The Bavarian Security Service Award 1st Class (Sicherheitsdienst-Auszeichnung I. Klasse) and the Bavarian Security Service Award 2nd Class (Sicherheitsdienst-Auszeichnung II. Klasse) were established by Prinzregent Luitpold on February 22, 1906.  The First Class was for awarded after 35 years , and the Second Class was awarded after 20 years, of satisfactory service in the Gendarmerie (Police) or in the Royal Protection Team in Munich (Königlische Schutzmannschaft in München).

The crosses were made of “old-gold toned” bronze.  There is a small knob on the end of each slightly rounded cross arm.  On the knob on the top arm is an elongated eyelet through which the suspension ring (fused) passes.

For the Cross for 35 Service Years, there are distributed between the cross arms four green enameled laurel branches.  This feature is absent on the Cross for 20 Service Years.  On the obverse is a round middle shield (15mm in diameter) with a crowned “L” (for Luitpold) on a radiant background surrounded by an ornate border.  On the reverse is a round middle shield (15mm in diameter) with an upright crowned lion striding to the left with a scepter and sword in its right paw, on a stippled or grainy background, surrounded by an ornate border.  On the upper reverse arm of the 35 Year Service Cross is written: “FÜR/ XXXV”, on the left arm: “JAHRE”, on the right arm: “DIENST”, and on the lower arm: “ZEIT”.  On the upper reverse arm of the 20 Year Service Cross is written: “FÜR/ XX”, on the left arm: “JAHRE”, on the right arm: “DIENST”, and on the lower arm: “ZEIT”.

Two (2) sources (Die Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Reiches and Die Bayerischen Orden) state that the obverse and reverse centers are “aufgelöteten” (soldered-on), however, upon close inspection of several II. Class crosses, it is believed that the II. Class crosses were cast in one piece (Figure 4 and Figure 8).  I have not inspected any genuine I. Class crosses, so I cannot comment regarding the specifics of how the centers of those crosses were made.  Both classes of crosses were cast in bronze, and the center edges, cross arm edges, and “knobs” were ground and polished to remove excess casting residue.  For the 35 Year Service (I. Class) Crosses the laurel branches were then soldered in place.  The pieces were then gold-plated.  For the 35 Year Service (I. Class) Crosses the laurel leaves were then enameled.  To achieve the “old-gold” toning, a darkening coating (translucent wash) was applied.

The crosses were 41 mm in width.  The cross shown in Figures 5, 6, 7, and 8 weighs 19.87g.

 

 

Figure 1-Obverse and reverse of an example of the Bavarian Gendarmerie and Royal Protection Team I. Class Service Cross. Die Ritter- u. Verdienstordern, Ehren-, Verdienst- und Denkzeichen sowie Dienstalters-Auszeichnung des Königreichs Bayern.

 

 

Figure 2-Reverse of an example of an unmarked Bavarian Gendarmerie and Royal Protection Team II. Class Service Cross. Image from author’s archive.

 

 

Figure 3-Obverse of an example of an unmarked Bavarian Gendarmerie and Royal Protection Team II. Class Service Cross. Image from author’s archive.

 

 

Figure 4-Profile of an example of an unmarked Bavarian Gendarmerie and Royal Protection Team II. Class Service Cross. Image from author’s archive.

 

 

Figure 5-Obverse of a large medal bar with an example of a Bavarian Gendarmerie and Royal Protection Team II. Class Service Cross made by Ordenfabrik Weiss & Cie (Weiss & Company), München. Image from author’s archive.

 

 

Figure 6-Reverse of a large medal bar with an example of a Bavarian Gendarmerie and Royal Protection Team II. Class Service Cross made by Ordenfabrik Weiss & Cie (Weiss & Company), München. Image from author’s archive.

 

 

Figure 7-Image of the fused ribbon ring of the above-featured example of a Bavarian Gendarmerie and Royal Protection Team II. Class Service Cross by Ordenfabrik Weiss & Cie (Weiss & Company), München, marked “WCo”. Image from author’s archive.

