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rolyboy11

MAHENGE 1917.

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rolyboy11

Rather a long shot I know but has anybody knowledge of any lists or refs. that might shed some light on who M.CURDES was?   As per pic. -  it is marked on a 'folding style bowie' of a design that resembles a kS98 bayonet as issued to the Schutztruppe in GEA.  It has no maker or other markings except this. It appears to commemorate time spent in Mahenge  (possibly when it was captured by Belgium forces in the October?? )  but in what capacity, armed force, administration or just resident is not clear.

Any thoughts, ideas or information would be much appreciated.

 

Rolyboy.

 

a167.jpg.ec6ec063dde4ebfd8e00723f95fad893.jpg

 

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SteveE

There is, on Ancestry, a Casualty List for the German East African Schutztruppe, dated 1st July 1918 which shows an Oberjager Martin Curdes in English imprisonment and interned in Cairo, Egypt.

 

Steve

D3293E71-5063-4C29-AA1C-53761E9EEEC0.jpeg

Edited by SteveE

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charlie962

ICRC also have him under Kurdes in the Card index- this is A18298

             5aaed189caa73_CurdesMICRCA18298.JPG.10a3863a32b995168d52c82f24db236b.JPG

Charlie

 

A16090 has the start of  "List 177" but it looks like a difficult trawl through to find the cross ref referred to above.

Edited by charlie962

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rolyboy11

Wow! ........... That's great, many thanks Charlie & Steve.

 

Both refs. have the same man and I may be wrong, but think perhaps Curdes is not too common a name?  M - Martin seeming to fit as well must give this high odds of being our man.

 

On Steve's casualty list is St Stefan Steiermart ....... his home town? If so, is that Austria - Styria?  So presumably/possibly he was Austrian? 

 

Just had a very cursory flick through a couple of books and it certainly looks like 26 FK  (Lt. Zingel) were on the Mahenge Plateau in 1917 with Wintgens/Wahle so that works as well.   Not sure when they were formed, as not a pre war Kompagnie.

 

As a Jager NCO possibly arrived pre 1914?      Age given as 28 in 1918, so could he have completed his military service and arrived as a settler??  Looks like the final remnants of 26FK surrendered at Kakera  2/9/17 (Tip & Run p.314)  These records I presume don't give a date for when he was captured?
 

Any suggestions where to go next with this one greatly appreciated!! 

 

Rolyboy.

 

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charlie962
3 minutes ago, rolyboy11 said:

These records I presume don't give a date for when he was captured?

As you can see the ICRC record refers to an earlier List 177 giving details of when captured. But a look at the list 177 (starting A16090) that I refer to above doesn't seem to tie up ?

 

8 minutes ago, rolyboy11 said:

Curdes is not too common a name

Elsewhere it might sound like Kurtz ? So you have to be prepared to search widely;

 

Charlie

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rolyboy11

Thanks yet again Charlie.  Trying to get to grips with the ICRC to bring up A16090 as you suggest, no success yet but ....... Then as you say looks like a long haul !!! ........

 

Rolyboy.

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SteveE
On ‎19‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 13:34, rolyboy11 said:

On Steve's casualty list is St Stefan Steiermart ....... his home town? If so, is that Austria - Styria?  So presumably/possibly he was Austrian? 

I presume that St. Stefan Steiermart was his home town and a quick 'google' took me to a location in Austria so yes, I'd presume he was Austrian too.

 

As for Charlie's ICRC link, I believe I checked all of List 177 but I couldn't find any reference that related to the previous entry on A.18298.  The List does say it covers Egypt as well as Europe but I couldn't find any references to Egypt whatsoever but that could just be me.

 

Steve

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rolyboy11

Thanks Steve, I finally got to grips with Charlies ICRC link, trawled through last night, but like you could find no cross refs. which is very frustrating. Not sure where to go with this one as in theory the info. is in there somewhere..............

 

Rolyboy.

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charlie962

Add to the title of this thread words like 'ICRC German PoW Records' and you might attract one of the experts out there. I'd like to know the solution as well.

That reference to 'serial number 28111  C: List 177' must mean something.

Charlie

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SteveE

Found it 😊, checked the record cards of all the others on the original list and Paul Sprandel had another reference number *2435, in addition to the A.18298, which led to a different List 177.  Martin Curdes is on the page prior to Sprandel so his additional reference is *2434.

St. Stefan, Steiermart in Austria was his birthplace but he had settled at Kilossa.  He was originally interned in Dar es Salaam P.O.W camp on 14/11/1917 and place and date of capture is given as Sali on 14/10/17.

 

Steve 

 

 

A8550012-9875-4C1E-8B68-0A7AAB4E5CB8.jpeg

Edited by SteveE

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Karsten

It should read as „ Steiermark“.

 

Kind regards,

 

Karsten

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charlie962
10 hours ago, SteveE said:

Found it

Well done that man!

Charlie

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rolyboy11

Steve, you are the man!!! ............ That is fantastic, I was getting nowhere fast.  As I sort of guessed looks like he had finished his service with, I presume, the Austrian army and then settled in DOA. Lines to follow there. ........ Captured at Sali .............. Will check later how that fits in with the Mahenge inscription. Opens up quite a few avenues for further research. 

