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Leib Garde

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  1. Fighting on the Boer side, was Max Alfred Siegel born in Pirna, K?nigreich Sachsenon (Kingdom of Saxony) on November 25, 1864 and died on February 22, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan. Max enlisted into the Kaiser?s Imperial Preu?en Army in 1878 at the age 14 and joined a NCO preparatory training school (Unteroffiziervorschulen). From there he went to a NCO academe (Unteroffizierschulen). He was selected to join the Leibgendarmerie upon graduation or shortly after reporting to his cavalry regiment. Max attended the K?niglich Militer Hufschmied (Royal Military Farrier/Blacksmith School) and learned the blacksmith trade while he was in the Leibgendarmerie. He was an NCO who obtained the rank of Feldwebel. Max lost his Right Eye on October 20, 1893 in a duel. This Renommierschmiss, or bragging scar became his badge of courage. Max served under all three separate Kaisers during his military career starting in 1878 and ending with his retirement in 1898. After Max retired from military service, he advertised in the newspaper for a wife and married on November 12, 1900 in Liegnitz, Prussia. Maria was 20 years old and Max was 36 years old at the time of their marriage (a 16 year age difference). Max received a Land Grant from the Kaiser and the Prussian Government for an estate in Brazil, South America. Max and Maria went to a Germany Colony in Southern Brazil to start their new life together after they were married. However, shortly after they arrived in Brazil around the beginning of 1901, Maria could not stand the heat of the tropics, so she return to Germany alone. Max stayed on to sell the land and property. Afterwards he took passage on a ship that was bound to-who-knows-where and he jumped ship in South Africa in 1901 right in the middle of the Boer War and joined the Boer cause as a foreign volunteer. None of the foreigners who served in the Boer army received any compensation. They were supplied with horses and equipment, at a cost to the Boer Governments and they received food, but no wages, thus they were not considered Mercenaries, but Volunteers. Before a foreign volunteer was allowed to join a commando unit, and before he received his equipment, he was obliged to take an oath of allegiance to the Republic. I do not have any information as to what forign volunteer unit he was in, if someone could point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated. Max became part of one of these units and he put his horsemanship and cavalry training to good use as well as his skills as a blacksmith, but at the end of the war he did not have the money to return to Germany so he walked the railroad lines for a while looking for work from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and also found work in Johannesburg. He was able to return to Germany in 1903 collect his family and immigrated to America on April 9, 1904 onboard the RMS Carpathia of the Cunard Line as 3rd class passengers. He was 39 years old at that time and lists his occupation as a Blacksmith. They arrived at Ellis Island, New York on September 1, 1904 and were processed through and received into the United States of America on September 2, 1904. I am not sure of the exact dates but Max went back to Germany sometime around September 1935 according to his Reentry Permit at age 70 to be reexamined by the Army doctors who then reinstated his full pension back to 198.40 RM (Reich Marks) minus the doctors fees and administration fees Again on June 21, 1940 the Third Reich this time reduced his pension for good to 148.80 RM, but stated that he could come back to Germany and work to help build a better Germany (typical Nazi propaganda stuff). Max and Maria never became citizen of the US and he died on February 22, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan. His wife Maria kept receiving his pension from the German Army until she died in 1966. Blessings, Patrick
  2. Corporal 291494 Amos William Mayse Having issues adding his Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Forces Attestation Papers.
