to put into any sort of logical order. I wonder if the massive restructuring of the foot artillery throughout the war could have also added to the administrative headache of getting a medal to the right guy (if it was in fact one of those units he served with)?

And thanks for the sharing the document, padro. It's nice to see visual evidence of the long gap it took for some men to receive their award.

I definitely need to look more into the history of the EK.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Blog Comments

    • Lapsang Souchong, when i first tasted this I thought it was like stale cigarette ends...it's an acquired taste for sure.  
    • I like my tea strong enough for my spoon to stand up in. My father got me into it. When my father was at RAF Dum Dum 1943-47 most of his fellow officers drank ice cold drinks to mitigate  the heat, his Sikh batman warned him against it and said that strong hot tea would cool him down, most certainly did. So years later in the UK when everybody else was drinking iced drinks on a baking day the wood family was inbibing copious quantities of hot strong brews of Assam's finest. P
    • Hi ccj, Thanks for your comments. Funny how, for me at least, coffee has become a habit more than a conscience choice. It's the old, "Well if you having one (coffee) pour me as well". When I get together with my son-in-law, a former Brit, it's tea all the way. Thanks again. Regards Brian  
    • I live and grew up in the south (USA) and the drink of choice 7 days a week was cold sweet tea. I was unaware Lipton was British because that’s what most southern use for brewing tea. When I joined the army I learned most people in the north and western parts of the USA drank unsweetened tea and that was perplexing to my young brain. Now days I can’t stand sweet iced tea but it’s still the most common drink in the south, but, you can get unsweetened ice tea in the south. Im familiar with ho
    • I drink tea every day (Chinese tea), I used to buy Sri Lankan black tea at the fair before, it was great! I have been reluctant to drink them all. . The tea I’m talking about is just brewing water, not adding other substancesI
×
×
  • Create New...