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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Finding what happened to a German soldier?


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I wonder if anyone can help. The soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum holds a letter from a German soldier and a British identity tag sent via the Red Cross to the family of a war casualty on our memorial: Arthur Harris.

Arthur died on October 22nd 1917 during the battle of Passchendaele.

The letter was written on 15th Feb 1918 'on the field' by a Rifleman Schaeffer. I know it's a long shot, but does anyone know how we might find out what happened to this man?


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Possibly...would it be possible to see a scan or photo of the letter? Particularly of any section that may have unit details about the sender. Are there any unit or regimental stamps? Is there an envelope? Do we have a first name for this fellow?


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Ken, is it safe to assume with a rank of 'Rifleman' he might be from a Jäger regiment? It's not something I have come across that often in my limited research. If so, that would narrow the field quite a bit.


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Rifleman was probably translated from Schutzen (sorry, cannot add German .. over the 'u'. The best chance to narrow down the possible unit is to determine what division was in area, does it have any connection to Cologne, etc.


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