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The Pour le Mérite (German: [puːɐ̯ lə meˈʀiːt]; French: [puʁ lə me.ʁit], lit. 'For Merit') is an order of merit (German: Verdienstorden) established in 1740 by King Frederick II of Prussia. The Pour le Mérite was awarded as both a military and civil honour and ranked, along with the Order of the Black Eagle, the Order of the Red Eagle and the House Order of Hohenzollern, among the highest orders of merit in the Kingdom of Prussia. After 1871, when the various German kingdoms, grand duchies, duchies, principalities and Hanseatic city states had come together under Prussian leadership to form the federally structured German Empire, the Prussian honours gradually assumed, at least in public perception, the status of honours of Imperial Germany, even though many honours of the various German states continued to be awarded.
Pour le Mérite
(Military class)Awarded by the King of PrussiaTypeNeck decorationEligibilityMilitary personnelStatusExtinct as a military class; civilian class still awardedStatisticsEstablished
between 7 June and 15 June 17401810 (pure military class)
First awarded16 June 1740Last awarded22 September 1918 (military class only)Total awarded5415 (military class)PrecedenceNext (lower)House Order of Hohenzollern
Pour le Mérite
Pour le Mérite with oak leaves
Ribbon bars of the order
The Pour le Mérite was an honour conferred both for military (1740–1918) and civil (1740–1810, after 1842 as a separate class) services. It was awarded strictly as a recognition of extraordinary personal achievement, rather than as a general marker of social status or a courtesy-honour, although certain restrictions of social class and military rank were applied. The order was secular, and membership endured for the remaining lifetime of the recipient, unless renounced or revoked.
originally posted by: Bigburgh
a reply to: rickymouse
We wore a bandana around our mouths when there was strong winds or sand or snow blowing around.
Sounds like you were prepared🤗
The Neckerchief 😊
The award dates back to 1667 when, in the German state of Brandenburg, the Ordre de la Generosite - the Order of Generosity - was created by Frederick William I. Given that French was the language of the royal court the naming of the merit award would have appeared a natural choice.