Help with German Soldier

Discussions on all aspects of Imperial Germany not covered in the other sections.
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Joined: 24 Jun 2012 07:47

Help with German Soldier

Postby NathanR » 24 Jun 2012 08:00

Hi ,

I am trying to find out a bit more about the recipient of this postcard. My grandad who was a Seaman Gunner in the RN throughout the war and when i went through his belongings i found a German Sweetheart
Postcard. I have managed to get it translated but want to know how my grandad came by it . Did RN ships transport German POWs, or did they capture a German troopship ? Or was it taken from his body by a British soldier and traded with my Grandad He was on the following ships ;

HMS Theseus, HMS Hildebrand and HMS Highflyer

Postcard at end


Unfortunately the postmark is obscuring the all-important surname of the addressee! Haven't got a clue what it could be - something short, though - but there's not enough there to make a meaningful guess.

Top right: Feldpost = Military Mail [no postage stamp required for mail to/from servicemen in wartime]

Postmark: BENNWEIER BAHNHOF [= railway station at Bennweier, Alsace; then German, but now Bennwihr, Alsace, France]
The date looks like 28 August, but unfortunately the year is illegible, and the writer hasn't dated it. Perhaps 1916, 1917 or 1918 - see below!

Gefrt. Waldemar ?? [surname illegible. Gefreiter = Lance Corporal sort of; more like US Private First Class]
Aktv. preusisches [Aktiver = regular/professional soldier, not wartime recruit/conscript; preus[s]isches = Prussian]
Inft.Regmt. 24 [full title: Infanterie-Regiment Großherzog Friedrich Franz II. von Mecklenburg-Schwerin (4. Brandenburgisches) Nr. 24]
10. Komp. [Kompanie; 10th Company]

The stamp at the bottom is:
Feldpostüberwachungshilfsstelle Nr. 917 [Military Mail Auxiliary Censorship Office No. 917]

On the left, line 1 (almost illegible), line 3 and line 5 (single word over on the right at the end) were squeezed in after the rest had been written. But even with the colour scan, I still can't read the first word.
?? geschrieben
hab auf deinen letzten
= I've written [something] on/for your last letter(s). [maybe: I've already replied to your last letters]

The rest of the message, apart from the last 2 lines:

Lieber Waldemar,
Die herzlichsten
Grüsse und Küsse
aus dem fernen
Hausen sendet dir
deine liebe Erna

Dear Waldemar, lots of love and kisses from faraway Hausen from your dear Erna.
[Hausen, now Houssen in Alsace, is about 2.5 miles from Bennwihr.]

I can't quite make out the last two lines, something like:
Schreibe sofort du
sehest ob ich dir sch...
Write as soon as you know whether I ... ??

One interesting thing is that Erna is from Alsace, but Waldemar is most likely from around Berlin, where Infantry Regiment 24 traditionally recruited. IR24 was in the German 6th Division, which fought mainly in Belgium and northern France (Marne, Somme, Champagne, Argonne, Verdun), apart from a brief stint in Serbia in 1915 and on the Eastern Front in Galicia from July to October 1917. But there were two occasions when it was withdrawn to the Mulhouse/Colmar area of Alsace for rest, reinforcement & recuperation (Mar-Apr 1916, and 2 wks in Apr 17). Perhaps it was on one of these occasions that Waldemar and Erna met.

I did find this - ... d=39020105 but i'm sure there were many Gefreiter Waldemars.

Any info on the Regiments movements or honour rolls etc would be great
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Posts: 3
Joined: 24 Jun 2012 07:47

Re: Help with German Soldier

Postby NathanR » 01 Feb 2013 12:20

No one can help?

Ken S.
Posts: 888
Joined: 14 Feb 2006 09:30
Location: Location, Location, Location

Re: Help with German Soldier

Postby Ken S. » 04 Feb 2013 13:01

Not sure what one really can add to this. As the war progressed units were usually supplied with men regardless of district, so he also may have been from Alsace. He may have served with other units prior to joining IR24. There is a regimental history - by Cordt von Brandis - of some 550 pages which may have a roll of honor.

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Joined: 24 Jun 2012 07:47

Re: Help with German Soldier

Postby NathanR » 04 Feb 2013 19:44


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