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Mads Stenroos-Dam

Spoof Iron Cross - Part 2

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Mads Stenroos-Dam

Hello

I have just been told, that there should be other items like ashtrays and plates, with the same message as the crosses.

Do anyone know about these items?

I was told that these items was sold for charity or fund-raising, in the early years of the war.

I have not seen any items, with the year-marking later than 1915.

If anyone have any crosses for sale, please contact me.

Do you have an cross, and its not for sale, please send a picture to this topic.

Regards

Mads

post-14396-1156271945.jpg

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Mads Stenroos-Dam

Reverse!

post-14396-1156272008.jpg

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BigJacko

Hello! I hope this thread is still 'alive'...

I have one of these crosses, and it has had me wondering for many, many years. I 'won' it in the playground at school when I was a young nipper, at some point in the 1970s, and it was told to me at the time it was a German WW2 Iron Cross. Patently, that wasn't true, and I realised very quickly that if nothing else, the dates were wrong, and it was WW1, not WW2! Even as a nipper, I wasn't totally stupid! I never thought it had any value. But I kept it all the same - just in case, and because, well, it was kinda intriguing.. The more I looked to try and find out what it WAS, rather than what it WASN'T, the less I found!

And now I'm glad I did keep it, because the tale behind it (which has come out in this thread and your other Spoof Iron Cross thread) is very interesting, and I am dying to know more. Who made them? Which charity? Why? Did they make their fundraising goal? What happened to the money? How many of these crosses are there? Are they worth anything? (I saw that one on Ebay went for £31 - which is about twice what my wife's grandad's 1939-45 Star is worth, apparently! Crazy!)

I would dearly love to find out a bit more about these strange things. They are crude as hell - very roughly made, but solid cast-iron (I think). Mine is a bit different to the one you posted on the other thread... One side (same as yours) says "RHEIMS LOUVAIN AMIENS 1914" on each blade of the cross, with the "W" and the crucifix symbol in the centre. But on the other side, mine does not mention Hartlepool, Scarboro and Whitby... instead, mine says "ANTWERP DINANT CHENT 1914" around the blades, and the same "W" and crucifix in the centre.

Here are a couple of photos:

Obverse:

spoof-iron-cross-obverse.jpg

Reverse:

spoof-iron-cross-reverse.jpg

Thank you, Mads, for posting your thread originally! I have waited the best part of twenty-five years to find out what these things are, and up till now, nobody I asked ever knew. The nearest I ever got to an even sensible answer was within the last couple of years - a collector friend of mine shrugged his shoulders and said "Salvation Army, maybe?" And that's the most anyone's ever come up with!

I have even hunted on the internet since about 1993, and nothing has shown up... but finally, Google found you, and now I am at least a little bit more educated as a result! Trouble is, all that does, is raise further questions, doesn't it? :)

Many thanks!

Neil

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DrB

My sources, not exactly uninpeachable, said that these were "gold for iron" crosses that were given to civilians when they turned in, donated or surrendered a certain amount of money in exchange for a war bond. This trinket was awarded at this time so one could display one's patriotism. This was observed until 1916.

I have one that I bought in a auction at Southebys years ago and very similiar to the one in the upper right corner.

DrB

:)

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BigJacko
My sources, not exactly uninpeachable, said that these were "gold for iron" crosses that were given to civilians when they turned in, donated or surrendered a certain amount of money in exchange for a war bond. This trinket was awarded at this time so one could display one's patriotism. This was observed until 1916.

I have one that I bought in a auction at Southebys years ago and very similiar to the one in the upper right corner.

DrB

:)

Interesting stuff, Dr B. That would seem to indicate it was an 'official' thing? I mean, like organised by the Government, if they're hawking War Bonds... I'm assuming that not every Tom, Dick and Harry organisation could issue War Bonds - not even ordinary charities, I would've thought.

I take it this was a purely UK thing - that is, I'm guessing it wasn't organised by the French, or other allies? Or was it?

I saddens me that I can't seem to find a thing about this on the internet - like so many aspects of British history it's either lost forever between the cracks of time, or simply wasn't recorded in such a way that has ever made it to a resource that 'us ordinary folks' can ever make sense of or gain access to! We're good at that... ;)

If anyone else has any 'spin' on this intriguing world of 'mock/propaganda/spoof medals', I'd love to hear more about it! Thanks again, DrB.

Neil

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DrB

The source for this thing was Prussia, though doubtless the other smaller German states did a similar thing. It was government sponsored. "Louvain" on the cross was considered payback for the alleged sniping of German troops while passing through the town and hence something the German people "a just revenge."

The cross was of the Iron Cross variety, this decoration being popular at the time. It has, to some degree, fooled many folks into thinking that it was a genuine cross as given to the troops for bravery. Not a true Iron Cross, but probably much more scarce than the real things, especially with the repos on the market today.

DrB

:)

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Chris Boonzaier
The source for this thing was Prussia, though doubtless the other smaller German states did a similar thing.

Hi Dr.B.

These are actually British and colonial, made and sold there.

