Great War Group of Four, parade mounted, comprising: PRUSSIA. Iron Cross, II class (PREUSSEN. Eiserne Kreuz, II. Klasse), 1914 issue; PRUSSIA. Medal of Honour of the Prussian Red Cross, III class (Medaille für Verdienste um das Preußische Rote Kreuz, III Klasse), 1898-1917 issue; BAVARIA. Order of Military Merit IV class Cross with Swords (BAYERN. Militär-Verdienstorden, Kreuz IV. Klasse mit Schwertern), 1905-1918 issue; HAMBURG. Hanseatic Cross (Hanseatenkreuz), 1914-1918. *** PRUSSIA. Iron Cross, II class (PREUSSEN. Eiserne Kreuz, II. Klasse), 1914 issue. White metal cross pattée with magnetic core, with a blackened cross pattée within a hatched border imposed, with loop and ring for ribbon suspension; the face with a central ‘W’ (for Wilhelm), a crown above, the date ‘1914’ below; the reverse with a central oak branch, the crowned cipher ‘FW’ (for Friedrich Wilhelm) above, the date ‘1813’ below. The Iron Cross was instituted on 10 March 1813 by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia during the War of Liberation against the Napoleonic French forces. It was reinstated in 1870-1871 for the Franco-Prussian War and again in 1914 for World War I. It is awarded for bravery. In spite of its iconic image and fame, it has always been made of modest materials and issued in relatively large numbers. It was designed by the neo-classical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and reflects the cross of the Teutonic Knights in the late Middle Ages which was also the emblem of Frederick the Great. *** PRUSSIA. Medal of Honour of the Prussian Red Cross, III class (Medaille für Verdienste um das Preußische Rote Kreuz, III. Klasse), 1898-1917 issue. Circular gilt bronze medal with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a Greek (Geneva) cross with vertical hatching denoting the heraldic colour gules (red), a Prussian crown at the end of each arm, the letters ‘WRAV’ (for Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany, King of Prussia); the reverse inscribed ‘FUER VERDIENSTE UM DAS ROTHE KREUZ’ (for Service to the Red Cross), an oak branch to the left. Prussia was officially represented at the conference held in Geneva from 26 to 29 October 1863 and its Red Cross Society was formed shortly after, making it one of the earliest societies. In 1864, Prussia was one of the original twelve signatories of the Geneva Convention. The medal was created in 1897 for service to the Prussian Red Cross Society and issued until 1917. *** BAVARIA. Order of Military Merit, IV Class Cross with swords (BAYERN. Militär-Verdienstorden, Kreuz IV. Klasse mit Schwertern), 1905-1918 issue. Silver and blue enamel Maltese cross with silver flames between the arms, with crossed Roman swords above and with scroll and laterally-pierced ball suspension; the face with a circular central deep blue enamel medallion bearing the silver-gilt crowned cipher of King Ludwig III within a circular border in the form of a white enamel buckled belt inscribed ‘MERENTI’ (Latin = Merit) above, with arabesques below; the reverse with a circular central deep blue enamel medallion bearing the silver-gilt Bavarian crowned lion rampant within a circular border in the form of a buckled belt dated ‘1866’ above, with arabesques below; hairline cracks to the left of the blue enamel of the central medallion, chips to the inner lower left arm and the lower centre of the lower arm of the face. The Order was instituted by King Ludwig III on 19 July 1866 for officers and senior officials to reward bravery and military merit. The fourth-class cross was introduced in 1905 with or without swords and with or without crown, swords denoting a wartime award and a crown denoting a second award of the Cross or especial merit. It was abolished at the end of 1918. *** HAMBURG. Hanseatic Cross (Hanseatenkreuz), 1914-1918. Red enamel cross pattée with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a circular central medallion bearing the silvered arms of Hamburg; the reverse silvered with a circular central medallion inscribed ‘Für Verdienst im Kriege 1914’ (for Merit in War, 1914). Each of the three ancient Hanseatic Cities – Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck – issued a cross of similar design in World War I, differing only in the arms on the central medallion of the face, that for Hamburg being instituted on 10 September 1915. Hamburg suffered 40,000 casualties during the war, from a total population of 800,000. The Cross was suppressed at the end of 1918. *** The Group is on its original parade mounting with pin for wear to the reverse; the ribbons, especially that of the Iron Cross are tired and frayed. Please note the enamel damage to the Bavarian Order. A good group.