  3. Good Evening Gentlemen I am looking for information pertaining to the service and units of one Amos William Mayse, my Great Great uncle on my mother's side and one Max Alfred Siegel, my Great Grandfather on my father's side. They both fought in the Boer War but on opposite sides. First up; Corporal Amos William Mayse born in Lincolnshire, on March 16, 1880 and died October 5, 1948 in Vancouver. On December 13, 1898, Amos William Mayse enlisted in the 1st York and Lancaster Regiment of the Imperial Army for seven years army and five years reserve. On April 29, 1900, Private Amos William Mayse and the Regiment deployed to South Africa. I know that the regiment saw service during the Second Boer War, when it took part in the Relief of Ladysmith. Other then that I do not know anything else about the Regiment history while in South Africa. However, I do have stories that my Great Aunt told about her father's experiences over there which where recorded in his diary. As a small child she remembered stories that her Dad used to tell her and her brother about his Boer War experiences. She told me that she and her brother used to admire his scarlet tunic with white facings and York and Lancaster brass buttons. Amos used to tell them that at times in South Africa he and his comrades suffered so much from sore feet and from thirst that they would first bathe their feet and then drink the water. One particularly thrilling story was about a night march on which he fell down between the ties of a high trestle bridge. He was saved only by his rifle catching crossways in the railway ties. Another story was about a five-foot long snake which coiled around his leg one night when he was on guard duty. He killed it with the butt of his rifle. For years we saw its skin hanging on his study wall. He used to say that it served as a barometer, becoming more flexible as the air became moister. Another of Great Grand Uncle Amos' stories was about when he was on scouting duty, riding seven miles ahead of the others. He was fired at from a kopje. He rode up the hill. Then all at once he and a young Boer were confronting each other. He did not shoot him--the confrontation that hot afternoon turned into a picnic, each sharing his rations with the other. Although they did not understand each other's language, the young Boer got across the idea that when the war was over they could meet as friends on his father's farm. Then they parted. At some unknown date he was promoted to the rank of Lance-Corporal. On December 2, 1900 Amos received a gunshot wound in the left forearm and was taken prisoner. He had been in charge of a reconnoitering party that had been ambushed at Utrecht, in the West Transvaal. He was kept in a Boer prison camp under very harsh conditions. His wounded arm turned black and swelled up as large as a stovepipe. When the Kommandant of the prison camp General Jan Christian Smuts, was inspecting the prisoners in the prison yard he saw the state Dad was in, spoke to him, inquired about his wounds, and ordered him to be sent back to his own lines for treatment; Dad was released on January 2, 1901. When his wound had healed Amos was returned to active service. He used to speak of having lived on dry corn for a long time. Likely this was when he was in the prison camp, but the regulation issue hardtack, of which he kept a sample among his souvenirs, seemed to have been little better. Amos was wounded again in 1902, this time in the jaw. For the rest of his life he had deep hollows in his chin and a silver plate in his jaw. This was later to cause him intense pain when the metal contracted in the cold Canadian winters. He went back to England on April 30, 1902. Until February 1903, he was in Cork, Ireland. Some of this time was spent in hospital. He often recalled the kindness of the Catholic nursing sisters. Amos was discharged from the Imperial Army on February 11, 1903, as medically unfit for duty. For three years he received a small pension. He had four or five medals with service bars and ribbons commemorating the various engagements in which he had taken part. I know that he won the King's and Queen's medals, with clasps but the others I can only guess at, possible they were a Coronation medal and a Tribute medal, if he had a fifth medal I do not know what it could be. Amos immigrated to Canada in 1906. On January 16, 1916, Corporal 291494 Amos William Mayse enlisted in the 222nd Regiment of Winnipeg. He was given his South African War rank of corporal. He took an officer's training course and qualified as lieutenant. But he gave up his chance of a commission by electing to go overseas earlier so that he might share the lot of the men who, had enlisted from his Emerson congregation. Amos had been sent to England after the completion of the Canadian phase of his training, arriving there on November 20, 1916. Anxious to get to France he transferred to a Canadian unit bound for active service, forfeiting his sergeant's stripe in the transfer. On May 17, 1917, he was sent to France. On June 14 he was dispatched to the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles in the line. On July 18, 1917, Amos was severely wounded. It happened at 1.00 a.m. as he and others were coming back from four hours' periscope duty, having been relieved at midnight. The shell wounded seven men. Five were walking cases, but Amos and Mr. Pryor, one of his Emerson congregation, were stretcher cases. Dad had flesh wounds in both arms and legs. He staggered ten or fifteen yards after being hit and then dropped. Mr. Pryor was even more severely wounded and died later. Amos and he were carried into a trench to wait for stretcher' bearers. It was about an hour--pitch dark and rain-before the bearers came for them. Then they had a frightful time getting Amos and Mr. Pryor to a dressing station. They walked about three miles with them over shell-holes, trenches, embankments, and barbed wire entanglements. At a dugout dressing-station