Medals: Lieutenant General Christian Wyneken

Christian Wilhelm August Johann Ernst Wyneken was born at Rüstje, near Stade, Germany on August 14, 1783. He entered military service in 1798 at the age of 15. In 1803 he joined the First Light Battalion of the King’s German Legion (Königlich Deutsche Legion) as an ensign.

The KGL was formed in 1803 when the Electorate of Hanover (Kurfürstentum Hannover) was dissolved by Napoleon. The deposed elector (Kurfürst) was at the same time King George III of England. In order to involve former Hanoverian subjects in the British military action against Napolen, the King’s German Legion was formed.

Christian Wyneken took part in various campaigns against the French in Hanover, the Baltic region, Spain, and finally at the famous battle of Waterloo, in which Napoleon was defeated. During this time he advanced to the rank of captain. He was wounded twice, at Tolosa near Bayonne and at Waterloo.

After the KGL was dissolved he rejoined the newly formed Hanoverian army. During his retirement he advanced to his final rank of lieutenant general. Christian Wyneken died on October 10, 1853 in Verden.

Christian Wyneken was awarded the Waterloo Medal. The inscription on the edge of the medal reads, “Capt. Christ. Wyncken 1st Light Battn. K.G.L.“. He also seems to have been awarded the elaborately designed Hanoverian Guelphic Order, third class (KH). One can also assume that he possessed the officer’s William Cross for 25 years of service. One can picture Christian with all three of these medals, plus quite a few more, displayed prominently on his dress uniform jacket.

For more details about the medals mentioned on this page please contact Chris Cawthorne.

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