 

Great work, thank you again.

 

Rolyboy.

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KONDOA

It was fairly typical that many of the German officers and NCO were actually settlers rather than military men.

 

Roop

Edited by KONDOA

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HenryTheGerman

In "Deutsch-Südwest-Afrika", many of the settlers had been Schutztruppe soldiers before settling. First they had to accomplith their service, then they were allowed to purchase farmland in a certain region. They became "Reservisten" (soldiers of the reserve). This enabled the Schutzgebiet administration to keeping the number of active soldiers in the Schutztruppe comparatively low. After the Herero revolt, a number of the German despatched soldiers stayed in DSWA. - When at the begin of the Great War the South African Union invaded DSWA with about 60.000 men, the Schutztruppe held only 1.500 men plus 500 police troops. The Germans then mobilized another 2.500 - 3.000 men from the Reserve and from other sources (even some 100 boers from the Union decided to support the Germans).

In other words: Most of the German officers and NCO's in Africa had been well-trained and experienced soldiers, notably when being settlers.

 

Regards

 

Henry

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rolyboy11

Henry, many thanks, that's very interesting and fits with what Kondoa said, but as this man appears to have been born in Austria and possibly obtained his rank in the Austrian army would this still apply? I presume he would have had no obligation to serve so more likely a volunteer?

 

I have been trying to find a date and area for the formation of 26FK as it was not a pre war unit nor one of the ones formed from the Police etc. on mobilisation. Many settlers in DOA were apparently in Schutzenkompagnie, formed from shooting clubs etc., which seem gradually to have been absorbed into Field Companies.......

 

Found Sali just south of Mahenge where he was captured on 14/10/17 but have been unable to trace Kakera where the remnants of 26FK surrendered on 2/9/17 ....6 weeks earlier. Wonder if he had been left behind, ill? wounded? although no mention of either in the POW records above........

 

Do any records exist for repatriation after the war from Egypt to Europe? or possibly back to East Africa as I believe many went back there?

 

Any thoughts or leads on these would be great.

 

Rolyboy.

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KONDOA

Rolyboy,

 

Regarding 26FK, if you PM Holger Kotthaus on this forum I think he has the answer you seek, that's his speciality.

 

Roop

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rolyboy11

Thanks for that Roop. Excellent thought ...... will do that and see if he can help.

Rolyboy. 

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Holger Kotthaus

Dear Roop and Rolyboy,

Thank you for reminding me to answer here. Of course, I have already read this interesting article and forwarded it in a German forum. Sometimes it is very helpful to involve others. So far nothing has changed. Below you can see the original translation.

Quote

 

DOA – Mahenge 1917 – Oberjäger Martin Curdes? http://www.traditionsverband.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=950

This question is also based on an interesting article in the GWF (Great War Forum) MAHENGE 1917 https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/259 ... close-1917 / Such traces are now becoming increasingly rare, so I consider it worthwhile to take up this hint here again. There are actually two main questions:

So it is once the origin of the illustrated folding knife with Bowie-like blade. (Picture_01_Mahenge 1917) The inscription: M. CURDES / Mahenge / DOA 1917 points in my opinion to a German origin, because a British owner with certainty GEA (German East Africa), or the possibly Belgian owner AEA (Afrique de l 'Est Allemande), and did not use the German name for the Colony. The year is also significant.

1.) Does a reader have more detailed and additional background information on this unusual knife?

 

The next question was already partially discussed in the English forum. In search of the Name inscription was listed as a Private first class Martin Curdes of the Schutztruppe. This track seems plausible and logical in my opinion. The following data and facts were mentioned or added later:

October 10, 1917 The Western troops under Captain Theodor Tafel left the station Mahenge on the night of October 8/9, 1917 in south-eastern direction. The next morning, two colonies of Belgian troops occupy Major Emmanuel Charles Marie Henri Guillaume Muller the station without a fight.

October 14, 1917 Curdes gets captured in Sali / Salle, a Catholic missionary station of the Benedictines, south of Mahenge in (Belgian?) as Prisoner of war. This station was used as a convalescent home of the Schutztruppe. Another 138 wounded and sick Europeans and 157 Askari remain in Sali and the hospitals in Mahenge. (Ludwig Boell p. 364)

November 11, 1917 According to GWF, Curdes appears in English lists four weeks later at the Dar es Salaam POW camp.

July 1, 1918 Curdes is listed in the 11th casualty-list from GEA in the DKB volume 1918 on p. 185 as a POW in Cairo. (Picture_02_Oberjäger Martin Curdes)

 

So far; - So good. With this basic data but also the further curiosity is awakened. In the GWF the indication emerges that Curdes served in the 26th Field Company under Lieutenant d.R. Joseph Zingel. If so, he must have left the company at Kitanda before January 2, 1917; - long time before his capture in October of the same year. On this day, the 26th F.K as part of the 'Detachment Wintgens' began its campaign through the occupied part of the colony. It is therefore understandable that Curdes was subordinated to another unit.