Amos' and Mr. Pryor's wounds were dressed and they were inoculated. Then Amos was separated from Mr. Pryor and taken by a light railway to a field dressing-station where his wounds were given more attention and he was given hot cocoa. After an hour's stay there Amos and five other stretcher cases were taken by ambulance (changing to a second ambulance at 7.30 a.m.) to Canadian Y Hospital No. 22. There he was operated on. On July 25, 1917, he was sent to England. First he was treated in Oldmill Hospital, near Aberdeen. Later he was transferred to a Basingstoke convalescent hospital. On December 7, 1917, Amos William Mayse was sent back to France, this time as a YMCA worker. He returned to England on March 20, 1918. On August 25, 1918, he was discharged as medically unfit for farther war service, three months after he had returned to us in Winnipeg on the 24th of May holiday. In addition to his scars and neurasthenia--both of which troubled him for the rest of his life--Amos brought back from World War I an aluminum fragment of a downed zeppelin, a shred of cloth from a German uniform, a Colt revolver (now in his grandson's collection), a German water bottle, and a defused hand grenade. Most valued of his mementoes was a large Union Jack which had been used at the front to cover the bodies of soldiers at burial services. For the rest of his life he hung this out on all patriotic occasions. He also received a routine issue medal or two, and after years of appeals and counter appeals, a derisory $10 or $15 a month disability pension. Amos died on October 5, 1948 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  4. Chris, I am envious, and even though it is a sin, I covet your collection. I do not know if this is the right area to discus this, but I would like to get a discussion going about the Chaplaincy in the German Military during the Second World War. To start off there were approximately 1,000 clergymen, both Protestant and Catholic who served as chaplains during the Second World War. The Wehrmacht fielded army strength of over 2,900,000 soldiers, not including SS units, reserve forces or Luftwaffe personnel. Compare that figure to the number of active duty Protestant Chaplains and interim chaplains of 480, plus the same number for the Catholic Chaplains, and then we realize what dimensions we are talking about. Considering that there were over 2,000 Protestant Chaplains and 4,000 Catholic Chaplains in the First World War. No wonder why most of the soldiers hardly ever noticed the existence of the chaplain or received any ministry from them. It also explains why it is so difficult collecting these items. Blessings, Patrick
  5. A truly outstanding thread, and I as others think this needs to be written up in a book. In studying the life and death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we have to come away, amazed at his faith and courage. His legacy is complex. His personal experience under Nazism thrust him into profound conflict with much of his religious tradition and beliefs, causing questions to be raised that he was unable to resolve before his life was ended. These questions continue to confront those who explore Bonhoeffer's relevance today. He was a man who believed strongly in the principles of Christian pacifism but realized that in certain times and places such pacifism could and would not abide God's commands. Bonhoeffer discovers through the political zeitgeist (spirit of the age) of Nazi Germany that one cannot be true to God if one has a lax attitude toward injustice. For total pacifism leads to injustice towards oneself and ones neighbor. Bonhoeffer was explicit about the church's obligations to fight political injustice. The church, he wrote, must fight evil in three stages: The first was to question states injustice and call the state to responsibility. The second was to help the victims of injustice, whether they were church members or not. In the third stage, he thought that the church might find itself called "not only to help the victims who have fallen under the wheel, but to fall into the spokes of the wheel itself" in order to halt the machinery of injustice. It is in this light that we find Dietrich Bonhoeffer the man, the resister who eventually joined in the conspiracy to assassinate Adolph Hitler. But before he made that move he would try a different approach to resistance, and that approach as he hope was through the Military Chaplaincy. It is in this avenue that I have been perusing research. However, if it had not been for his active resistance, he would not have been arrested, and it was during his prison stay at Tegel after his arrest that he wrote most of his great works. Thus a pacifist becomes a resistor and becomes notorious because of it. Blessings, Patrick
  6. Wonderful Information, my hats off to you. Paul von Hase the Military Governor of Berlin was also a cousin of Dietrich Bonhoeffer on his mother?s side of the family. With his brother-in-law and his cousin active in the resistance, Dietrich was in good company. Blessings, Patrick
  7. Max's eldest daughter Ann (my Grandmother) kept a hand painted photo of him in his uniform on her mantel, it was the only one that I had ever seen. When she passed away in 2002 at the age of 96, Dad went and settled her estate and does not know what he did with the picture. He believes he inadvertently put it in a box that was being thrown out and not in the stuff that was going into storage. Thus I do not have any pictures of Max while he was in military service. However, my brother and I found a picture of a Leib-Garde on pickelhaubes.com forum in which someone claims it is his uncle. When the photo was shown to my father, he immediately recognized it as his Grandfather. I then have made a photo comparison with some pictures of Max and I must conclude that it is my Great Grandfather. I submit the following PowerPoint presentation and ask that you decide. Sorry the upload failed, not enough available space.
