Figure 1: Home Guard Forty Year Service Decoration. Image from the authors archive.

Introduction:

In this blog I am going to discuss the Home Guard Forty Year Service Decoration (Landsturm 40 Dienstjahre Ehrenzeichen) Which was established by Emperor Franz Joseph I as a reward for award to those persons who served actively and with merit in an organization liable for militia service and subject to the national royal ministry for defense for a period of at least forty years.

Date Issued: Emperor Franz Joseph I created this decoration on November 26, 1908

Reason Issued: This decoration was created on the occasion of the Sixty Year Jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I for award to those persons who served actively and with merit in an organization liable for militia service and subject to the national royal ministry for defense for a period of at least forty years.

Classes or Types: There are two types of this award:

  • Forty Year Service Medal in bronze
  • Forty Year Service Medal in gilt bronze for officers

Interesting Facts:

  • A person receiving the 40 year medal had to return the 25 year medal

Hallmarks: None known

Design: A round medal with an attached imperial eagle suspension

Figure 2: Home Guard Forty Year Service Decoration, obverse. Image from the authors archive.

Obverse: Inside a raised rim is the inscription: CONSTANTIAE ET PATRIAE AMORI (For perseverance and patriotism).  Within the inscription is two laurel branches forming a wreath superimposed over which is the inscription FJI (Franz Joseph I) above which is an imperial crown. Attached to the upper edge of the medal is a 16 mm tall imperial eagle which serves as the suspension attaching the medal to the ribbon.

Figure 3: Home Guard Forty Year Service Decoration, reverse. Image from the authors archive.

Reverse:  Inside a raised rim is laurel wreath tied at the bottom with a bow.  Inside the wreath is a horizontal plaque on which is the inscription: OCTO LUSTRA (Eight, five year periods, thus forty years). Attached to the upper edge of the medal is an imperial eagle with a ring near its lower edge which serves as the suspension attaching the medal to the ribbon.

Weight: 21.7 grams

Size: 35 mm in width, 51 mm in height including the 16 mm eagle suspender and it is 3 mm thick.

Type of Material: Dark chocolate bronze or gilt bronze.

Variations: None known

Designer: Unknown

Manufacturer: Hauptmunzamt Wien (Imperial Mint, Vienna)

Number Issued: Unknown.

Case: Unknown

Figure 4: Home Guard Forty Year Service Decoration, ribbon. Image from the author’s archive.

Ribbon: A 38 mm tri-fold ribbon.  The ribbon is one half golden yellow and one half black.  The yellow portion of the ribbon has a one and a half mm black stripe and the black a comparable yellow stripe.  The narrow stripes are one and a half mm from the ribbons edge.

· A small rectangular ribbon for this decoration was introduced in October 27, 1917.

Attachments: None

Miniature: Examples exist

Figure 5: Home Guard Forty Year Service Decoration, miniature. Image from the authors archive.

 

Figure 6: Home Guard Forty Year Service Decoration award document. Image from the authors archive.

 

Hope you enjoyed this blog. Until next time, I hope you find joy in our shared interest.

Rick

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