Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Martin Feledziak

Argonne - 5th October 1918

Recommended Posts

ph0ebus

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

I have a book on German uniforms somewhere....I'll try and dig it out and see if it sheds any light on things.

Re: the photo, perhaps your prother in lieu of a scanner can take a magnifying glass to the picture and see if he can make out what is written on it? Same with the shoulderboard?

-Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ph0ebus

I also am wondering what brought him to Gera? It is quite a ways from Mokronos, as the crow flies...

-Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

Daniel

I have yet another puzzle. I have another studio photograph of Marcin in ordinary clothes. There is no studio watermark on the rear and (I have moved the date over), someone removed the stamp years ago.

post-103138-0-75103600-1383301042_thumb.

This would have been sent to his sister when he was 17. He would not be 18 until October of this year. So If he is the one recorded as being missing he would have been captured very early in his service. This does not appear to fit.

I see that his sister is living in Dusseldorf and he is writing from Riemke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
egbert

The card is addressed to Marie F. in the town of Hilden, Walderstrasse 181, formerly Düsseldorf county. She lived at the address c/o Mr W. Klopphaus.

post-80-0-56214800-1383304283_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
egbert

Old postcard Walderstrasse

post-80-0-80841400-1383304465_thumb.jpg

post-80-0-69291300-1383304478_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

Egbert,

Many, many Thanks for deciphering the Address and placing it on the map. I had no idea what it refereed to or where it could be. And the mysterious Mr W. Klopphaus.

Looking at the postcards they are of that time too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ph0ebus

Daniel

I have yet another puzzle. I have another studio photograph of Marcin in ordinary clothes. There is no studio watermark on the rear and (I have moved the date over), someone removed the stamp years ago.

Half card.jpg

This would have been sent to his sister when he was 17. He would not be 18 until October of this year. So If he is the one recorded as being missing he would have been captured very early in his service. This does not appear to fit.

I see that his sister is living in Dusseldorf and he is writing from Riemke.

Hi Martin,

His being 17 is not necessarily a problem. In the Prussian Army, you could serve as young as age 17, as far as I know. Perhaps others more well versed in recruiting and training might weigh in on this? I'll see if I can find my source for the Age 17 info and I'll add it to this thread.

Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

So - I am not sure of the year but Marcin Feledziak married Francoise Karas Born 1905 and I think she was from Herne. These are poor details I am aware.

I do know that their first son, My uncle Edouard Feledziak was born in Frankfurt in 1923.

Then their little family migrated to the Northern France Mining city of Douai and My Father, Henryk Feledziak, was born in 1926.

They all became miners in the early years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

These are closer views of the studio portrait.

This is the watermark on the rear ( Still not clear )

post-103138-0-50413400-1383406761_thumb.

This is the Belt and badge area. ( Sorry still no good for an ID )

post-103138-0-12369200-1383406780_thumb.

The shoulder details does not work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

Very difficult to tell but these belt buckles give the same sort of shaddow appearence.

post-103138-0-51785200-1383407505_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
egbert

Martin for me it is crystal clear a post war photography as the tunic is not GFE. Now with the zoom, I also see the ribbon band for his EK at the chest pocket. This is not the right place for a German military uniform. I also see what could be the Verwundetenabzeichen and the German belt buckle. So all in all my guess:

-post war picture ca 1919

-yes Johann was in the German Army before armistice and

- I believe he later served in the Polish armed forces from which period the picture shows proof

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

Thank you Egbert,

That does make interesting reading. I have learned so much in the last few days and I actually enjoy getting these updates. As I said before our family never discussed the Great War and I know why they did not because it was a very, very bad time, but that does not help us trying to understand various issues.

I may have confused things by naming this strand Johann Feledziak and posting a photograph of Marcin but I feel sure they are brothers.

This card was sent back to Poland in 1919 to another brother, Jacob, who was still there.

I did always have the feeling that the family strongly considered their heritage as "Old Polish" and my Fathers Cousin suggested that our ancestors were involved in the Polish1830 November uprising. As a result Siberia was a punishment for one or two of those "Nestchastri Ludi" .

How I would love to research that too.

But for now trying to get this bit right is difficult.

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

Can I ask - is this the standard uniform for a soldier in

Posensches Pionier bataillon Nr. 29

post-103138-0-88088800-1383491764_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ph0ebus

Uniforms are by far not my forte. I cannot find that darn book I referenced earlier. I am thinking my son hid it on me! :)

I also own a bayonet just like the one pictured, though it is just a purchase and not something with any family connection. It's the butcher style.

That EKII ribbon was very tricky, hiding in plain sight by the pocket! I had not seen it worn that way before. I suspect the wound badge your man is wearing, given how light it appears, is either the silver or gold version. I would think the black one would not appear so bright.

Re: the printed words on the reverse of your photo, that's going to be tough. I can make out a word here and there but perhaps if I play with my photo software I can bring out the words more distinctly and we can see what it says.

-Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

I have received a reply from Patrick - who will send me the CD for Pioneer 29, I asked him about Füsilier Reg 33, but he does not have that as yet.

It will be nice to look at, but if it is anything like the casualty reports I have no chance of understanding them.