All the best

Chris

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James Blonde
The source for this thing was Prussia, though doubtless the other smaller German states did a similar thing. It was government sponsored. "Louvain" on the cross was considered payback for the alleged sniping of German troops while passing through the town and hence something the German people "a just revenge."

The cross was of the Iron Cross variety, this decoration being popular at the time. It has, to some degree, fooled many folks into thinking that it was a genuine cross as given to the troops for bravery.

Not a true Iron Cross, but probably much more scarce than the real things, especially with the repos on the market today.

DrB

:)

With regards this issue, any of the "Spoof" Iron Crosses that have the words in English as opossed to German, are Propaganda items, the Iron Cross was one of Prussia's highest decoration for bravery in the field, and I doubt if any "official" sanction would have been given for the making of poor crude copies, or similar looking crosses (that either then or in the future) that could be confused with the real thing, no Country or State would allow the manufacture of a cheap item that would lower the esteem or the honour the cross or medal was first designed to represent.

post-18479-1173169797.jpgpost-18479-1173169891.jpg

The medal given out for the "I gave Iron for Gold" campaign was better produced than any of the crosses I have seen, but it was stricly unofficial, despite a paper certificate been given with it listing the value of the items exchanged, for the day they value could be redeemed after the war was won.

Unless somebody can post the Brevet and Articles pertaining to its "issue". The same goes for the "Spoof" Crosses, if "government sponsored" can you please show documentation or a link to a source to verify this claim?

Another WW1 Iron unofficial Commemoration Medal from Prussia:

post-18479-1173170946.jpgpost-18479-1173171032.jpg

The crosses with the names of towns, again, I believe, are propaganda items, given so the memory of the attrocities carried out against the civilian population by the Kaisers troops would not be forgotton.

Kevin in Deva :D

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BigJacko

Hehe - it gets more interesting with every post! And I get more confused, too! :-)

So, are we saying then, that the iron crosses shown in the top couple of posts at the beginning of this thread, are likely to be BRITISH made? If so, that kinda makes sense, but I would still love to hear a bit more about the 'who, what, when and why' of it all! There must surely be some documentary record of these, somewhere... I hope?

I had heard (on the renownedly fallible Wikipedia, german version) that the 'Iron for Gold' thing was originally associated with the REAL German Iron Crosses, circa 1870 or thereabouts. Whether that accounts for that part of this tale, perhaps being mis-attributed somewhere along the line, I can only guess at. See: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisernes_Kreuz (or for a English-auto-translated version, try: http://translate.google.com/translate?sour...isernes%5fKreuz )

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James Blonde
Hehe - it gets more interesting with every post! And I get more confused, too! :-)

So, are we saying then, that the iron crosses shown in the top couple of posts at the beginning of this thread, are likely to be BRITISH made? If so, that kinda makes sense, but I would still love to hear a bit more about the 'who, what, when and why' of it all! There must surely be some documentary record of these, somewhere... I hope?

I had heard (on the renownedly fallible Wikipedia, german version) that the 'Iron for Gold' thing was originally associated with the REAL German Iron Crosses, circa 1870 or thereabouts.

Whether that accounts for that part of this tale, perhaps being mis-attributed somewhere along the line, I can only guess at. See: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisernes_Kreuz (or for a English-auto-translated version, try: http://translate.google.com/translate?sour...isernes%5fKreuz )

Hallo Big Jacko :D

With regards the spoof IRON CROSSES at the top of the page, the one on the right has the words:

"FOR KULTUR", the Germans write the word FOR as FÜR.

post-18479-1173191150.jpg

The one on the bottom left has the words "FOR BRAVE DEEDS" this in German translaves as FÜR TAPFERKEIT and to the rear it has LIAR again in German LIAR is LUGNER.

post-18479-1173191041.jpg

Bottom right has: IRON KAISER'S CROSS, IRON is EISEN and CROSS is KREUZ in German.

If they were German made why use British spelling??

post-18479-1173190915.jpg

I still believe the first with a list of times is to remember the dead civillians killed by the Germans, also it carries a small cross on the front, something never seen on Original Iron Crosses.

With regards Iron for Gold idea, I have never heard of it being connected with 1870 (at this time the Prussians were involved in a war with France which lasted between 1870 - 1871) and the Germans actualy defeated the French and took Paris. So I doubt the victors would need to take any jewelrey from its citizens.

Connaught Stranger. :D

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DrB

OK, OK, remember I wrote earlier:

1. My "sources are not exactly uninpeachable"

Also:

2. "Crunchy" has stated the origin was British and or Commonwealth. Why should I argue?

3. Take your disagreements to the guy that wrote the medals section in "Digger History" because that is where I got the information.

DrB

:)

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auchonvillerssomme
With regards Iron for Gold idea, I have never heard of it being connected with 1870 (at this time the Prussians were involved in a war with France which lasted between 1970 - 1871) and the Germans actualy defeated the French and took Paris. So I doubt the victors would need to take any jewelrey from its citizens.

Connaught Stranger. :D

I have only seen iron for gold in relation to WW1.