Sergeant (Oskar?) Ascan Roderich Lutteroth, (see also above DKB volume p. 181), author of the book: "TUNAKWENDA" (We march), on war safari in German East Africa, Verlag Broschek & Co. Hamburg 1938, fared similar. Lutteroth was also a member of the 26 F.K. and left this unit four days before her departure to the west and north of the colony on February 2, 1917. Lutteroth was also in Sali due to famine typhoid (!), dysentery and black water fever, and was on June 23, 2017 detached to the 23rd F.K. before being captured on November 6, 1916, after another relapse in the field hospital near Kabati Mtoto. ("The officer corps of the Schutztruppe for German East Africa during the World War 1914-1918", page 102).(Unfortunately, in the Bundesarchiv Freiburg, Ludwig Boell's Act of Legislative Decree in the main file N14, Part I of Chapter 31, which treat the battles for Mahenge. Certain details and names of Boell would have been listed here.) But also the Belgian standard work introduces further and very interesting details: "Les campagnes coloniales belges : 1914-1918 / Royaume de Belgique, Ministère de la Défense  Nationale, État-Major Général de l'Armée, Section de l'Historique, Tome III, La campagne de Mahenge (1917) Événements de L´année 1918, Bruxelles 1932" With detailed maps and rare photos: http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/kolonialbibliothek/content/pageview/7788319

2.) Is a reader aware of more background information about the Private first class Martin Curdes?

P.S:In the index of the Benedictine Ore Abbey in St. Ottilien a file with photos (!) for the mission station Sali is listed. (Under the below called Keyword the 1st position on Google is a direct access of the index on the University of Leipzig available.) Archives of Tanzania in the Benedictine Ore Abbey of St. Ottilien, History of the Mission Sali 1911 – 1917 (Picture_03_Akten Mission Sali)

 

 

In my opinion, the information provided by Steve that Curdes previously worked on the Plantation Nhallah at Kilossa provides a good opportunity to research the DOA 1913 directory. I will first try to see and search the file of the Benedictines in St Ottilien about Sali. The 97 pages, as well as photos should give further information, maybe also about Curdes. If Curdes served in the 26th F.K, there may also be additional background information in the files, about the history and way through GEA. Also a visit to the station Sali, south of Mahenge, is already on my `To-Do-List' for next year. The head of the mission station Sali, Pastor Magnus Meiller came in on the same day with Curdes as POW Prisoner. Both were listed in the same casualty-list from GEA of the DKB in 1918.

Rolyboy, are any additional text or symbols recognizable on the knife that may indicate the manufacturer?

Cheers Holger

1831653185_03_AktenMissionSali.jpg.c054a3ed49b6865749281c5b1f5544d4.jpg


 

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KONDOA

Killossa had a Kapok plantation ?, perhaps a connection. I have a postcard of it somewhere.

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rolyboy11

Many thanks Holger,  some very interesting additional information!!!   I hope your posts might get other people thinking!!

 

Roop ..... Thanks as always.  If you can find that pic that would be great. Presume he worked at or managed this plantation?

 

Rolyboy.

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KONDOA

Hello Rolyboy, I searched my scanned files but the photo in question is in the UK. I dont go there very often but will try and remember next time I visit.

 

Roop

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rolyboy11

Hi Roop,

              Thanks for checking, would be great to get a view of one of the places in question if and when you get chance.

 

Holger,

           Sorry!! Just read your last post again and realised you had asked a question!! 

This has a 170mm folding bowie type blade and an 'eagle head' pommel of a style used on the Ks98 bayonet issued in most German colonies in Africa. It has no visible manufacturers/retailers markings but is of excellent quality and could well be of pre war manufacture?? The grips are possibly bone or maybe ivory and the only similar knife I can find is illustrated in Deutche Kampfmesser (Vol.2) by Eugen Halasz No. 334. This though has a different style of scabbard.

 

All the best,

 

Rolyboy.

 

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rolyboy11

Found this intriguing link on an American genealogy site GENI. 

 

https://www.geni.com/people/Martin-Curdes/6000000000796541439?through=6000000000796541429

 

This may well be a total red herring, but so much of the information seems to fit !! ..........

 

Name is exactly the same and not I believe that common.

Place of birth is different, but Gratwein appears close to St.Stephan?

07/03/1889 date of birth fits with his age at capture 14/10/17 given as 28.

Died of TB contracted in WW1. We know he was in hospital at Sali before being moved to Egypt. TB was likely/possibly lurking in both locations at this time?

 

I left a message on the link with no reply, but note site has not been updated since 2014.............

 

Any thoughts/comments?

 

Rolyboy.

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SteveE
3 hours ago, rolyboy11 said:

Any thoughts/comments?

The details shown fit pretty well with what we know but without any definite link we can’t say conclusively that they are one and the same.  The attached Ancestry passenger list transcript may be the same Martin Curdes travelling to Dar-Es-Salaam in 1912?

 

Steve

 

 

4D9B8E8A-2B37-4813-AE41-2E5D8A3200C0.jpeg

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