Service Cross for Nurses for 40 Service Years
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A Rupert cross with an elongated 6 o'clock arm. The obverse is textured with a smooth border. The centre bears the number "40" in silver gilt. The 6 o'clock arm bears the crowned cipher of Grand Duchess Louise. A wreath of laurel lays in the quadrants between the arms of the cross. With a loop for suspension. The reverse is plain and smooth and is engraved with the name of the recipient and the date.
The Service Cross for Nurses was instituted in 1872 by Grand Duchess Luise. It was conferred upon female nurses who had rendered 10, 15, 20, or 25 years of uninterrupted service. In 1914, awards for 30, 35, and 40 years of service were introduced. The Grand Duchess personally awarded the cross to recipients. Care of the sick and wounded during times of war counted for double when calculating service years. If a recipient received a cross of a higher class, the lower class award had to be returned.
In 1914, higher levels became necessary as women gained more years in service. The 30, 35, and 40 year crosses were introduced that year. Publications about the awards were made sporadically and the last was in 1919. The Service Cross for Nurses remained in existence until 1937.
The cross is often suspended from a pinback Red Cross brooch, which may be suspended from a chain. The cross may have a smooth or pebbled surface. Both versions were awarded simultaneously. The crosses were engraved with the name of the recipient and the anniversary on the reverse.
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