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Storck was held at Fort napier. I assume captured in german South West Africa in 1915....

Funnily he was held until 1919, by which time almost all the POWs had been released in South Africa.

This large buckls is Silver, the curtains are real gold. EXCEPTIONAL craftsmanship.

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Beautiful!!!! Such craftsmanship. I suppose they had a lot of time on their hands. I think we also forget that these men had careers and lives before they became soldiers. The marker of this could have been a silver smith, before he put down his craft tools, and learnt how to use a rifle?

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Very possibly a craftsman. There are apparently articles written about POW crafts from Fort Napier 1915-18, but I have not managed to find them.

best

Chris

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I have since found out that the man worked for a major railway engine company and was a reservist. Released in 1919, waaaaay later than most other POWs.

I hope to get some info about him from the archives soon...

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OK, a bit of googling here... it seems there is a possibility/Probability, that he was not captured in GSWA but in one of the other German colonies. Fort napier seems to have been for German prisonners from all over Africa.

More to be looked for....

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I have since found out that the man worked for a major railway engine company and was a reservist. Released in 1919, waaaaay later than most other POWs.

Chris;

As he was a reservist, he could have been a skilled craftsman, perhaps a tool and die maker. That would have been a reason for the exceptional skills needed to make the piece. It also might be a reason for him being held so long, he may have been doing skilled work, even on a rail operation, and his "employers" might have been loath to let him go. Many of the German POWs in Russia after WW II were held for 10 or more years; they in general were very skilled workers and their work supposedly still is a topic of conversation in Russia.

Bob Lembke

Bob Lembke

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I am starting 2013 with a very rare German POW piece of marquetry. This was from a prisoner taken during

the 1916 campaign to capture German South West Africa. Mainly this was a South African campaign - fought

with local troops.

When we had captured the territory, most troops took their discharge to join other newly formed units that went

on to fight in France and in German East Africa. With the end of World War 1 the newly formed League of Nations

awarded South Africa a Protectorate over the area - this continued until the newly created Namibia came into being

a few years ago. We knew it as South West Africa.

Over the years I have seen many examples of work carried out in prison camps - the Boer War really being the

point where it became popular. Rarely have I seen one with the artistry of this example. The small silver plate

shows that the prisoner must have given it to a Guard - quite a common occurence - and he has had it framed and

had the plate made to show it's origins.

The dates are probably for the period the guard served at Fort Napier. The Fort itself is one of the oldest from the

old colonial Natal. Originally built in 1848 to guard the newly acquired town of Pietermaritzburg - the Boers having

left to settle in the Transvaal. The town was originally named after the two Boer leaders who founded it - we, the

British, would not call it by that name - in fact our name was Umshlovo - or, Place of the Elephants. We made it the

capital of Natal, and eventually the name reverted to the original.

Fort Napier was named after Sir George Napier - then the Governor of the Cape. It's first garrison was from the 45th

Regt. of Foot and also included Royal Engineers, Cape Mounted Police and a half battery of Field guns. They were

intended to deter the Boers returning and to keep local tribes in order.

The 1st WW saw the large area of the Fort and it's many buildings being used to house POW's and also Germans who

were being interned from around SA. + from other nearby African countries. The military use finished in 1920,

although the Fort is still preserved and houses the Garrison Church. The majority of the area though, is given over to a

a mental institute.

POW's were often allowed to have a small knife for use in making things - some of them beautifully worked and very

artistic.

This panel shows two leopards behind rocks and watching a giraffe feeding on a thorn tree. This is very similar to the

desert areas of SWA and has been very well executed. The art of marquetry is setting small pieces of different woods

into a bigger piece - and then polishing or, varnishing. Make a mistake and it is difficult to put right. I will show a

series of pictures so that you can see how it was made.

..............................................http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_12_2012/post-6209-0-42418900-1356962784.jpgclick.....................................

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........................................................http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_12_2012/post-6209-0-14555900-1356962988.jpgclick.....................................

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............................................http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_12_2012/post-6209-0-52371800-1356963207.jpgclick...................................

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..............................................................http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_12_2012/post-6209-0-21045600-1356963347.jpgclick....................................

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...............................................................http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_12_2012/post-6209-0-31272900-1356963552.jpgclick..........................

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Some more details... included is a Lighter, also POW work, but no details if Boer war, WW1 or WW2... My uncle got it from an old lady in South Africa and was told it was a POW item...

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This to me is the test ofe his skill - all done on an old soapbox !

..............................................http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_12_2012/post-6209-0-69730300-1356963745.jpgclick................................

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Chris - I am very pleased that you have merged the two - makes it even more interesting. I was wondering how to put my item on the

German Forum - perhaps you could merge them there ? Mervyn

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Chris many of the prisoners in the Boer War used the silver coins in their pockets to make jewellery items. This superb belt buckle

could well have been made the same way - a gold coin becoming the curtains ?

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