Dear Daniel -

I remember a bayonet in the kitchen of my English Grandmothers house, it was next to the toasting fork by the fire, I still have the toasting fork but my Mother must have considered the bayonet dangerous and disposed of it, so I only have it in memory. Also I remember that it did not appear very sharp.

I do not know who it belonged to as my English Grandfather was born in 1900.

I do have two ornamental copper shell casings.

As for medals in the GF's picture, it is a posed photo so why not have the actual medal on display ?

Please do not worry about the faded words on the back, We have the studio so I am well chuffed with that !

I am still knocked out that he may have been a prisoner of war !! or even that he was a German soldier ..!!!

There are still so many questions.

Martin..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ph0ebus

I have received a reply from Patrick - who will send me the CD for Pioneer 29, I asked him about Füsilier IR 33, but he does not have that as yet.

It will be nice to look at, but if it is anything like the casualty reports I have no chance of understanding them.

Dear Daniel -

I remember a bayonet in the kitchen of my English Grandmothers house, it was next to the toasting fork by the fire, I still have the toasting fork but my Mother must have considered the bayonet dangerous and disposed of it, so I only have it in memory. Also I remember that it did not appear very sharp.

I do not know who it belonged to as my English Grandfather was born in 1900.

I do have two ornamental copper shell casings.

As for medals in the GF's picture, it is a posed photo so why not have the actual medal on display ?

Please do not worry about the faded words on the back, We have the studio so I am well chuffed with that !

I am still knocked out that he may have been a prisoner of war !! or even that he was a German soldier ..!!!

There are still so many questions.

Martin..

Hi Martin,

My grandfather never posed with the actual medal on display either. I have no idea what became of the medal or the ribbon. It may be that for non-officers, this is what the expected display was, and that only officers could display the medal itself? That's a total guess on my part.

Given he was a POW I wonder if there are any files on him held by the German equivalent of the Red Cross or some similar organization?

-Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CROONAERT

Martin for me it is crystal clear a post war photography as the tunic is not GFE.

It's a typical 'private purchase ' tunic of the WW1 into the Vorläufige Reichsheer (as opposed to the official Reichsheer of 1921 onwards) period circa 1918/19 (could have been earlier , but the presence of the Verwundetenabzeichen rules this out) . The cap itself places it as German and dates it as 1919 at the latest (when the state cockade was dropped). Popular with junior officers and self-supplied ('richer') recruits such as the einjahr freiwillingen, there is even a famous late-war/immediate post-war portrait image of Ernst Junger wearing an almost identical jacket.

All evidence considered (plus the inclusion of the 'other ranks' buckle), makes me think he's quite an affluent NCO (and/or, possibly, a volunteer) of the very late WW1/very early post war period.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CROONAERT

... there is even a famous late-war/immediate post-war portrait image of Ernst Junger wearing an almost identical jacket...

...

post-357-0-41675800-1383520836_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

CROONAERT I have to say that the image is a complete match.

It is also very un-nerving to me. I have just had a quick read through the WIKI entry for Junger ( I know you can't trust items reported on those entries ) but I see he met with Chacellor Helmut Kohl and President Francois Mitterrand of France at a 1984 Franco-German ceremony at Verdun.

also reported here

http://www.nytimes.com/1984/09/23/world/mitterrand-and-kohl-honor-dead-of-verdun.html ( New York Times )

http://velcomefisitor.blogspot.co.uk/2011_11_01_archive.html ( Someones Personal Blog )

As part of the Ceremony they went to the cemetery at Consenvoye. ( Where Jean Feledziak KIA 1917 is at rest )

Thank You Dave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ph0ebus

So far, in the lightly printed text I am seeing the three lines starting this way:

Hef-A ****************************************************

Platte wird für..................................geboden

Nettigen das ich verglasser****** ******************** Bilder Karten

Anyone having any better luck?

-Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

So far, in the lightly printed text I am seeing the three lines starting this way:

Hef-A ****************************************************

Platte wird für..................................geboden

Nettigen das ich verglasser****** ******************** Bilder Karten

Anyone having any better luck?

-Daniel

Daniel,

Please give up on this part of the task, it is too difficult.

I am more than happy with everything we have already learned from the image on the front and the fact that it is a was from the studio of Franz Scheffer in Gera Germany.

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

Thanks to the wonderful work of Lukasz Bielecki and his team of volunteers I have now started to make incredible discoveries about my Polish/ Prussian/German family roots.

They have started a huge database indexing many marriages from the Posen / Poznan region. I have now gone back 3 generations to 1799. I will need to apply for written records before I am sure but it does look very promising.

http://poznan-project.psnc.pl/project.php

Having searched the database I have good reason to trust an entry which indicates a birth year of 1859 for the older Johann which would make him 58 in 1917 and most unlikely to be the person at rest at Consenvoye.

His son, also Johann and who this topic was started for, could be in either of the two places

So the mystery will continue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Martin Feledziak

Look what turned up in the post this morning.

post-103138-0-47078400-1384534585_thumb.

If only this book was in a language I could understand I would have an excellent historical WW1 narrative. It is packed with photos and facts and figures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×