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Remembered Today:

German POWs postcard


depaor01
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Interesting postcard in my collection that I just rediscovered. A group of German POWs in uniform, but with the letters PW and a prisoner number painted  across the chest.

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Written on the rear it looks like prisoner No. 342 is writing home. He appears in the photo.

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The card mentions what looks like "May Engsfeld, 71 Prisoners [sic] of War Camp". Anyone able to decode what this is?

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Also the address I can't make out. "Familie", "Buscher" and "Rheinland" is all I can make out!

It's nice to see the effort that was put in by the British/French(?) authorities to photograph POWs to give them something tangible to send to their next of kin. It would have been easier to give out the usual blank cards and let them get on with it.

-Dave

 

 

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Dave, I am having trouble with the sender‘s name but the address he wrote to is

Familie Ewald Buscher

Ispingrade (he has written Isbingrade) bei Radevormwald 

Kreiss Lennep

Rheinland

Charlie

 

 

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58 minutes ago, AOK4 said:

Great Find AOK! Where was he Vermisst in? Looks like Gefgfch or Gesgsch!

1 hour ago, charlie2 said:

Dave, I am having trouble with the sender‘s name but the address he wrote to is

Familie Ewald Buscher

Ispingrade (he has written Isbingrade) bei Radevormwald 

Kreiss Lennep

Rheinland

Charlie

 

 

Would never have got that - and it's standard cursive, not ancient Kurrent!

 

Cheers Charlie.

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The numerals and lettering appear as if they might well have been applied with white paint using the standard British Army issue 2” brass stencilling sets issued to each sub-unit.  They were used to mark kitbags, issued clothing, and packing boxes.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Interesting that one German was allowed to wear his Iron Cross 2nd class while in the POW camp in France.

GreyC

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Brilliant info as always. Huge thanks. Amazing detail from one postcard I'd forgotten I had. I would've been disappointed if @FROGSMILE wasn't able to come up with the exact stencil type used, and I scrutinised the card before posting and didn't see that EK. Good spot @GreyC!

Dave

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3 minutes ago, depaor01 said:

Brilliant info as always. Huge thanks. Amazing detail from one postcard I'd forgotten I had. I would've been disappointed if @FROGSMILE wasn't able to come up with the exact stencil type used, and I scrutinised the card before posting and didn't see that EK. Good spot @GreyC!

Dave

I doubt that the stencil sets are still on unit inventories now.  They worked brilliantly on anything made of cotton, canvas, etc. but also wood and metal.  It’s all done with sticky transfers now on the latter, and very little equipment is made of canvas anymore.  Generations of soldiers used them through the 20th century and I can still remember as a boy soldier laying out the kit bags in the sun for the paint to dry.

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Just now, FROGSMILE said:

I doubt that the stencil sets are still on unit inventories now.  They worked brilliantly on anything made of cotton, canvas, etc. but also wood and metal.  It’s all done with sticky transfers now on the latter, and very little equipment is made of canvas anymore.  Generations of soldiers used them through the 20th century and I can still remember as a boy soldier laying out the kit bags in the sun for the paint to dry.

It must have been hard for a POW to see their uniform "altered" in such a way by their enemy. All part of the psychology of war I suppose, and better than being killed.

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1 hour ago, depaor01 said:

It must have been hard for a POW to see their uniform "altered" in such a way by their enemy. All part of the psychology of war I suppose, and better than being killed.

Yes, that’s a good point, in that they continued to wear their field grey in captivity.  Conversely many British POW seem to have been issued with special uniforms because their own were worn out. 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Where the ICRC have got Beaucamp from I don‘t know, he was captured near Villiers Plouich during the Regiments first serious engagement. They had only taken over the frontline for the first time on the 18/19th, so his was a short war. There isn‘t a history of IR457 but the Regiment is mentioned a few times in the history of its sister Regiment IR459.

Charlie

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