  8. Hardy and Chip, The Collective Brain Trust here is awesome, I appreciate your knowledge. My Great Grandfather was Max Alfred Siegel, he was an NCO in the 1st Zug of the Leibgendarmerie and he retired after about 20 years of service to the Kaiser (from about 1878 to 1898... we have the exact dates but they slip my mind at this moment). Max lost his right eye in a Schlager Duel on October 20, 1893. His right eye was replaced with a glass eye at that time and became his renommierschmiss. This may be why Dad though the Fechterabzeichen was for fencing. Max was very proficient with saber and told him many stories about dueling. We do not know what cavalry unit he was in prior to becoming a Leib Garde which may tell us when he earned it or not. Max came to the USA on September 1, 1904 after fighting in Africa (during the Boar War) 1900-1903 as a Boar Volunteer and attempting to homestead in Brazil after retirement with a Land Grant from the Kaiser. Max kept his German Citizenship until his death on February 22, 1952. Blessing, Patrick
  9. Thank you Hardy, I have learned so much from this forum. I have two Questions. First: if the award was bestowed by the commander of a cavalry regiment, does that mean it was limited to only Uhlan Regiment's or to any cavalryman in any regiment regardless whither they used the lance as their primary weapon? Second: My father told me that his Grandfather was an expert with the saber and wore some kind of stripes indicating such (He referred to it as a Fechterabzeichen) but obviously he was mistaken, so my question is what type of badge/stripes would be worn if the cavalryman was proficient with the sword in fencing and saber? Blessings, Patrick
  10. Sorry, still figuring out how this works. I believe the "weapons qualification stripes" were called Fechterabzeichen (Fencing proficiency indicator chevrons) and were worn on the right sleeve. There were several different types indicating different ranks of proficiency, i.e. first class, second class etc., however, I do not have any pictures of them and would greatly appreciate being able to see what they looked like. So does anyone have any of the chevrons and can show me what they look like? Blessings, Patrick
  11. My Deutsche is very rusty, please translate. For me to look it up will take the best part of the day. Blessings
  12. Thank you for the close up picture of the schanlle. What does the writing on it mean and do you have other examples of the schnallen?
  13. Thank you, I was not sure what they were for, they look like a Meritorious Unit Citation award.
  14. I have been reviewing old photos of Imperial Germany and I have noticed from time to time that on some photos the soldiers have an award/badge on their waffenrocks that I am not familiar with. Could anyone enlighten me as to what these awards/badges are and why only a few wear them. They are warn on their left breast under their ribbon/ medal bar, seen in the photo from saschaw in this forum. Blessings, Patrick
  15. Thank you, I was not sure. I know the German's had many ranks that started with Ober, ie. Oberf?hrerOberst Oberstleutnant Oberleutnant Obersturmf?hrer Oberf?hnrich Oberfeldwebel Oberscharf?hrer Obergefreiter Obersch?tze so I thought this is just another rank or title that I have not heard of. Thank you for helping me clear this up. Gott mit uns, Patrick
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