Mick

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AndyMacdonald

I have just seen one of these for sale, but the motif 'Kultur' is designed differently.

Andy M

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James Blonde
OK, OK, remember I wrote earlier:

1. My "sources are not exactly uninpeachable"

2. "Crunchy" has stated the origin was British and or Commonwealth. Why should I argue?

3. Take your disagreements to the guy that wrote the medals section in "Digger History" because that is where I got the information.

DrB :)

Hallo DrB, :D

the original post from Mads was asking for information with regards these items, you posted your tuppence worth and other responded with their opinions.

The poster who stated they were of British and Colonial design is Chris Boonzaier, I dont see a post from a "Crusty"?

With regards our "disagreements" maybe it would have been better for you, to check with the gentleman at the Digger History website*, before posting the information found there.

* the Digger History Website is a massive amount of information in connection with Australian Military History mainly put together by one gentleman, but its full of information sent in by people, who look at the site, and not all of the information is correct. (a bit like Wikipedia).

Connaught Stranger :D

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DrB

Forgive me for being from the other side of the pond, but how does one phonetically pronounce Connaught? Is it conn'-nut' or con-'naught?

I loved the 88th. Drove Wellington mad, but what a bunch of soldiers!

No more postings from me without checking sources, although I thought his was a forum, not a history class.

And you know what they say about opinions...

DrB

:)

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James Blonde
Forgive me for being from the other side of the pond, but how does one phonetically pronounce Connaught? Is it conn'-nut' or con-'naught?

I loved the 88th. Drove Wellington mad, but what a bunch of soldiers!

No more postings from me without checking sources, although I thought his was a forum, not a history class.

And you know what they say about opinions...

DrB

Hallo DrB :D

Being from the other side of the pond no matter how you pronounce it, I think it will have a colonial twang :P

And your right it is a Forum , the military history Forum of the Great War 1914 -19.

Connaught Stranger :D

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DrB

...and when the smoke cleared, the "colonial" was gone.

DrB

Adios

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AndyMacdonald
...and when the smoke cleared, the "colonial" was gone.

DrB

Adios

No, DrB... that was the RMLI -- or Run My Lads Imshi, as they were known to Anzacs -- at Gallipoli! Or, a fair chunk of the Brit army in March 1918, shortly before those darned "colonials" stepped in and stopped the rot!

Andy M

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James Blonde
No, DrB... that was the RMLI -- or Run My Lads Imshi, as they were known to Anzacs -- at Gallipoli! Or, a fair chunk of the Brit army in March 1918, shortly before those darned "colonials" stepped in and stopped the rot!Andy M

OFF TOPIC!

While the contribution of the British Commonwealth and United States troops is a matter of historical record, freely given and gratefully accepted, I don't agree that the British Army was in such poor condition or was losing the will to fight in 1917 / 1918, it might have taken a little longer, but eventually the aim of the Allied European Forces would have been acheived.

Connaught Stranger. :D

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Tony N

Mads,

I really like these crosses and would agree with what 'Crusty' Chris and Kevin have said. Here's one I have with its paper packet and ribbon.

Tony

post-6680-1173900080.jpg

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Tony N

The packet reverse

post-6680-1173900329.jpg

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Tony N

And a rather oversized (75x75mm) example.

Tony

post-6680-1173900434.jpg

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Andrew Upton
I would dearly love to find out a bit more about these strange things. They are crude as hell - very roughly made, but solid cast-iron (I think). Mine is a bit different to the one you posted on the other thread... One side (same as yours) says "RHEIMS LOUVAIN AMIENS 1914" on each blade of the cross, with the "W" and the crucifix symbol in the centre. But on the other side, mine does not mention Hartlepool, Scarboro and Whitby... instead, mine says "ANTWERP DINANT CHENT 1914" around the blades, and the same "W" and crucifix in the centre.

Here are a couple of photos:

Obverse:

spoof-iron-cross-obverse.jpg

Bringing this one back to the top after quite a few years - I was loaned the following for the weekend by a fellow Oxfam Hub volunteer. The story that came with it was their father acquired it with a box of tools when he was a young man from an old chap that was selling them - I've asked him if he can possibly find out his name to see if he might have served at the time, and thought other might be interested to see it:

Iron Cross 1

aVjaUDr.jpg

Iron Cross 2

PqxG1eJ.jpg

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west coast
<br />Forgive me for being from the other side of the pond, but how does one phonetically pronounce Connaught? Is it conn'-nut' or con-'naught?<br /><br />I loved the 88th. Drove Wellington mad, but what a bunch of soldiers!<br /><br />No more postings from me without checking sources, although I thought his was a forum, not a history class.<br />And you know what they say about opinions...<br />DrB<br /> <img src="style_emoticons/default/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /><br />
<br /><br /><br />

the way to prounance it is, con--aught.

cheers . mike.

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MACRAE
Mads,

I really like these crosses and would agree with what 'Crusty' Chris and Kevin have said. Here's one I have with its paper packet and ribbon.

Tony

Nice to see the original envelope and item in mint condition.

Dan

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