Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Identification of Uniform


archive
 Share

Recommended Posts

Can anyone please help with the nationality and date of this uniform.  I have been told it was German, possibly Prussian or Austro-Hungarian.  Initially I was told that he was a German soldier in WW1 but I have been told that the lady's dress predates WW1 by 20-30  years.  To complicate things even further the man is known to be Polish.

Balcarek photo.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely a German with those cuffs and marksmanship cord.  If he was Polish a Prussian unit is the most likely I think.
One for @GreyCand @JWK or @The Prussian

Edited by FROGSMILE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

definitely a German Bunter Rock. Probably Unteroffizier with Schützenabzeichen 1. Stufe. The photo is in bad condition, but if the shoulder flaps are yellow, and he comes from a formally East German region he will be from V, VI or XVII Armeekorps, i.e. Posen, Schlesien or Westpreußen. He was not Polish, because he was a) in the German army b) there was no Polish state before WW1. He might have opted to become Polish after the war. This photo was taken before the war, most probably, based on what the woman is wearing. Is there anything on the back? Is the photo of postcard-size with lines on the back or is it on cardboard?

GreyC

 

Edited by GreyC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello!

The shooting award in this matter was introduced in January 1894. So the the photo must have been taken after this date. The brandenburg cuffs indicate him as an infantry man.

For the rest I agree with GreyC.

Well, Poland as a country didn´t exist in that time, but the language was spoken by the people in those border-areas to Russia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you both for the interesting details.  Slight misunderstanding about ‘Polish’ I think.  The fact that Poland did not exist at that time did not prevent the man from being of Polish ethnicity and that is what I (and the original poster) meant.  There were also ethnic Poles in the Imperial Russian Army on the opposing side simultaneously.  The Poles had lost their self determination and land borders as a result of the Napoleonic wars.

Edited by FROGSMILE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your comments.  The original of this photo is in a small private museum and I am told that it has been mounted on board or thick card.  This is said to be a man named Pawel Balcarek with his wife, son and daughter.  He was killed in France on 11th November 1915 and the younger child was born in February of that year.  If the photo was taken in the 1890s the man might even be Pawel's father.

 

If this lady is wearing fashionable clothing the latest possible date for the photo is 1898 as that style of shoulder on her dress was not seen after then.  If she was financially pressed, she might have worn an old but presentable dress belonging to her mother to be photographed with her husband and children whilst he was home on leave.

 

I am grateful for your help as I am way out of my depth on army matters.  My area is Polish Squadrons of the RAF in WW2

Edited by archive
Link to comment
Share on other sites

An Unteroffizier Paul Balcarek, from Altdorf, Pleß, is recorded in the casualty list dated 3.12.1915 as being KiA. His rank fits to the uniform shown in the photo. He was serving with No. 12 Company, Reserve Infanterie Regiment 11

http://des.genealogy.net/search/show/3449461

The Regiment was raised in Glatz - HQ and 1st Bn, Schweidnitz - 2nd Bn and  Münsterberg 3rd Bn, 12 Company belonged to the 3rd Battalion.

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie2
Pleß not Pieß
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you have found him Paul (Pawel)Balcarek was actually killed on 11th November 1915 so a list dated 3rd December seems reasonable.  So it seems likely to be the same man.  The mystery now is why his wife was wearing a dress that was at least 17 years out of fashion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, charlie2 said:

Glatz - HQ and 1st Bn, Schweidnitz - 2nd Bn and  Münsterberg

So it´s the VI Armeekorps. The photo could have been made around 1900-1905, but to determine that, I would need to see the whole photograph front and back with name of photographer.

GreyC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For those of us unfamiliar with the many place names mentioned , Google searches seem to throw up several options for each one, often one in Poland, and one in Germany.

Where exactly are Altdorf, Pleß,   Glatz, Schweidnitz, Münsterberg?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sure that the photograph has been mounted on card but I will try to contact the owner to see if anyone has copies of the back of the photo.  Thank you for your interest

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to make it clear to pal Archive, if the photo was taken 1904-5 he wouldn‘t have been serving with RIR 11 as it was a war time regiment raised on 8th August 1914. The photo would therefore depict him during his national service or during his regular engagement.

 

Charlie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

For those of us unfamiliar with the many place names mentioned , Google searches seem to throw up several options for each one, often one in Poland, and one in Germany.

Where exactly are Altdorf, Pleß,   Glatz, Schweidnitz, Münsterberg?

Pleß - Pszczyna

Glatz - Klodzko

Schweidnitz - Swidnica

Münsterberg - Ziebice

Altdorf - Stara Wies, now part of Pszczyna

That part of Silesia was ceded to Poland after the war, hence the German and Polish options.

Charlie

Edited by charlie2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Where exactly are Altdorf, Pleß,   Glatz, Schweidnitz, Münsterberg?

Upper-Silesia, Dai.

These were the infantry units of the VI AK: Füs. R. 38, Inf. R. 51, 22, 23, 62, 63, 157. The Füsilier Regiment (fusiliers) 38 was at Glatz, so I go with that.

GreyC

Edited by GreyC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...