|A E. N. B. Otken of the Dutch East Indies forces. Otken was a Ridder der 4e Klasse, Militaire Willemsorde or Knight
4th Class of the Military Order of William. He wears a miniature of the 4th class medal in the button hole of his tunic
which can be seen in the detail above right. At the time the photograph was taken Otken seems to have held the rank
of lieutenant as indicated by the two stars on his collar.
The order was given for the most conspicuous acts of bravery, leadership and extreme devotion to duty in the
presence of the enemy.
Adolph Elisa Nicolaas Berthold Otken was born on 20 August, 1851 in Leiden, Netherlands the son of Diederich
Cornelis Otken and Catharina Petronella Johanna Saportas. He married Johanna Beatrix Kruthoffer on 28 May,
1878 in Batavia, Dutch East Indies. He died in 1918 at Den Haag, Netherlands a victim of the Spanish Influenza
pandemic. Sadly his daughter Caroline Leontine "Lilie" Otken died on the same night in Den Haag also a victim of
the Spanish Influenza.
A portion of his military career translated for Dutch follows:
Instruction Battalion - 21 August, 1868
Cadet Corporal - 8 December, 1869
Cadet Sergeant - 10 February, 1871
Corporal - 17 May, 1871
Enlistment for 6 years - 5 June, 1871
Batavia, Dutch East Indies - 19 October, 1871
(Transferred to 16th Infantry Battalion)
Sergeant - 2 September, 1872
Transfers to 10th Infantry Battalion - 26 April, 1873
Military College - 16 August, 1873
Appointed 2nd Lieutenant - 4 April, 1875
Transfers to 14th Infantry Battalion - 12 December, 1875
His military records are apparently lost after this point but he was promoted lieutenant (pictured here), captain, major
and held the rank of colonel under General Van Heutsz when he died in 1918.
A story exists that Otken was up for promotion to general but Van Heutsz his commanding officer responded to the
idea by saying: "Anna Otken a general's wife?! Never!"
On the reverse below someone has mistranslated Otken's name as Otmer. Otken has inscribed the photograph to
Carte de Visite
Woodbury & Page - Photographer
Batavia, Java, Dutch East Indies
17 April, 1878