 

 

Figure 8-Profile of an example of a Bavarian Gendarmerie and Royal Protection Team II. Class Service Cross by Ordenfabrik Weiss & Cie (Weiss & Company), München. Image from author’s archive.

 

 

The ribbon for the I. Class and the II. Class Gendarmerie and Royal Protection Team Crosses was 35mm wide, light blue, with two white, each 3.5 mm wide, side stripes, with 3mm wide light blue borders at the edges.

 

 

Figure 9-Ribbon for the Bavarian Gendarmerie and Royal Protection Team I. Class and II. Class Service Crosses. Image from author’s archive.

 

 

These crosses were awarded in the period from 1906 to 1918, and I know of no publication which lists the number of crosses awarded, but genuine II. Class Crosses are seldom encountered, and genuine I. Class Crosses are considered rare.  When the II. Class Crosses are found, they most-frequently bear the “WCo” marking for Ordenfabrik Weiss & Cie (Order Manufacturer Weiss & Company), München.

It should be noted that the quality of finish of the Weiss & Cie pieces encountered is usually not as refined as the unmarked example shown above.  The Weiss & Cie pieces often exhibit more (although fine) casting porosity on their surfaces, and there are often tooling marks from the grinding of the center edges, cross arm edges, and “knobs” that were not polished away prior to plating.

 

 

Thank you for your interest in this article.  Comments are welcome.

-Lorin

  

References:

Hessenthal, Waldemar Hesse Edlen von und Schreiber, Georg. Die tragbaren Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Reiches. Verlag Uniformen-Markt Otto Dietrich. Berlin, 1940.

Leser, Jacob und Leser, Oskar. Die Ritter- u. Verdienstordern, Ehren-, Verdienst- und Denkzeichen sowie Dienstalters-Auszeichnung des Königreichs Bayern. Verlag der Cl. Attenkofer’schen Verlags-Buchhandlung. Straubing, 1910.

Schreiber, Georg. Die Bayerischen Orden. Prestel-Verlag. München, 1964.

 

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11 Comments
  1. Hello, I once got a very nice clasp from a policeman. In the last place was the service award for 35 years. It was on the wrong ribbon, but I didn’t care, because the award is what makes it special.

  2. here the cross

  3. frontside

  4. marking WCO Weiss & Co

  5. Single bar 20 years

  6. backside

    • Hello Andreas,

      Thank you very much for the photographs of these fantastic pieces from your collection. The large medal bar with the 35 Year Service Award is a real rarity. There certainly could not have been many of these pieces awarded.

      With friendly greetings from the USA to Bavaria,

      Lorin

  7. Servus Lorin and Andreas,

    once again a fantastic article about this not so well-known service award. Above all, Andreas’ cross for 35 years is an absolute rarity. @ Andreas, are the medallions individually made and soldered on? Which manufacturer is in the ring?

    Many greetings to the USA and Aschaffenburg from Karlsfeld near Munich
    Walter

    • Servus Walter,

      Thank you for your interest in my article. You raise a good question about the center medallions of the 35 Year Service Award. I am also curious what the answer is.

      With friendly greetings from the USA to Karlsfeld,

      Lorin

  8. Hello, under the microscope there is no indication of a multi-part production. The cross is in one piece, the laurel leaves are not attached separately. The medallions are part of the body of the cross and not made separately. Weight 22.31 grams, width of the cross from sphere to sphere 41.4 mm.
    Maker’s mark in the ring WCO (Weiss & Co.)

    • Hello Andreas,

      Thank you very much for this information. Another 35 Year Service Award was sold in the past by Ratisbon’s. That piece was on a large medal bar. I believe that piece was also original. From what I could see in the photos of that piece, the medallions were also part of the cross body and were not separate pieces.

      With friendly greetings from the USA to Bavaria,

      Lorin

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