Discovering a Medal that was from Turkey (the Ottoman Empire)
This story is about an item I inherited from my father many years ago. I always thought this was a "star brooch" It had been worn by my mother and myself, my mom must have known, but I always thought it was just an odd looking brooch. One day I was at the Library researching my husbands Vietnam Medals...I came across a book in the reference section with all kinds of War Medals, as I was flipping through the pages my eye caught a star! I turned the page back and discovered the very "star brooch" that I had, it actually was a Turkish medal awarded during the Ottoman Empire during WWI. My father fought for Germany in Turkey as well in other places.
My husband said, most likely there is a ribbon that goes with it...Having my dad's WWI and WWII ribbons, I checked the ribbon colors, there it was, red and white with a moon crest insignia on top.
I searched in Google for this medal and the ribbon bars that confirmed my fathers handwritten Ahnentafel (his German Genealogy chart). On the chart it gave confirmation of the dates and names of Medals awarded. I found this to be very interesting.
My search for information on his military duties in WWII had not been successful. Having searched the Internet and many German sites, my quest has gone dry...at this point I'm not sure I'll ever find more on his war duties or genealogy...I certainly had hopes in finding this information before I meet my maker.
Note ~ Scraper Protection:
WWI Ribbon with Crest for the Gallipoli Star
WWl photos of my father
Ottoman Empire Medal
the "Gallipoli Star"
image Hendrik Meersschaert collection
This is the Turkish War Medal of 1915....a medal referred to by a number of different informal names. The commonwealth nations often called it the "Gallipoli Star" even though it was not a campaign medal specifically for that battle. The "Iron Crescent," was another informal name, as it functioned similarly to Prussia's Iron Cross. From 1915 until the end of the war, the medal was given for acts of bravery or merit in action. Recipients of the Imtiaz and Liyakat medal were automatically eligible for this medal. The description of this medal is a star-shaped pin back badge of white metal (not iron) with a raised crescent around the bottom center, and the "Toughra" or monogram of the Sultan in the center. Flat surfaces of the badge were finished in a thin opaque red enamel. It was worn pinned to the tunic in a manner similar to the Iron Cross, and not suspended from a ribbon. When the star itself was not worn, a ribbon (red with white side stripes) was worn in the second button hole (like the Iron Cross 2nd Class)
Because the medal was frequently awarded to German and Austrian personnel who served with the Turkish forces during WW 1, many unofficial variants were made in Germany and elsewhere, of varying quality, but usually of higher quality than the originals. This difference in quality had led some early authors to speculate that there were two classes of the War Medal -- poor quality copies for enlisted men, nicer copies for officers. In fact there was only one class.
referenced from diggerhistory.com (site now can't be found)
My father -
Friends of dad's
My dad knew many famous people in his life, one of the photos above shows him on the set with silent film star Pola Negri who he had dated, the other photo is of him and the Red Baron in the plane. I wish I had more, however we lost most everything during war and some of these are what's what's left.
Gallipoli: The Turkish Story
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What you are is God's gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God: Danish Proverb
© 2007 Delia
Reader Feedback Here!
Anna from chichester on May 13, 2014:
What a wonderful family heirloom! And the unique history of it makes it all the more special. Thank you for sharing :)
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on May 08, 2014:
Wow, this is really a treasure and I know you are thrilled to learn more about your dad's medal. I really enjoyed reading this and thank you for sharing your story.
jmchaconne on March 26, 2014:
I love history, your lenses are so very interesting and varied, thank you.
AntonioM23 on November 01, 2013:
Great lens,thanks for sharing.
tonyleather on October 25, 2013:
Fascinating post! Thanks a lot!
grrbtn on October 24, 2013:
What a wonderful gift he has left you in not only the medal but also the story he created through living his life. You must be very proud.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 23, 2013:
This is precious. You are lucky. This is really worth sharing. I always enjoy your personal stories.
minpinmojo76 on October 22, 2013:
fascinating history. great lens
Erin Mellor from Europe on October 20, 2013:
I'm so glad you were able to find the backstory, what a wonderful way to explore family history.
