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Remembered Today:

Martin Feledziak

Argonne - 5th October 1918

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Martin Feledziak

Hello Forum members.

 

The title of this thread is always changing - Usually because I have found something that needs a little investigation. I like to keep all of my inquiries in one thread so that I can find topics that are of interest to me later.

If you are here because a topic has sparked your interest you will find it on the last page of this thread.

 

FOR NOW - here is the post I made to start this thread.

It is the reason why I came to this forum and the reason why I am still here

feel free to read all 35 pages.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My distant family originate from Old Poland and I have recently started some research. I am British born and I am unable to speak or communicate in any other language. All my family elders have now died out so I can only ask the internet for information. I remember my Father told me that the family were in action in the Great War and indeed his uncle was known to have been killed in France. I assumed they were in the Polish army.

So I was surprised to have a reply back from Volksbund Deutsche.

Jean.jpg


so here are the only facts I hold so far.

I know for sure that My Grandfather was born Marcin Feledziak , in Wrotkow on 14 Oct 1897. His Father was Jean Feledziak and his mother Francoise Klepacki. These details are recorded on his 1968 death certificate. I have a 1919 picture of Marcin in uniform which appears to show a wound badge below his left breast tunic pocket.

I was told that Marcin had two Brothers and 1 Sister. He also had an elder Brother called Jean who was Killed and buried in France in 1914.

A search of Volksbund German war grave site gave me two records for Johann Feledziak. But the details were limited and did not give me any confidence that I had found Jean. I replied to Volksbund to see if they had any other information. They told me that many WW1 records were destroyed when the Berlin archives were bombed in the second war.

However they were able to provide the unit details.

Johann Feledziak
Killed 22.04.1915 from Mokronos
2./Pion.Btl.29

Johann Feledziak
Killed 18.07.1917
4./Fus.R.37.

Using Google Earth I have seen that Mokronos is a small village just a few miles from Wrotkow ( My Grandfathers Birthplace ) so now I feel I may have a true start point.
However, I start this search with two big problems.

1) I am British born and only use English, I do not know any German or Polish and just schoolboy French. My Father could use all four of these languages.
He arrived in the UK in 1946 from the Polish Air Force.

2) My Father and all of the other family elders are now dead so I do not have anyone to ask.

Martin Feledziak


original post
http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=194584&hl=pionier#entry1904647

 

 

                                                                          Great War family tree:- Served and died

(1) John Platt JENKINSON, 1897-1918, Gunner 168060, Royal Field Artillery, Died of wounds - Arneke Military Cemetery - France
(2) Anton FELEDZIAK - 1892 - 1917, Gefallen- Unknown Grave somewhere in Russia
(3) Johann FELEDZIAK, 1891 - 1915,  Pioneer Regiment No29 Killed on 22 04 1915  Servon Melzicourt military cemetery - France
(4) Johann FELEDZIAK, 1897 - 1917, Fusilier Regiment No37 Von Steinmetz -  ( Hill 304 )  1917 Consenvoye military cemetery - France
(13) Arthur JENKINSON, 1876 - 1918, Pte 44860 Notts and Derby - died 13 03 1919 - Fulford cemetery - Stoke-On-Trent

                                                                       Great War family tree:- Served and unknown
(11) Andreas FELEDZIAK 1889 - Konigs infanterie Regiment No145, Metz - 1914 Wounded.
(12) Martin FELEDZIAK 1895, 4 Kompagnie Fusilier Regiment No39 - Prisoner of War 1915

                                                                        Great War family tree:- Served and Survived

(5) Percy Robinson PRATT, 1879 - 1951, Army Veterinary Corps 26085, 1/4th Cheshire Regiment 40875
(6) Martin FELEDZIAK 1897 - 1968, 10 Kompagnie Infanterie Regiment No 171.
(7)  Felix Robinson PRATT, 1894-1980, Royal Garrison Artillery 11386, Royal Engineers 252695
(8) Jacob FELEDZIAK 1886 , Reserve Infanterie Regiment No61 and Reserve Jager Battalion No2 - Seriously Wounded 1916.
(9) Josef FELEDZIAK 1894 - 1970, 13 Kompanie, Reserve Infanterie Regiment No6 - Prisoner of War 1916

(10) Samuel WALKER, 1872 Pte 2119 and 19164 3RD Bn South Staffordshire Regiment

(14) Samuel James Robinson PRATT, 1880 - 1956 , Pte DM2-208112, Army Service Corps.

