Brothers Franz Lehar and Anton Freiherr von Lehar

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Two different kind of men yet it seems they were very close ... interesting family !! :)

    The Regiments-Kapellmeister (bandmaster of infantry regiment number 50,) Franz Lehar had two sons. The younger one, Anton Lehar, inherited his military talents while his older son, born in the garrison at Komorn on the 30th of April 1870 and named Franz too, received his fathers musical talents and more! His parents, recognizing early his talent, sent him to the Konservatorium at Prague to learn the violin and on completion of his education he obtained a position as a violinist in the regimental band of his father at Komorn. In 1890 he himself reached the position of bandmaster at Losoncz but left the army and joined the navy. With the k.u.k. Kriegsmarine he was first Kapellmeister at Pola from 1894 to 1896, followed by service in the garrisons at Trieste, Budapest (1898) and finally Vienna from 1899 to 1902.

    Anton Lehar was born at Odenburg (Sopron) on the 21st of February 1876. His father was the Regimentskapellmeister (bandmaster) of infantry regiment number 50, but whilst his elder brother Franz Lehar went on to become a celebrated composer ...... Anton entered, after finishing the Realschule, the Infanteriekadettenschule at Vienna to become a professional officer. He left the cadet school in 1893 as the best of his age-class becoming a Kadettoffiziersstellvertreter in infantry regiment number 50 where he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1894. He received the rank of Oberleutnant whilst he was at the Kriegsschule (1897-1899) on the 1st of November 1898. In May 1900 Oberleutnant Lehar was attached to the general staff. In May 1902 he was promoted to Hauptmann 2nd class and transferred to infantry regiment number 83 where in May 1906 he was promoted to Hauptmann 1st class. He was then attached to the technical Militarkomitee performing duty as an instructor at the ArmeeschieƟschule (army school of musketry) at Bruck an der Leitha, where he was honored with award of the military merit cross in April 1909, a certificate of appreciation from the war ministry in October of the same year and the bronze military merit medal (Signum Laudis) in April 1913. During his period as a musketry instructor Anton Lehar was also honored by foreign awards ; the officers' cross of the order of the Star of Rumania in August 1911 and the 4th class of the Ottoman Osmanie Order in April 1913. He remained at this post after he passed the general staff examination for senior officers and received the rank of Major in November 1913.

    Following the outbreak of the war Anton Lehar assumed command of the 2nd battalion of the Honved-Landsturm infantry regiment number 13, which was subordinated to Generalmajor Georg Mihalcsics von Stolacz's Landsturm Infantry Brigade 100 of Armeegruppe Kummer which was recruited from the Pressburg area. On the 2nd of September 1914 the Russian 4th army counter attacked south of Lublin. Particularly hard hit was the position at Chodel which formed the boundary between General der Kavallerie Viktor Dankl's 1st army and Army Group Kummer. For his command of this battalion at Chodel and the holding of trig point 229 on the 2nd of September 1914 Major Lehar was to be decorated with the knights' cross of the Military Maria Theresia Order and to be ennobled with the predicate "Freiherr von" in August 1918.

    The highly decorated officer and the showman influenced and helped each other during their whole lifetime. When the famous composer died on the 24th of October 1948 at Bad Ischl (Upper Austria) his younger brother Anton became the administrator of his (musical) estate.

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