Bronze cross pattée with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with the letters ‘EA’ centrally for Duke Ernst August, oak leaves to either side, the Brunswick crown above, the date ‘1914’ below; the reverse inscribed ‘Für’, ‘Verdienst im’, ‘Kriege’ (For Merit in War) on the upper, central and lower arms respectively; on a replaced correct ribbon for non-combatants.
The Cross was instituted by Duke Ernst August on 23 October 1914, initially in one class, for merit in action and to be awarded regardless of rank. It is often known as the ‘Ernst August Cross’. O
n 20 March 1918, a first class of the Cross was created in pinback form, the present Cross becoming the second class, thus mirroring the main awards of other German states, such as the Prussian Iron Cross.
The Duchy had a population of less than half a million people and the Cross is not often found.