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Help reading French cause of death, please!


apwright

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I would be grateful if anyone can decipher the word inserted after "cause étrangère au service", which I have circled in red. I have enough French to read and understand most of what I find in the French archives, but this one word continues to elude me.

minar jean.JPG

 

I have found the man's registre matricule and his unit's war diary, but unfortunately neither sheds any light on the circumstances.

 

I'm trying to find the details of the 8000+ men buried in the French cemetery here in Salonika, and have managed to find just over 7000 in the French archives so far.
Some of the other causes étrangères au service that I have encountered are 30 suicides; at least 20 men accidentally drowned while bathing in the sea; six men murdered; two men shot evading arrest; one killed in a brawl; and one (a French sergent-major in a Senegalese battalion) found dead of a cocaine overdose in a brothel. It's an interesting exercise!

 

The most telling statistic is that, of the 7000 I have found, well over 5000 died of disease in this malaria- and flu-ridden backwater - and nearly half of those died after the Armistice.

 

Adrian

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Ivresse means drunkenness. Bit of a long shot, though.

 

Ron

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I see that he was born in Nice, but his surname and regiment suggests he may have been of African descent. I don't know if that might have been significant in relation to drinking but, in any case, it doesn't seem too far out of line with the other causes of death that you found!

 

Ron

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The man obviously had a problem with authority! Looking again at his registre matricule, I see that he had been court-martialed at least 4 times for refusing to obey orders, and had served time in penal companies.

 

I'm not sure about the African angle... The Chasseurs d'Afrique don't seem to have been very African after all, according to the records I have found so far.
Of the 87 Chasseurs d'Afrique buried here that I've found the details for, only 12 were born in Algeria, and just 1 in Tunisia. All the rest (74) were born in France.
And none of them have obviously North African/Arab names. The few non-French names are mostly Spanish plus a couple of German (Alsacian?).

 

Likewise with the Zouaves. Out of 330 men from various Zouave units, 248 were born in France. Only 69 are from Algeria, and one is from Mauritania. The remaining 12 were born in various other countries (3 from Réunion, 2 each from Spain and Germany, and 1 each from Romania, Martinique, Egypt, Belgium and Guadeloupe).

 

Anyway, thanks for your help, Ron!

Adrian

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2 hours ago, apwright said:

 

 

I'm not sure about the African angle... The Chasseurs d'Afrique don't seem to have been very African after all,... ...

Likewise with the Zouaves.

 

Not a surprise. The chasseurs d'Afrique and their foot-slogging equivalent, the Zouaves and the Régiments d'infanterie coloniale were almost entirely made up of Frenchmen or French/European settlers. Colonial units, yes, but not indigenous ones. The indigenous units were the Tirailleurs and Spahis

Edited by CROONAERT
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6 hours ago, apwright said:

 

 

Likewise with the Zouaves. Out of 330 men from various Zouave units, 248 were born in France. Only 69 are from Algeria, and one is from Mauritania.

 

The remaining 12 were born in various other countries (3 from Réunion, 2 each from Spain and Germany, and 1 each from Romania, Martinique, Egypt, Belgium and Guadeloupe).

 

 

Réunion, Martinique and Guadeloupe are part of France, although overseas.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Réunion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martinique

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guadeloupe

 

Cheers

Maureen

Edit: there are some  French overseas, births, marriages and deaths online, which may be accessed through

http://www.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/anom/en/Recherches/IREL.html  from the website

Archives Nationales d'Outre-Mer  http://www.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/anom/en/index.html English version

The original French version of the website appears to have more information about some topics.

http://www.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/anom/fr/index.html

Edited by Maureene
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It means that the cause of death was accidental, not service related - not killed by the Germans, not died of wounds etc

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I did wonder whether 'ivresse' would stretch to cover death due to chronic alcoholism.  I think it probably does, but there's still a possibility that he had a fatal accident while inebriated.

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It doesn't look at all like 'Ivresse' to me, but 'Evreite'.  Is it possible that it's not actually part of the cause of death even though it's in that section?  I was wondering if it meant 'Jewish', locally in Salonika. though not in French of course. I realise that's way off everyone else's reading of it and Adrian would probably know if it did have such a meaning, but that is what the word looks like.

 

EDIT Here's a use of the word to mean 'Jews' in the context of Macedonia.

http://www.worldcat.org/title/tragedijata-na-evreite-od-makedonija/oclc/19588637

NB I only quoted this to show the use of the word for 'Hebrews'  = Jews, not because the topic is relevant. Obviously it's later.

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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as a French person, I can say the word 'Evreite' is not used in French (ivrite just for the language), I can say nothing about the use of that word in Macedonian, but, after all, this is a French document.

I read ivresse, and see it is in a different handwriting than the rest (one wrote the upper part, another one the lower part, adding 'ivresse' as the cause of death.

What Liz sees as a 't' is the 'tail' of the last 'e', which was rather common in handwriting at that time.

And : he died in hospital, probably of ethylic coma.

And : how being a Jew could be a cause of death ??? the book Liz refers too was written in 1962 and is probably about what happened during WW2 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_Memorial_Center_for_the_Jews_of_Macedonia )

kind regards from the Somme, Martine

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Hi Martine

Yes, of course I know it's a much later book and am not suggesting the topic itself is relevant - it just shows that they use the word from Hebrew, meaning Hebrew, for Jew.

I have already said, it isn't the cause of death, clearly. It would be in the wrong section. But that happens in other documents, I don't know about French documents as you obviously do, and I wondered if there could have been a local input.

As to the writing, agreed about the flourish on the final e, but I cannot see a  double s.  I agree it's unlikely, and abandon it forthwith!  Just wondered.

 

Liz

Edited by Liz in Eastbourne
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