Count Felix von Luckner and Douglas Stewart, who was a DC in the Fijis in 1917


I have read both books written about Count Felix Von Luckner. I always wondered when he had passed away and was curious as to wether or not he had served in any capacity during WW2. I came across your excellent site whilst trying to find answers to my questions. I now know that he died in 1966, does anyone know where he is buried and wether or not he was supportive of "Hitlers Germany". I hope he wasn't.

Good luck and congratulations on a brilliant site.

Ivan Linton
Northern Ireland.

Hello Ivan.

Nice to hear from you, Felix von Luckner died at Malmo in Sweden on the 14th. of April 1966, and was probably buried there, although I could not find any confirmation of that.

He was too old to serve in WW2, although Hitler tried to make use of his reputation for propaganda purposes. I do not think that the Count supported the Nazis, he is reported to have saved the life
of a young Jewish girl in Berlin  during the war, by giving her a pasport he found on a bombed out site. She made it safely to the United States.

This act would put his own life at risk if caught, so it seems to prove he had no sympathy for Hitler and his regime. Hitler made life difficult for the Count, at one stage he stopped him using his bank account.

We are always pleased to hear from anyone who has found Ahoy, and then read something of interest to them there. I only provide its content, my good friend Terry in Atlanta Georgia, deserves all the credit for the look of Ahoy, the way it is set out etc, and the running of it, which he does with both expertise and dedication.

I like to think we make a good team.

Thank you for your kind remarks.

All the best from Australia and the United States.



Dear Commander Gregory,
I've just read your fascinating account of Count Felix von Luckner's exploits during the Great War. I have a particular interest as my grandfather, Douglas Stewart, was a DC in the Fijis in 1917 and, I believe, had a hand in von Luckener's capture for the second time. The Count later visited Barbados in the 30's (my grandfather was by then acting Governor) in the "Vaterland" and there was a most cordial reunion between erstwhile adversaries. The two men became firm friends as did my grandmother and the Countess who accompanied her husband on that occasion.
Graf Felix referred cryptically to a "Max Pemberton" in one of his dedications on a photo given to Douglas Stewart. Can you throw any light on this, or indeed, von Luckener's life since the 30's to his death? I would be most pleased to hear it.
With best wishes,
Douglas Haslett  (also a former Naval person)


Dear Douglas,

Thank you for your nice message about Ahoy, and my piece on Count von Luckner, he is a wonderful character. I am continually suprised about what people find of interest on my site, and it is rewarding when anyone takes the trouble to E-Mail me. How did you find my site?

I have attached a link to an article written by a W Bro William A Moore about the Count, who of course, was a Freemason. The latter section deals a little with von Luckner post WW1.

If I unearth anything further I will pass it on to you.

Now the Count's reference to Max Pemberton no doubt is Sir Max Pemberton, a prolific author born in 1863 and living until 1950. His books carried titles such as The Sea Wolves written in 1895, The Iron Pirate written in 1893, Captain Black, The Gold Wolf, The Giant's Gate, The Guardian of Swords, A Gentleman's Gentleman, etc. Felix probably saw himself in the same light as some of Max Pemberton's titles.

I do hope these few notes may have helped in a small way.

Again, I am grateful to you for your words of encouragement.

Best regards,

Mac. Gregory.

Dear Mac,

Thank you for your swift reply about Graf von Luckener, which was most interesting. Thanks, too, for the link to Bro Moore's article which I read with great interest. It was good of you to take the trouble.

I have long thought that Felix Luckener's life would make a splendid subject for a film - even if one followed the Lowell Thomas version - not least in extolling the virtues inherent in the gentlemanly prosecution of  warfare which is, after all, a most ungentlemanly state of affairs.

A photograph I have of the Count shows him wearing a neck decoration - which appears to be the "Pour le Merite" (the detail is somewhat blurred). Do you know if the Count was awarded that decoration?

Best wishes,
Douglas Haslett


The decoration around the Count's neck, certainly looks like a Pour le Merite to me, what is your opinion?

It is interesting that after Versailles, this award was never again made in Germany It is suprising what road one will travel after a question such as you raised.

Thanks again for all your interest.


Dear Mac,
Thank you for your e-mail.
Yes, I believe the Count's neck decoration is the Pour le Merite. Lowell Thomas's book (The Sea Devil, published by Heinemann in 1928) has a photo of von Luckener in the full dress uniform of a Lieut Cdr of the Imperial German Navy and the decoration is clearly visible - including the famous wording on the front face of the cross.
I would be very interested to see the citation for the award one of these days. No doubt a copy exists in some archive or other - though the Nazi regime did take great pains to obliterate any records of heroic Imperial officers - particularly those who were aristocrats and decidedly unsympathetic to their cause (and, of course, Masons).  A family trace will be my best course. I recall being introduced to a kinswoman of the Count at the Kielewoche in 1966 (when my ship HMS DUNCAN was the UK Guardship). At the time the Kielewoche milieu was seemingly composed exclusively of Counts, Barons and Freiherren - causing me much confusion - and I have unhappily mislaid her address (even if I ever had it in those days). The search goes on!
Best regards,
Douglas Haslett

Hello Douglas,

There is a book called: History of the Prussian Pour Le Merite Order. by William E Hamelman.

Vol 111 covers 1888-1918.

It covers the period 1888 until no longer awarded in 1918.

All recipients, their units and  award citations are given, and the book is illustrated and runs to 350 pages.

The copy I found was at a US book seller. But it would cover our Count von Luckner's award, and you may unearth a copy at a bookseller in UK, especially in some of the London second hand shops or in the book town, at Hay on Wye, and be able to persuade the owner to cite you the Counts award citation for his Blue Max!



A reproduction of the Blue Max, I am not sure whether the Count was awarded one.

The Blue Max
The Blue Max

Best wishes,

Dear Mac,

Thank you very much for the tip in Hamelman's book. I'll give Foyles a whirl, or the London Library service - which hasn't let me down so far, and let you know How I get on in due course.

Many thanks for your continuing interest.

Best regards, 
Douglas Haslett

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