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Fozzie

Trying to identify an old WW1 photo

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Fozzie

I was given the attached photo purporting to be my grandfather (on the right) during WW1 from a cousin who has since died. It has "KR Gifhorn" written on the back, otherwise, there is nothing to identify it. Gifhorn is near Hanover. KR stands for Kastorf which is a small town just north of Gifhorn and I wondered if it might have been a German POW camp but that place is not listed as one. The cap badges are not clear enough to identify a regiment so all my research has drawn a blank. I have no idea what my grandfather did during that war, he died when I was 6. Does anybody have any suggestions where I can take this further? Thanks.1264993999_KRGifhorn.jpg.2c3f99ab112a54ea0adddb57b13411b2.jpg

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Coldstreamer

welcome to the forum

would help if you said who gfather was and with whom he served

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Waddell

General shape of the cap badge looks like Cheshire Regiment and East Yorkshire regiment are possibilities.

 

Scott

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johnboy

His name, aprox year of birth and where from would be a helpful start.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
Posted (edited)

I thought the middle one looks like Middlesex Regiment.

Edit

Or East Lancs?

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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mark holden

I would be confident that the centre man is East Lancs, the right hand man as viewed could be E Yorks or Cheshire, left hand man as viewed looks like a button in his cap. All are wearing black POW uniform with inset brown arm band to the left sleeve and brown stripe to the trouser legs.

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TullochArd
19 minutes ago, mark holden said:

I would be confident that the centre man is East Lancs, the right hand man as viewed could be E Yorks or Cheshire, left hand man as viewed looks like a button in his cap. All are wearing black POW uniform with inset brown arm band to the left sleeve and brown stripe to the trouser legs.

 

Spot on Mark …….although I feel the scroll at the bottom of the badge on the right hand soldier may lean to East Yorkshire?

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Fozzie
Thanks for the suggestions. My grandfather was Frank Martin born 1880 in Chelsea. With such a common name it has been hard to separate one from another! I don't even know if he was in the Army or not, never mind what regiment!

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TullochArd
Posted (edited)

I suspect we may be talking about Kr. Gifhorn rather than KR as in Kastorf - Kr. is the German abbr. for Kreiss, a Government area. Regardless, Gifhorn is fixed and is on Luneburger Heath.  During the Great War the prisoners in Hannover area were administered by X Army Corps and it's area contained some huge Mannschaftslager such as Soltau on Luneburger Heath which, to get a scale of the challenge here, held 35,000 men but had some 50,000 registered from there and assigned to other Work Camps in the area. 

 

A name will certainly help progress things for you. 

Edited by TullochArd
Acknowledged as possibly Frank Martin

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mark holden

I have found two Frank Martins who served with the East Lancs both have middle initials and one Frank Martin who served with East Yorks. None of the medal cards indicate POW but that is not uncommon.

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Fozzie

Thanks for that info on Kreiss, that's a good start. He had no middle name unfortunately.

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IPT
10 minutes ago, mark holden said:

I have found two Frank Martins who served with the East Lancs both have middle initials and one Frank Martin who served with East Yorks. None of the medal cards indicate POW but that is not uncommon.

 

Is there any chance he's East Surrey? I don't know enough about pointy badges.

 

I've got a POW born 9/2/1880 in London.

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Fozzie
2 minutes ago, IPT said:

 

Is there any chance he's East Surrey? I don't know enough about pointy badges.

 

I've got a POW born 9/2/1880 in London.

That's him!

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
Posted (edited)

Good find IPT.

And as a piece de la resistance, service number, battalion, date and place of capture, NOK etc etc for those of us who are illiterate in using the ICRC database please.

9 minutes ago, IPT said:

 

Is there any chance he's East Surrey? I don't know enough about pointy badges.

 

I've got a POW born 9/2/1880 in London.

 

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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IPT
1 minute ago, Fozzie said:

That's him!

 

Then he's 3053/31019 Pte Frank Martin, East Surrey Regiment.

 

Address: 15 Highfield Road, Chertsey

 

Captured 8/5/1917 at Fresnoy.

 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Excellent!

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Fozzie
2 minutes ago, IPT said:

 

Then he's 3053/31019 Pte Frank Martin, East Surrey Regiment.

 

Address: 15 Highfield Road, Chertsey

 

Captured 8/5/1917 at Fresnoy.

 


That's brilliant! Thank you so much for your help. I have been researching my family history for 30 years  so this is a fantastic breakthrough for me.

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TullochArd
Posted (edited)

…… quick on the draw IPT - East Surrey looks good.

 

East Surrey.png

Edited by TullochArd

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mark holden

Two Frank Martins serving with the East Surrey’s with no middle initial. No mention of POW

 

Regimental numbers as follows

 

1. 17768

2. 31019 and 3053. This combination suggests either Territorial or Regular Battalion service.

 

Mark

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mark holden
Posted (edited)

He is the man on the right as viewed wearing an East Surrey’s Battalion cap badge

Edited by mark holden

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TullochArd
Posted (edited)

Reading into the link that IPT has posted you will see that after capture your grandfather was recorded at the following camps: 23 Jun 1917 at Dulmen, 11 Aug 1917 at Limburg and 24 Nov 1917 at Hameln.  You can read a good contemporary account about these camps here:

 

https://archive.org/details/mapofmainprisonc00poperich/page/6/mode/2up

 

Hameln was a parent camp in X Corps administrative zone and had many attached work camps.  I have nothing to support this but Kr.Gifhorn may have been home to one of the attached work camps.

Edited by TullochArd

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TullochArd
17 minutes ago, PhilB said:

https://www.worldwar1postcards.com/ww1-prisoners-of-war-postcards.php

This site looks to have a photo taken by a Gifhorn photographer.

 

Nice find PhilB - can't get better than that.  "These postcard photographs were taken by a local photographer 'Frau Anna Niewerth, Gamsen ‑ kastoft, Kr Gifhorn'."

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