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Kriegs Gef Lazarett Douain, what and where?


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I've just been working my way through the Red Cross papers (all two of them) covering my grandfathers capture in 1918. I've attached a crop of the relevant page - he is at the bottom, James Gray.

 

Column 5 covers date and place of capture - thus far thus good according to what I've already worked out - and section c covers previous camp, according to Google translate. For every man on the page, this is given as Douain. Google gives me several references to a Frank Laugher (eg http://www.rememberthefallen.co.uk/casualty/laugher-frank/) who died at "Kriegs Gef Lazarett Douain", which to me suggests a POW hospital - which fits with family legend that he was wounded in the neck - but I can find no other details. Said search engine insists on giving me a place called Douains, which is on the wrong side of Paris to have been in German hands, or Douai which does at least seem to have had a hospital.

 

Can anyone clear up the mystery of where he was between being captured at Morchies and ending up at Frankfurt an der Oder, please?

 

Many thanks,

 

Adrian

 

PoW.jpg

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I've tried every variant name and spelling I can think of and can only guess that Douai is the place - perhaps in German you add an n to a place name when it is used as an adjective (as in English Armenia > Armenian)?

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That's a thought - I wonder if I can find a German at work to brach the subject with tactfully?

 

Adrian

 

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Denain (near Valenciennes) is another possibility.

 

ADDED: and guess what? There's a lazarett there: http://www.ebay.de/itm/331558976919 and http://www.delcampe.fr/page/item/id,304227067,var,59-Nord-DENAIN-Ecole-Pratique-Kriegslazarett-29-1917-Valenciennes-Escaut-Lycee-Kastler-Feldpost,language,F.html (which appears to have been posted by a GWF member!)

 

ADDED: and Frank Laugher is buried at Denain. http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/319747/LAUGHER, F

 

 

Edited by Chris_Baker
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Good spot Chris!

 

Puzzled by the typo though as e/o a/n aren't anywhere near each other on a qwerty board (thought - do all nationalities use qwerty?)

 

Perhaps the clerk was typing up from very bad handwriting.

Edited by seaJane
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Frank Laugher is buried in Denain Communal Cemetery and there is no sign that he was ever buried elsewhere. The German record shows that he died in "Douain".

 

Capture1.JPG

 

 

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There is a very useful Sheet 51a NW map, dated October 1918, on McMasters. It shows various medical facilities in and around Denain, but what may be of of particular interest, is the one at the Industrial School, at 51a.C.30.d.1.1, which is just a few hundred yards South of the Communal Cemetery at 51a.C.30.d.25.95.

 

Phil

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1 hour ago, Chris_Baker said:

Frank Laugher is buried in Denain Communal Cemetery and there is no sign that he was ever buried elsewhere. The German record shows that he died in "Douain".

 

Capture1.JPG

 

 

That's a very good indicator, Chris.  Visualising 'Denain' written in Kurrent manuscript, where 'e' and 'o' and 'n' and 'u' are very similar, I can now see how the transcriber has looked at the word and seen it as Douai with an 'n' on the end.  So my instinct wasn't entirely wrong, it was just the wrong way round!

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In cursive Kurrent manuscript, 'u' and 'n' are often almost indistinguishable, so some, but not all writers put a short curved dash over their 'u'.

Edited by SiegeGunner
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That is very interesting, everyone, and a cracking spot, Chris. Do any of you have period examples of the relevant hands (eg cursive Kurrent) to show? Apart from anything else it might help the next person asking.

 

Adrian

 

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Thank you, MVA, I can see how that could happen - and obviously not uncommon either.

 

Is anything known about how these forms were filled in? James' home address is recorded perfectly by someone who'd I'd guess was a German speaker (even if they might have been Swiss, for a Red Cross  record), yet the likeliest explanation of my iknitail query is a mis-reading of a German hand. 

 

Adrian

 

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I wonder if the prisoners filled in their own addresses? There would have been so many un-German words.

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  • 1 month later...

Well well, it keeps giving. I showed Dad the photos above at the weekend, and he quite suddenly said (of his father) "He came round surrounded by Germans pointing their rifles at him and thought he was going to be shot. That's all he ever said about it".

 

I guess it's not a lot, but it all adds to the picture of the chaos of March 22nd 1918.

 

Adrian

 

 

 

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On 05/09/2016 at 04:44, mva said:

examples of Kurrentschrift here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurrent

(see 'n' & 'u')

And see this topic for an example of just how different the Kurrentschrift manuscript hand is:

Help Translating hand written Post Card. St. Mihiel..French?

 

I've been deciphering this postcard as a 'backburner' project on and off all summer and I still only have the translation about 80% complete!

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On 03/09/2016 at 18:01, J T Gray said:

Column 5 covers date and place of capture - thus far thus good according to what I've already worked out - and section c covers previous camp, according to Google translate.

 

Adrian

 

'Vorhergehender Aufenthaltsort' really means 'Previous whereabouts' rather than 'Camp'.  Many of these men were kept in the rear areas as labour before they were formally attached to a 'proper' POW facility further back still and became better protected by international conventions.

Edited by MBrockway
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9 hours ago, MBrockway said:

And see this topic for an example of just how different the Kurrentschrift manuscript hand is:

Help Translating hand written Post Card. St. Mihiel..French?

 

I've been deciphering this postcard as a 'backburner' project on and off all summer and I still only have the translation about 80% complete!

For transcribers generally, there is a series of three free lessons Reading German Handwritten Records: Lesson 1: Kurrent LettersLesson 2: Making Words in KurrentLesson 3: Reading Kurrent Documents. All from Family Search (LDS) Wiki. Another guide is Handwriting Guide: German Gothic, originally from LDS.

 

Click where the colour differs for the links

 

Cheers

Maureen

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On 11/10/2016 at 01:25, MBrockway said:

'Vorhergehender Aufenthaltsort' really means 'Previous whereabouts' rather than 'Camp'.  Many of these men were kept in the rear areas as labour before they were formally attached to a 'proper' POW facility further back still and became better protected by international conventions.

 

Thanks (and likewise to Maureen as well).

 

Given that he was wounded my suspicion is that he was at the hospital at Denain, but he was also used as labour on the railway somewhere (not a great help to the war effort, I don't think - apparently one man would listen out for trains, and they'd lounge around until he heard one approaching when they'd all look busy, as there weren't enough men to guard the work parties. So he could equally well have been working there. The wound was minor, according to Dad, so might not have detained him long for treatment.

 

Adrian

 

 

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On 11/10/2016 at 11:08, Maureene said:

For transcribers generally, there is a series of three free lessons Reading German Handwritten Records: Lesson 1: Kurrent LettersLesson 2: Making Words in KurrentLesson 3: Reading Kurrent Documents. All from Family Search (LDS) Wiki. Another guide is Handwriting Guide: German Gothic, originally from LDS.

 

Click where the colour differs for the links

 

Cheers

Maureen

Maureen,

These tutorials look to be a useful find - many thanks for posting.

Cheers,

Mark

 

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  • 4 months later...

Frank Laugher as mentioned above was my Great-Uncle, I have always been confused as to his fate. He was reported missing 29-04-1917 and then as a POW 30-04-1917 in Limburg POW camp. He died of sickness 17-09-1917 in Douain and is buried in Denain. I understand from comments above that he must have died at the hospital in Denain. He was captured uninjured. Any help confirming or correcting information I have would be much apprieciated.

Judith Laugher

10385380_943932788965746_3432974100894124542_n.jpg

Edited by J Laugher
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