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WW1 German Shell Case

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#1 Gary 001

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:26 pm

Good evening to all members I am a new member,

Within our family we have a german WW1 Brass Shell Case that was used during the battle of Ypres in 1917.

My wifes grandad found it during this battle and brought it back to England.

This chaps name was George William Thulbourne he served with the Yorks & Lancs Infantry.

On the base of the shell case are the following markings:

St 295 Polte MAI 1917 MAGDEBURG Sp406

I believe this shell was made by Polte Werk in Magdeburg on the 29.05.17 and was used in the battle of Ypres in that year.

Can anybody please provide with any further information relating to the shell like was it an artillery shell and also on the Yorks and Lancs contribution to this particular battle please?

Gary Crossley

#2 Gunner Bailey

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:04 pm


Welcome to the forum. I'm sure you will enjoy it!

I think it is likely that this shell is a 77mm German Artillery shell case, though a photo would help fully identfy it. Most souvenir German Shells are the 77mm because they were small enough to carry home. A search in the forum under 77mm may bring up a photo you can check out.

Gunner Bailey

#3 arie



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Posted 10 February 2009 - 11:56 am

Hello Gary,

welcome to the forum.

your cartridge case is for the standard German fieldcanon of that time, the 7,7 cm Feldkanone 96 n/A.
The case was made in May 1917 as you thought but not on the 29th.... the "295" is the lotnumber of that batch of cases which were indeed made by Polte in Magdeburg. smile.gif
The "St" (=Stark=strong) means that the case was strengthened (sp?), the first cases for this canon (until 1905) had thinner walls.
Sp406 is the control/inspection mark of the manufacturer.

Enjoy your stay on this wonderful forum happy.gif

Regards Arjen

#4 Wainfleet



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Posted 10 February 2009 - 12:36 pm

Hi Gary

The 3rd battle of Ypres was a huge, drawn-out affair lasting from July to November 1917 and consisting of numerous different battles in their own right, much like the battle of the Somme. The York and Lancs certainly played a part in it - every regiment did - but you need to know which battalion GWT served in. I can tell you that his medal index card is available at the National Archives, but it may well not give his battalion. Somebody here may find it on Ancestry and post it for you. You may then be able to get his service record from the N.A.