Lorelei Cohen on September 24, 2013:
Your father truly was a very handsome and adventurous man. Your family history is fascinating.
Amanda_Revel on June 04, 2013:
WOW This lens is really awesome , I found it great read, and educational too. Thanks.
Wayne Rasku on May 26, 2013:
I was looking up stories about war and medals relating to Memorial Day, and this popped up. Great story, glad you found all this wonderful information about your family. Thanks for sharing it.
writerkath on May 12, 2013:
I have to say, you have some of the most interesting stories! Totally blessed!
Titia Geertman from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on January 24, 2013:
Very interesting and so lucky that you stumbled upon that book in the library. Blessed.
Delia (author) on January 21, 2013:
@sittonbull: Thanks, one problem with Germans, they didn't allow a child to ask anything, you did not talk unless spoken to...what I know, is from listening to my mother relate stories, however one of my aunts was only too happy to share things about my dad that I never knew before.
sittonbull on January 21, 2013:
Your dad had to be quite an interesting fellow and wouldn't you love to have a volume of the stories he could tell? Another outstanding lens here! I just discovered that you Squid liked my Learning lens also so thank you very much.
anonymous on December 27, 2012:
Can u help, my grand grandfather (danish) join the asien korps (he lived in the south part of jytland and his parrents was from Austria) in palastine etc. he left the Gallipo cross and german eion cross and I think the Liyakat medal. Looking for the arkiv u told about "Ahnnentafel (German Genealogy chart)"
Can u help ? pls firstname.lastname@example.org
Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on December 04, 2012:
What a fascinating history of your father's metal. Thanks for sharing this bit of history with us.
Delia (author) on October 16, 2012:
@Rangoon House: I think that is so interesting that your family (husband) also has one...How cool is that!
AJ from Australia on October 15, 2012:
We have some common background. I also have a Gallipoli medal, but one that my husband's maternal grandfather was awarded by the Australian Army. My husband also has Vietnam medals. Blessings.
bilafond lm on September 13, 2012:
You must have seen my Dad's medals, I think I should also put up mine in a case now. I was delaying it as some times one needs to wear them on functions.
bilafond lm on September 13, 2012:
Wow, now this I called a good discovery and a rare honour for you and your family. The Star has some Arabic inscription I guess, if it is, did you find out what is written and its meaning.
goldenrulecomics from New Jersey on August 24, 2012:
Nice story. Your father seems to have led a very adventurous life!
JoshK47 on July 18, 2012:
What a fascinating story - thanks so kindly for sharing. Blessed by a SquidAngel!
Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on July 07, 2012:
I like these lenses of yours that take us back in time. Another wonderful lens on the Gallipoli Star!
pawpaw911 on April 05, 2012:
What wonderful history. What a treasure. Your father and those with him were there when the world needed them. Thanks for sharing.
E L Seaton from Virginia on March 10, 2012:
Great investigative work. You should be proud of the skills it takes to follow the medal down.
goo2eyes lm on December 13, 2011:
i am really glad to meet you. my husband likes documentaries about germany's past since his family came from schlessien (now polish) some 500 yrs. ago. your dad with the red baron? wow!
LoveAdviceForum on October 22, 2011:
This is a really cool look into history. Thanks for sharing!
WeirdStuff on October 05, 2011:
Wow, it seems your dad was a real adventurer!
Genjud on September 16, 2011:
My grandfather served in the German Army before coming to the US in 1911. So I am just getting started in researching his service records. Great site, lots of food for thought and research.
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on August 09, 2011:
Your research into your family history and the way you have presented it merits a Squidoo angel blessing. I'll feature it on You've Been Blessed. Well-done!
sushilkin lm on June 05, 2011:
Nice Historical Read !! Thanks for sharing.
ganhar-mega-sena on March 12, 2011:
Our beautiful story that congratulations should be very valuable this brooch star for you.
