Bene Merenti Medal, Type V, Silver Medal (with swords)
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A smooth oval medal with a raised border, constructed of silver. At the top sits an immobile crown. The obverse features the left-facing portrait of Duke Friedrich with the circular inscription ‘FRIDERICVS PRINCEPS DE HOHENZOLLERN’. The reverse features a wreath of oak leaves, tied at the top and bottom by a crossed ribbon, with the inscription ‘BENE MERENTI’ (‘for good service’) in the centre, with a decorative line underneath. On a loop for suspension, on a white ribbon with broad black side stripes and a narrow black centre stripe, with a silver clasp with crossed swords.
The Bene Merenti Medal was founded without statutes by Prince Carl Anton in 1857, and was initially intended to reward meritorious achievements in the fields of art and science. It ranked between the Silver Merit Cross and the Golden Medal of Honour of the House Order.
The medal originally had a non-wearable design, but in 1910, Emperor Wilhelm II approved of the medal being made into a wearable decoration.
In around 1930, Prince Friedrich changed the form and grading of the medal. The new medal was oval, featured a crown, and depicted Friedrich’s portrait on the obverse.
The Silver Medal with Swords was conferred to recognize bravery in the face of the enemy.
Female recipients wore the medal on a bow ribbon.
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