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German-American Private in King's Liverpool Army 3rd Battalion, 19


John_Schumacher

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Can anybody share any information about the activities or duties of the King's Liverpool Army 3rd Battalion in 1918? I understand that they were located at Victoria Barracks in Cork, Ireland, but don't have any information other than that.

The reason I ask is that my great grandfather, Henry Schumacher, a German-born American citizen who was 48 years old at the time he was with the King's Liverpool Army 3rd Battalion (he was a private, no. 115201, according to his discharge papers), was with the 3rd Battalion and I am trying to get a better understanding of his time there.

It is somewhat curious that my great grandfather ended up with the King's Liverpool Army. He was born in Germany in 1870, emigrated to Liverpool at the age of 4, lived there at least through the age of 11, returned to Germany and eventually emigrated to the USA in 1896, becoming a US citizen in 1906. At the age of 48, he enlisted with the King's Liverpool Army in Buffalo, NY in 1918 and was discharged one year 70 days later.

Was it fairly typical to have foreigners enlist in the King's Liverpool Army? Were there many of German origin in WWI?

Thanks for any information anybody might have that could provide some insight on my great grandfather's story.

Best regards,
John

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1881 UK Census has his family living at 8 Seacombe Buildings,St Martins,Liverpool. Father Freidrich (42) worked in a sugar house,Mother Groche (40),Heinrich (11) and his sister Matta (3) who was born at Kirkdale,Liverpool.

No papers seen for his military service,maybe lost in bombing of 1940 by his countrymen. No Medal Index Card either,so seems not to have left the 3rd Battalion,a Reserve unit which trained new recruits. It may be that by the time he arrived in the UK and completed his training he wasn't needed due to war's end.

There are a couple of Schumachers on the Medal Roll list for the King's Liverpool. George 97422 of the 25th Battalion,and Joseph 14980 of the 13th Battalion. There are around 8 soldiers in all with the surname.

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Thank you sotonmate, very helpful information. I was fortunate enough to have already found the census information - his father came to Liverpool to work as a labourer for a local sugar refinery, which is why he ended up there as a youth. He must have still felt some connection to the area to have enlisted with the King's Liverpool Army, rather than having joined the US Army at the time. Or perhaps the US Army wouldn't take him for some reason? I.e. his age, or the fact that he was born in Germany? I often wondered if being bilingual in English and German might have been of value to the allies....

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John

Meant to mention that we would call the unit King's Liverpool Regiment,an Army has very many Regiments.

Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance,unlike most of our Allies our records have been severely decimated and leave us research disciples at a disadvantage. I also read somewhere that some US records went up in smoke too.

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I have read that the British & Canadian forces had recruiting offices in the US at some time so that is how he joined in the US. I would think his command of the German language would have been an asset to the intelligence sections of either the UK or the US forces. At 48 he was likely too old for front line service. While at the 3Bn he may have ben used to talk to any German POWs if kept in nearby camps. He may have been rejected by the US Army as they set higher standards for recruits while the UK forces had need to lower them due to man power needs. But he did his bit so kudos to him.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear sotonmate and loader,

Thanks for the replies. What you said makes sense and helps me at least get a slight sense of what his experience might have been. Much appreciated.

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