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    Chris Boonzaier

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    Chris Boonzaier last won the day on November 18 2023

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    About Chris Boonzaier

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      East of Toronto
    • Interests
      The Imperial Iron Cross, WW1 research, The Boer war, The campaigns in South West and East Africa 1914-18...
      and much much more

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    1. If I remember right, they got it fighting on the Hatmannsweilerkopf. I think this Photo must be 1920s or early 1930s?
    2. OK, a bit of Devils advocate needed here please…. About three years ago a friend was visiting a Schloss in Bavaria which had been the ancestral home of a Graf from about 1820ish to 1920ish. The historical society there is mainly interested in the history of the buildings, not so much the occupants throughout the ages. There is a tiny museum with objects related to the Graf family, just y few odds and ends, but it is not the focus of their work. One of the items in the cases is the dogtag and pouch to the youngest son who was killed serving as a Lt at Verdun in July 1916. In the offices of the society my friend spotted a fieldgrey tunic for a leibregiment Lt. he asked the chairman of the society where it came from, and he had no idea. It had been in the possession of the society for many years, but no one knew its origins and added to that, it is not the kind of thing their museum concentrates on. When my friend asked he said they may consider selling it. My friend put me in contact wit them, I helped identify it as a leiber regiment and confirmed for them that the son served in the Leibregiment. We chatted for some time and I was informed that if they could not find any proof that it belonged to the young Graf they had no need for it. I tried to help by looking up the few photos of him available, but none with the jacket. My info to them was, I think it very possible, maybe even probable it was his, but there was no way of proving it either way as there was no name or tailor label. After a few years the association voted to sell it and we agreed on a price which was good for them financially, and good for me as I really wanted the jacket. Although I will never prove it, here is my thinking… 1) A field grey Leiber jacket is pretty rare. The Bavarian Army had maybe 150 (200?) different units from active, reserve, ladwehr, different branches of service… I am going to go out on a limb and say, if you found a random Field Grey Officers tunic in Bavaria, there will be less than a 1% chance it is from the Leibregiment. 2) If you live near Würzburg, there are probably potentially more 9th IR than other Regiments, if you live near Neu Ulm maybe a good chance for 12 IR… but the Leigbregiment was from men chosen from all over Bavaria, so the items would be spread all over Bavaria. 3) Taking the rarity into account, finding a Leiber Tunic to a Lt in the house where a Leiber LT lives points towards the probability that it was the tunic of the person who lived there. Especially because the dog tag and bag he was wearing when he was killed were there as well. 4) The tunic is early war, with Swedish cuffs worn by some officers in 1915, I have seen them in 1916-17 photos, and there are certainly a handful still around in 1918, but I am thinking most of these would have been on their last legs by them. As the jacket in Question is still in tip top condition, it seems to be logical that it could have belonged to an officer killed earlier in the war. 5) Of course, wishful thinking on my side, and I know it will never be proved, but I am going to go with the “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck” thing and say, for me I am pretty damned sure it was the jacket of the young Graf… No need to spare my feelings here… what do you think?
    3. OK, a bit of Devils advocate needed here please…. About three years ago a friend was visiting a Schloss in Bavaria which had been the ancestral home of a Graf from about 1820ish to 1920ish. The historical society there is mainly interested in the history of the buildings, not so much the occupants throughout the ages. There is a tiny museum with objects related to the Graf family, just y few odds and ends, but it is not the focus of their work. One of the items in the cases is the dogtag and pouch to the youngest son who was killed serving as a Lt at Verdun in July 1916. In the offices of the society my friend spotted a fieldgrey tunic for a leibregiment Lt. he asked the chairman of the society where it came from, and he had no idea. It had been in the possession of the society for many years, but no one knew its origins and added to that, it is not the kind of thing their museum concentrates on. When my friend asked he said they may consider selling it. My friend put me in contact wit them, I helped identify it as a leiber regiment and confirmed for them that the son served in the Leibregiment. We chatted for some time and I was informed that if they could not find any proof that it belonged to the young Graf they had no need for it. I tried to help by looking up the few photos of him available, but none with the jacket. My info to them was, I think it very possible, maybe even probable it was his, but there was no way of proving it either way as there was no name or tailor label. After a few years the association voted to sell it and we agreed on a price which was good for them financially, and good for me as I really wanted the jacket. Although I will never prove it, here is my thinking… 1) A field grey Leiber jacket is pretty rare. The Bavarian Army had maybe 150 (200?) different units from active, reserve, ladwehr, different branches of service… I am going to go out on a limb and say, if you found a random Field Grey Officers tunic in Bavaria, there will be less than a 1% chance it is from the Leibregiment. 2) If you live near Würzburg, there are probably potentially more 9th IR than other Regiments, if you live near Neu Ulm maybe a good chance for 12 IR… but the Leigbregiment was from men chosen from all over Bavaria, so the items would be spread all over Bavaria. 3) Taking the rarity into account, finding a Leiber Tunic to a Lt in the house where a Leiber LT lives points towards the probability that it was the tunic of the person who lived there. Especially because the dog tag and bag he was wearing when he was killed were there as well. 4) The tunic is early war, with Swedish cuffs worn by some officers in 1915, I have seen them in 1916-17 photos, and there are certainly a handful still around in 1918, but I am thinking most of these would have been on their last legs by them. As the jacket in Question is still in tip top condition, it seems to be logical that it could have belonged to an officer killed earlier in the war. 5) Of course, wishful thinking on my side, and I know it will never be proved, but I am going to go with the “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck” thing and say, for me I am pretty damned sure it was the jacket of the young Graf… No need to spare my feelings here… what do you think?
    4. OK... how is this for a 1 in a million shot. Think of how many tens of million WW1 German photos there are.... then think that at some stage you have a small pile of Leibregiment pics in a box, 10-15 pics in the office of a historical society... 2 are named.... and one just happens to be the officer above.... I almost fell off my chair!
    5. I admit I have been having a break from WW1 collecting for some time... but little bit by little bit I am getting back my mojo.... A new Leiber Tunic to join its brother officer.... 2
    6. Some "bycatch" with the group to a Foreign Legion Paratrooper who served in Indochine, his fathers and brothers awards, his brother was KIA in 1943. One he obviously wore, the other still with its bag
    7. Some "bycatch" with the group to a Foreign Legion Paratrooper who served in Indochine, his fathers and brothers awards, his brother was KIA in 1943. Originally silver... they are really "salty"... the brother was killed in 1943 ... unfortunately no maker
    8. Some "bycatch" with the group to a Foreign Legion Paratrooper who served in Indochine, his fathers and brothers awards, his brother was KIA in 1943... no maker mark, I assume this means early? Thanks, Chris
    9. Hi, you had posted a link some time ago I think, but I could not remember if it was baden or Württ or where the link was I am looking for a guy named August Sommer but I think there may be too many without a birth date
    10. Hi, do I remember correctly that the WW1 records are availible online? Thanks Chris
    11. Hi, thanks, but different guy.... my guy just had a sketch pad!! 🙂
    12. Summary... Wilhelm Freiherr von Leonrod ✝ 15. Juli 1865; * 1943 Obersthofmeister König Ludwigs III. von Bayern 1914 1886 Leutnant, 1900 Rittmeister, 1908 Major, 1912 königlicher Flügeladjutant, 1913 Oberstleutnant und Oberstallmeister, 1914 Obersthofmeister König Ludwigs III. von Bayern.
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