(16) Karol FELEDZIAK 1888 Dubiecko -Galician Infantry Regiment Freiherr Von Albori No 89  - 1940 Captain Polish Army murdered Katyn Forest

(15) Raymond Silvers PRATT, 1879 - Captain - The Duke of Cambridge's Own - Middlesex Regiment

(17) Walenty FELEDZIAK 1898 - could have been German army but was  a part of the Polish uprising in Poznan 1918 - Fledgling polish Army

(18) Arthur Lionel PRATT 1898, Royal Garrison Artillery 134065, 122 Hvy By, SWB 39113

(19) Francis PRATT 1889 - 1965, Driver 56716 4th Brigade Royal Field Artillery.
(20) Norman JENKINSON 1895, Gunner 85921, 27th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, Wounded October 1917

(21) Joseph WALKER 1865, Waggoner 55th Remount Squadron Army Service Corps

Edited by Martin Feledziak

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ph0ebus

Martin,

It would be great if you would be able to post the photo you referenced earlier. There may be additional details we can glean from it that will move your research forwards. Is anything written on the back of the photo? It may be helpful to see a scan of the reverse as well if there is.

I would not let your lack of facility for speaking or reading German stop you. When I started my research I knew nothing, and could read nothing. With time, practice and the right tools...I still read almost nothing. :) But I can read some things, and I can now figure out a good many things using translation software and asking the right questions to people far more savvy and skilled than I. Reading the old typed German gets easier the more you do it, and I hope one day to have some decent ability to ready written German scripts too, but that will take a lot more practice.

I find nothing on Ancestry for Jean or Johann but I so see four hits for Martin; two are VL entries, which I think we have already found, one is for a marriage record and a last one a birth record. I do not have access to the overseas records so I cannot see their contents but I can confirm they are there. You might pay a visit to your local library if you do not have Ancestry yourself to see if you can pull these records up to examine them.

Do you know a Michael Feledziak? I see a tree on Geni.com that referecnes a Hendryk Feledziak and Marcin as well. If you need more details on that angle let me know and I will make further inquiries.

-Daniel

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ph0ebus

PS threre are a whole slew of folks with the last name Feledziak in their trees on Geni, so there may be some living relatives on there you may want to reach out to.

post-32240-0-72471300-1383090649_thumb.j

-Daniel

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Martin Feledziak

Hello Daniel,

Thank you for your help with my Family history quest.

I have drawn up two of my family trees.

In England I have access to the 10 yearly national census records and various church records which have helped me research the Jenkinson and Pratt families ( My Mothers line ) back to the year 1764.

However in France and Poland - Prussia now I find - I have nothing and just Grandfathers birth of 14 October 1897.

So what you now tell me is most significant. I do not understand the VL entries so I have not seen the marriage or birth record, so please expand on how I can access this information.

My Grandmother was Francoise Karas born 1905- Died 1977.

FELEDZIAK (Martin), Wrotkow (Pologne), 14-10-97, NAT, 1328x63 —59.

FELEDZIAK, née KARAS, Herne (Allemagne), 05-04-05, NAT, 1368 X63— 59.

On the image you have posted I can see my Father Hendryk - Husband of Helene Jenkinson and obviously Marcin my Grandfather. ( I need to look here too ).

Michael is my brother and we are the only two Felediak families living in the UK.

(I have quizzed him today and he says he has inputted some details on Geni so that is where that info has come from.)

