Nikolaus Czéke de Szent György

Nikloaus Czéke de Szent György was born on the 12th of May 1833 at Güns (Hungary). After five years at the local gymnasium he entered military service as cadet in chevauxleger regiment number 6 on the 18th of March 1850. On the 18th of  October 1851 he was  commissioned as an Unterleutnant in ulan regiment number 8 where he also received his promotion to Oberleutnant on the 18th of April 1854. His regiment was part of the occupation forces of the Danube principalities from 1854 to 1856 and was located in Walachia during these years but did not see action during the war of 1859. In 1860/61 Nikolaus Czéke de Szent György successfully passed the course at the central cavalry school which qualified him for further promotion. On the 26th of June 1862 he received his promotion to Rittmeister 2nd class with his regiment which was owned by Erzherzog Ferdinand Maximilian, the later Kaiser of Mexico. This was perhaps the reason why he volunteered for the Mexican volunteer corps - and why he was accepted even though he was a protestant (Evangelisch A.B.)!

On the 3rd of August 1864 he entered Mexican service as a Rittmeister 1st class of the hussars with seniority from the 9th of June 1862. He took part in all the major actions of his unit and would distinguish himself as a squadron commander during the battle at Cervo-Jatahnaca on the 9th of June 1866. For his excellent performance during the attack near the hacienda at Tequispitzal on the 11th of June 1866 he received the Bronze Military Merit Medal and was honored for his dashing conduct during the battle at Tehuatlar on the 12th of June 1866 with the Knight's Cross of the Order of our beloved Madonna of Guadalupe. On the 6th of November 1866 Nikolaus Czéke de Szent György was promoted to Major of the hussars. He left Mexican military service on the 13th of April 1867 and traveled back to Europe.

He again rejoined ulan regiment number 8 as a Rittmeister 2nd class followed by his promotion to Rittmeister 1st class on the 6th of October 1867. On the 1st of April 1869 he was transferred to hussar regiment number 13 hoping to receive his promotion to Major there but he was sent again to the central cavalry school! One can understand that Nikolaus Czéke de Szent György was injured and frustrated that he was compelled to again pass together with young Oberleutnants a course which he had successfully graduated from ten years before and therefore it is no surprise that he failed both the theoretical as well as at the practical part of the examination! It now seemed that he was at the end of his career with no chance for any advancement and he started to consider premature retirement. He was engaged as a riding instructor at the brigade officers school, a boring job with little prestige but his marriage in 1872 and the birth of his daughter a year later forced him to continue his career efforts. In 1874/75 he again attended the course at the central cavalry school and now successfully passed the final examinations with excellent results. On the 1st of May 1876 he received his promotion to Major in hussar regiment number 7. As a division commander (two squadrons), meanwhile promoted to Oberstleutnant on the 1st of May 1878, he took part in the Bosnian war of 1878. His regiment was part of the 13th cavalry brigade. One of the squadrons of his division, the 5th squadron commanded by Rittmeister Paczona, suffered heavy causalities during the battles of Kosna (4th August), Maglaj (5th August) and Zepče (7th August). On the 18th and 19th of August 1878 his division performed well in the observation and capture of Sarajevo.

On the 7th of October 1882 Nikolaus Czéke de Szent György assumed command of ulan regiment number 13, shortly followed by his promotion to Oberst on the 1st of November 1882 with seniority from the 3rd November. But it seems that his steadily worsening health made it impossible for him to stay on further troop duty. On the 21st of October 1883 he assumed command as president of the 1st remount commission at Budapest, this commission was responsible for the procuring of horses for the Hungarian cavalry regiments. On the 1st of May 1885 Oberst Nikolaus Czéke de Szent György was retired as totally invalid with the additional honour of the award of the Military Merit Cross for his performance during active service, to Oedenburg (Sopron) where he died immediately there after in the Winter of 1885.

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