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myneverboredhands on February 14, 2011:
Very informative and interesting lens, thanks for sharing the story...
reasonablerobby on February 05, 2011:
What an interesting lens. Most UK and British Commonwealth people associate the Gallipoli (Dardanelles) with the ANZACS. I discovered that my great Uncle John was in the Royal Naval Division or Winston's Little Army during WW1 (lens here on Squidoo) The Dardanelles Campaign was Churchill's idea).The RND were sailors who fought on land and also fought at Gallipoli. Uncle John joined after that campaign so my uncle and your father would not have been adversaries but did fight on the Western Front.
Virginia Allain from Central Florida on January 24, 2011:
How fascinating to discover these little bits of family history and research them further!
Jhangora LM on January 19, 2011:
Interesting Lens. I like History a lot and I think there was an incidence in the battle of Gallipoli where a Turkish soldier lifted a shell which weighed much more than his own body weight.
eccles1 on October 15, 2010:
another great one !!
David Schroeter from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia on September 21, 2010:
Thank you for creating this lens, Delia. Gallipoli is very special to all Australians and, every year on ANZAC Day, (25th April) many Aussies, who are abroad, congregate for a Dawn Service at Gallipoli to commemorate the sacrifice of the troops on both sides.
Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on August 06, 2010:
That is pretty amazing. Great lens, history and photographs too.
Paul Hassing on April 13, 2010:
Wow! This is certainly one of the more interesting lenses I've come across. Great photos. Great research. Great story! Best regards, P. :)
ohcaroline on March 05, 2010:
Great lens. I have a passion for genealogy. It helps connect the dots of your past to the dots of history. How exciting. 5stars
Davidfstillwagon on February 17, 2010:
terrific lens! 5* and favorite it
Indigo Janson from UK on January 29, 2010:
Your father was such an interesting man and must have had many tales to tell. It's wonderful that you have his medal.
Patricia on December 27, 2009:
Wow, very cool! I lensrolled this to my Story of Vietnam Veteran lens and blessed it!
KimGiancaterino on August 10, 2009:
What a great story. You may even hear from others who have inherited this type of medal. I'm featuring your lens on my Squid Angel Diary this week.
Nan from London, UK on August 01, 2009:
What a tribute to your father. And how lovely that you have this memory of your father.
You've been featured on 100 Lenses for my 100th Lens.
ideadesigns on February 18, 2009:
Very nice lens, I'm always interested in history! 5 stars for the original pictures.
sittonbull on January 26, 2009:
Glad you did this lens. I have a history of my father's WW11 experience complete with medals and letters from fellow soldiers who tracked him down later in life to thank him for saving their lives. I have thought of sharing it on a lens and you have, unknowingly, given me the incentive to do so. He died in '91, but I appreciate what he did in WW11 and am also very proud of him as a great dad! Thank you for sharing this about your dad. 5*
julieannbrady on January 13, 2009:
Ah, this is quite an interesting lens! Did you say how many of these were produced; how many are in existence; what they are worth? I think your lens is the first to talk about war medals.
GeoDitton on December 04, 2008:
An interesting lens on an interesting topic. May we remember the bravery of the men & women from all countries and all times who fight and risk their life. Great lens 5* I'll set up a related lens link on my Victoria Cross lens.
papawu on November 02, 2008:
I am simply amazed that anyone would even mention Gallipoli. It is so unknown and I believe only one movie was ever made about the battle at Gallipoli, starring a very young Mel Gibson. I think it was an absolute crime how the British used the Aussies in that battle. It wasn't even a battle... It was an absolute massacre with wave after wave of brave Australian infantrymen being mowed down with Gatling guns before they could even make an advance. It was tragic and anyone who survived should be revered with more than just a medal. This was a wonderful lens.
MsMorrison on August 19, 2008:
what a great treasure! very inspiring lens!
Glenn McCarthy on March 27, 2008:
Excellent reading – really enjoyed this entry. Well done
anonymous on March 12, 2008:
Thanks for taking the time to put together such a
great lens on GALLIPOLI
STAR!Thanks for sharing.TomCosmetic Face
Gatsby LM on September 19, 2007:
We studied about this in school. 5* for you! Solve Dog Behavior Problems
DogWhisperWoman1 on September 19, 2007:
My grnadfather fought in WW2 5* Dog Whisper Woman