The other names do not feature in my tree. I have most of the Feledziak line from my Grandfathers generation but not from before his time.

So anything you can give me I will gladly and happily take.

So now I have read your family history and what an excellent presentation you have made.

It is very important that everyone knows the misery of war and how it has catastrophic effects for everyone.

Your very first paragraph is exactly right and it feels where I am now but I only have the one post card and no books.

The only thing I do remember my Father telling me was his Father said to him

" The War - I will not speak of it "

Therefore anything I find now is news to me.

I see that our Grandfathers are the same age, well almost, Emanuel Stern 1895 and Marcin Feledziak 1897.

I have much to learn and as you say as it stands I know nothing but given help, time and understanding and in the end I may still know nothing.

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roel22

The Verlustliste have an entry on 3-5-1915 for (I quote) "Utffz. Joh. Feledziak (2. feld komp.) Mokronos, Koschmin + an seinen Wunden 22.4.15"

Or in English:

"NCO Joh. Feledziak (2. field comp.) Mokronos, Koschmin + of wounds 22.4.15"

I can't copy the complete entry, but you can find it here.

Click next to the purple part on the Verlustliste to see the rest of the entry.

The other casualties from Pionier Regiment nr. 29 on this page are all from fights at 18, 19 and 22 april 1915.

So Johann either has died the day he was wounded, or within a few days.

Roel

post-5443-0-32684500-1383218701_thumb.jp

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Martin Feledziak

I always thought that this was a fancy dress picture. But having viewed a number of other WW1 images
I take it for a genuine studio portrait.
However could this be a person from 4./Fus.R.39. who was reported missing in 1915 and then confirmed a POW in 1916 and then send this image in 1919 ?

In terms of "Marcin" there are two references to one Martin Feledziak. Both entries have him with Füsilier-Regiment Nr. 39 - the first states that he was "missing" the second that he was a "prisoner of war".

The German casualty list database (69% complete) only has eight entries for the surname Feledziak representing at least five individuals. All are from Kr. Koschmin, with the exception of one from neighbouring Kr. Gostyn. Since the name is so uncommon and they all come from a specific region

EDIT - Sept 2014 --- There are now 13 enteries, the most recent listed this Martin Feledziak as belonging to Infanterie Regiment 171, wounded in 1918

post-103138-0-59469400-1383146138_thumb.

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Martin Feledziak

post-103138-0-68894400-1383154331_thumb.

I can see Franz S? in the watermark then :-

The address is for his older brother Jacob Feledziak (1896) in Krotszyn .

I think it was sent from Gera (Germany) in September

and does it say a souvenir of 1919

Marcin

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roel22

attachicon.gifpostcardreverse.jpg

I can see Franz S? in the watermark then :-

= Franz Scheffer

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egbert

Does not look like a German tunic for me. Maybe this is post Imperial German Army stuff. After the armistice, many Polish ethnics formerly fighting in the German Army turned to the newly established Polish Army.

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ph0ebus

Martin,

A few things regarding the photo:

1. It's fantastic!

2. I see a section of typed words under the Franz Scheffer stamp. Can you make out what it says? Any chance of blowing up that part so we can have a better look?

3. Any chance of a high-resolution scan of his shoulderboard?

4. Any chance of a high-resolution closeup of his buckle?

5. The shiny oval beneath his breast pocket...is that a wound badge? Can we get a high-resolution closeup of that item as well?

6. The photographer was based out of Gera, so your assumption re: where it was mailed from is probably correct. I found the following re: Franz, which I have Google Translated from the original German:

1890 leer.gifA new photographer in Gera leer.gifletter-z.jpg u this time, the medium of photography was not quite as new as some people would think, because the first method in this regard had been developed in the late 1830s. Only after the mid-19th Century settled the first photographers in Gera. One of them was Franz Scheffer, who in 1890 founded his business and his studio operating at the Tonhalle. He took over the studio of renowned photographer Emil Gera incumbent Giessow in a very exposed position there. Franz Scheffer was known as an expert in Gera for portraits and industrial photography.

