Danes at war - Medal collection


Some years back I helped fellow medal collector from Sweden, with some research on a Dane, who was awarded a Mutiny medal.
This was the beginning of a new area of interest for me. An collecting theme I never actually thought about, although it would seem obivious for a Dane to collect medals to Danes.

As I began my research, I quickly realised that quite a few Danes served in the Commonwealth armies during the 19th and 20th century conflicts. Actually at least 600 Danes (Or Danes who had immigrated to Great Britain, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and South Africa) died during WWI. So I guess it's possible to say that the number of Danes who served, were quite higher than that.

Denmark lost Slesvig, Holstein and a part of Jutland as consequence of the lost war against Preussia and Austria-Hungary in 1864. Because of that a lot of Danes from the occupied areas were forced in German military service during WWI. The monument, at Marselisborg in Denmark lists the 4120 names of Danes that lost their life during the Great War. Most of them died in German service, as only approximately 600 of them were in Allied service at their death. The monument dosen't list all the casualties, by far. It was the next of kin who should apply for a name to be accepted on the monument - and not all did so.

I find it rather intriguing that Danes were fighting on both sides of the conflict. Although most Danes served in the Mercantile Marine, four Victoria Crosses in WWI and WWII goes to show that tha Danes could fight as well. Those were to Thomas Dinesen - 1918 (Parvillers), Percy Howard Hansen - 1915 (Gallipoli), Joergen Christian Jensen - 1917 (Noreuil) and Anders Frederik Emil Victor Schau Lassen - 1945 (Lake Comacchio). As far as I know, the Victoria Cross to Anders Lassen were the only one awarded during WWII to a foreigner.


In the right column, you will find a list of the Danes in my collection.


Bjoern K. Klausen

Sep. 2011