War Merit Medal

War Merit Medal was instituted in one class on November 11, 1916 by the Grand Duke of Oldenburg Friedrich August and initially was awarded to women who assisted in nursing of wounded soldiers in military hospitals. As a rule it was bestowed on assistants as nurses and women doctors were usually decorated with a Friedrich August Cross 2nd class on a non-combatant ribbon. Those eligible for War Merit Medal should have been at least 15 years old and have worked in a hospital for not less than a year.

The statute of the medal was changed on May 09, 1917 and since then it was awarded to men and women working in war industry regardless of their social estate or occupation.

Women wore War Merit Medal on a traditional bow (Damenschleife) while men – on a ban.

Medal was made of nielloed iron and had an oval shape, 35x28 mm.

Its obverse had a bust of Friedrich August facing left encircled by his title “Friedrich August Grossherzog von Oldenburg” executed in capital letters. The designer’s initials “R.K.” standing for Richard Knauer were situated at the very bottom.

Reverse of the medal bears a horizontal inscription in capital letters running in four lines “For the Loyal Service in the World War” (“Für treue Dienste im Weltkriege”). Two stylized crosses made of five dots each were situated above and below that inscription.

Ribbon of the War Merit Medal was made of red silk with three dark blue vertical stripes – one at the centre and two closer to both edges.

War Merit Medal was awarded in 1916-1918.

Oldenburg KVM