War Service Cross, I Class
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The War Service Cross was originally founded by Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm as a general award to recognise officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted men for meritorious actions during the War of 1870/71.
On July 27, 1905, it was determined that the cross could be issued to combatants and non-combatants.
The cross for combatants features a light blue ribbon, with a red and green stripe along each exterior edge.
The cross for non-combatants features a red ribbon, with a white and green stripe along each exterior edge.
The cross features two possible obverse inscriptions, “TAPFER UND TREU” (brave and loyal) and “FÜR TAPFERKEIT” (for bravery). The latter was conferred upon individuals of royal personage and is very rare.
On August 11, 1914, the cross was renewed by Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich VI and was conferred upon officers, non-commissioned officers, soldiers, and military officials who demonstrated bravery and merit during the First World War. Similar to the previous cross, it could also be conferred for non-combative war service.
On January 1, 1915, the I Class Cross was introduced and was conferred upon officers, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers who performed repeated acts of bravery in the face of the enemy.
On June 16, 1915, a cross was introduced to reward women for exceptional work in charitable war services. The cross was worn on a bow ribbon.
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