Order of Military Merit of Charles Frederick, Gold Medal (1st model, 1807-1810)
Image courtesy of “Histoire, Costumes, Decorations de tous Les Ordres De Chevalerie et Marques D’Honneur” by Par Auguste Wahlen
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The Order was instituted by Grand Duke Charles Frederick and it was originally restricted to Officers in recognition of distinguished military merit or an outstanding act of courage.
This Order originally featured three grades: Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star, Commander, and Knight.
In 1807, the Military Merit Medals were added to the Order with gold and silver grades and the medals could be awarded to Non-Commissioned Officers and enlisted men.
These Military Merit Medals were considered the highest military decoration awarded for bravery that could be conferred upon Non-Commissioned Officers and enlisted men.
The Commander grade was divided into two separate grades in 1840, I Class Commander and II Class Commander.
The Crosses of the Order were originally composed of Gold, but following 1916, the crosses were predominately composed of Silver gilt.
Until the Military Service Award was instituted in 1831, the Military Merit Medals were awarded to recognize 25 and 40 years of service.
The reverse of the Military Merit Medals featured the inscribed name of the recipient. The name was inscribed in cursive letters until 1870, and after 1870 the names of the recipients were inscribed in block letters.
There were no Gold Military Merit Medals awarded during World War I.
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