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Legacy of Lieutenant Meyer from Brunswick


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Hello, I would like to present you today a first very inconspicuous small estate, of which I do not know at all whether it is complete. The wounded badge is missing, whether other awards were present, I do not know.

We see here first the award certificate or recognition that Lieutenant Meyer of the Reserve Infantry Regiment No. 73 was awarded the Braunschweig War Merit Cross (at that time still one class) on October 28, 1914. Since this wartime award was not instituted until October 23, 1914, this is one of the very early awards. However, the young Duke of Brunswick, Ernst August, in his verve, had already issued awards of his new war decoration before, the first already on October 9, 1914. If you look more closely at the certificate, you will see that it itself was issued only on June 19, 1918! This is astonishing, but in a telephone conversation on October 24, Ernst August had informed the Order Chancellor Wolf of his decision that "the crosses ... would be sent after completion, the acknowledgments after the conclusion of peace". On November 27, 1915, this was revised and the acknowledgments for the war merit crosses on the fighter as well as on the peace ribbon were issued as of this date.

The certificate is 21x31 cm in size and thus corresponds to the early certificates, however, due to the general shortage of material, it was decided to halve the size of the certificate, only higher-ranking persons should still receive a certificate on a whole sheet. Whether the fact that Lieutenant Meier received his award already at the beginning of the war led to the fact that his recognition also took up a full page is not yet clear at the moment.

This small volume becomes very interesting by the fact that also the letter to the lieutenant Meier has been preserved, in which he was informed about the award of the cross. It states:

"Western theater of war, December 23, 1914.

To Herr Leutnant Meyer, 4th Comp Res. Infantry Regiment No. 73

Your Highness at Brunswick

By order of the Battalion I am sending the Ducal Brunswick War Cross of Merit, which His Royal Highness, the Duke of Brunswick, has awarded you.

I am pleased, dear comrade, to be able to present you with this award, which you have well deserved with the dedication of your own blood.

May the medal be a warm and friendly reminder for you of the time you spent with my company.

May God give you back your health. In faithful comradeship your devoted Schmubbe Captain and Company Leader".

One might wonder why Ltn. Meyer did not receive his cross until 2 months after the award, but the suppliers still needed time until the first war merit crosses arrived in Braunschweig. In the middle of November the first delivery arrived and until the crosses then landed with the troops, it also still took time. Therefore, this whole process is a good example of how it happened at that time in the Duchy of Brunswick and a first inconspicuous estate tells its part of the events of that time in the First World War.

PS: you may notice that the Name Meyer is miswritten on the offical reward document as Meier, but the recipient was Ltn Felix Meier that much is pretty clear. 

 

Urkunde KvK 1914.jpg

Brief zur Urkunde.jpg

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Very nice indeed! With the EK the award documents were originally planned for after the war as well... although many units issued preliminary documents on their own inititive, the official order only came in early 1916 to issue prelim dicuments... I guess Braunschweig had planned the same thing.

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