From:

http://www.gera-chronik.de/www/gerahistorie/chronik/index.htm?suche1=Tonhalle&param=&suche2=&max=50&abj=0&index=0

He was located at Adelheid-Strasse 2, adjacent to the Theater there. I cannot find that street in Gera today, so it has likely been renamed.

-Daniel

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ph0ebus

There was a discussion I had here on the GWF a few years ago regarding wound badges that may relate to our present discussion, including a photo of a man in uniform wearing a wound badge is precisely the same spot as the mystery oval in your family photo:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=153513

-Daniel

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ph0ebus

Does not look like a German tunic for me. Maybe this is post Imperial German Army stuff. After the armistice, many Polish ethnics formerly fighting in the German Army turned to the newly established Polish Army.

Could it be a Freikorps uniform?

-Daniel

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roel22

Franz Scheffer was known as an expert in Gera for portraits and industrial photography.

He was located at Adelheid-Strasse 2, adjacent to the Theater there. I cannot find that street in Gera today, so it has likely been renamed.

Great find, Daniel.

The Adelheidstrasse in Gera was renamed Clara Zetkinstrasse in 1950.

Roel

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egbert

Could it be a Freikorps uniform?

-Daniel

No way. After the war, when the Poles displaced the Germans from their provinces Posen , Silesia and such, the ethnic Poles who served in the German Army until 11/1919 turned against the former comrade in arms Germans and formed militia sort of groups. They wore parts of their old German uniform mixed with other stuff. I am thinking into that direction.

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Martin Feledziak

Hello Roel, Egbert and Daniel,

Thanks for all the input, this is really very interesting to me. I have just had a good look round Gera with Google Earth. There is no street view there yet but many photos in Panoramio for me to get a feel for the place.

This is an example from images so you are right with the studio.

This is like a historical detective story.

post-103138-0-82803500-1383212614_thumb.

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Karsten

I am absolutely no expert in this, but for me the tunic seems to be more British style than German style ...

Karsten

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Martin Feledziak

Daniel,

I have a problem with a closer examination of the photograph as it hangs on the wall at my brothers house. I do not think he is a master of the scanner or even if he has one so this will have to wait until another day but there is obviously some debate about what uniform it actually is.

Martin

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egbert

I would be rather interested in a high resolution scan to see the belt (Gott Mit Uns ?) and the Verwundetenabzeichen? all arranged with a non German Army tunic. The visor cap looks German though.

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Martin Feledziak

I can show you this trunk though.

Again I have no idea where it came from but it has always been in our family. My best guess is that my Father had it with him when he settled here from the Polish Air Force in 1946.

post-103138-0-08215100-1383227469_thumb.

There is nothing of note inside apart from a part constructed wooden ship model.

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egbert

So no new Grandfather's trunk story here?!

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michael feledziak

It is like the rest of the history of our grandfather...... empty.

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roel22

Perhaps the city archives (of Mokronos) still has documents of your grandfather? That's where I found documents about what happened to my German great-grandfather, including a description where he was buried on the battlefield.

Roel

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Martin Feledziak

Last year we paid a visit to Consenvoye. Very well respected and beautifully maintained.

I am not sure which Feledziak is at rest here but it could be my Great Grandfather.

But whoever it is we honour them.

EDIT 2016 - This is the grave of Johann Feledziak born 1897 - not my great grandfather but a great uncle (4) below

post-103138-0-58164000-1383247092_thumb.

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Martin Feledziak

Thank you Roel,

Two days ago I had never heard of Mokronos, and now I have a target for searching. It is a small village but already I have landed on their village web site. I have a reply but I do not think any living person in the village will remember . However their church is standing and does have records. I am working on it

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roel22

Many archives of (former) German cities have survived WWII. So who knows what they will have. The church may also turn out to be a very good source. Best of luck - and please keep us posted!

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