Jump to content
News Ticker
  • I am now accepting the following payment methods: Card Payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal
  • Latest News

    Non-com Sachsen-Meiningen document group

    Recommended Posts

    Paul Chepurko has just posted a thread on a recipient of the Sachsen-Meiningen Ehrenkreuz for merit in war at http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?act=ST&f=71&t=2888

    I also have group to a man who was probably acquainted with him, as they both served as civil servants in the Kassel courts in 1910 and 1911.

    The documents below show part of the military career of Gustav F?rster, a civil servant who finally rose to the rank of Hauptmann der Reserve.

    Gustav F?rster was born on 17 June 1880 in Wetzlar. He served as a one-year volunteer with 1. Kurhessisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 11 from 1 October 1905 to 30 September 1906. As a supernumary Unteroffizier on the latter date, he received approval from his regimental commander (signature?) that he was considered qualified and suitable to pursue a Reserve Officer career.


    Can anyone help with the signature?


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    In December 1908, then Vizewachtmeister F?ster received his Patent as Leutnant der Reserve der Feldartillerie.


    The back of the Patent shows that it was supposed to be signed at the New Palace, however, there seems to be no trace of a signature.

    Remarks added in pencil indicate that he became Oberleutnant on 22 May 1915 and Hauptmann on 31 May (or September?) 1918.


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    In March 1914, Leutnant der Reserve F?rster, living in Corbach, received notification from Bezirks-Kommando Arolsen (stamped Bezirks-Kommando Hersfeld) of his duties in the event of mobilisation. He was to report to Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 32 at Leipziger Strasse 19 in Meiningen by midday of the 3rd day of mobilisation.


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    On 1 April 1915, he was awarded the Sachsen-Meiningen Ehrenkreuz f?r Verdienst im Kriege am Bande f?r Nichtkombattanten (on the non-combattants ribbon) as Leutnant der Reserve und Bataillonsadjutant im Ersatz-Bataillon des Landwehr-Infanterie-Regiments Nr. 32 by the regent's wife and former Princess Charlotte of Prussia.

    Sachsen-Meiningen documents are not too common and this is only the second one I know of issued by Herzogin Charlotte. As an award for the non-combattant ribbon, it is probably one of the least common variants.

    The document also details his peacetime occupation as Gerichtsassessor in Corbach.


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    In September 1918, he was given a document confirming that he did not need a delousing chit. As a staff officer, perhaps he simply managed to avoid lice. At this time, he was serving with Generalkommando zur besonderen Verwendung Nr. 66, which pencilled notes suggest that he joined on 20 February 1918.


    On 8 November 1918, just before Germany entered a period of turmoil and civil unrest, he was awarded the EK1.


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Various papers included in the group indicate that F?rster was involved in disarmament and discharge proceedings together with the Soldatenrat relating to Gruppe M?rchingen in November 1918.

    After the war he left the army as a non-combatant staff officer and returned to the court system. The final part of his paper trail shows that he was serving as an Amtsgerichtsrat in Kassel in late 1935.


    Considering the documents that I have show he served as a non-combatant staff officer throughout most, if not all, of the war, I wonder what his EK2 document was for. Non-combatant on black/white or white/black ribbon?

    Edited by David Gregory
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Hi David,

    he received approval from his regimental commander (signature?)

    The document attesting to his suitablility to be a reserve officer is signed by the then Oberstleutnant Bruno Hahn. This officer rose to generals' rank and the command of the 31. Artillerie-Brigade on the 20th of March 1911. He retired just prior to the war on the 22nd of March 1914 as a Generalleutnant z.D. but was recalled for service on mobilisation as the commander of the 46. Reserve-Division which he led until 10 May 1915.

    Hahn commanded Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 11 from 22 April 1905 for some six years through Major to Oberst until his brigade command in 1911.

    Seconde-Lieutenant: 12.4.73

    Premier-Lieutenant: 15.6.82

    Hauptmann: 28.3.89

    Major: 22.5.99 U

    Oberstleutnant: 27.1.06 G

    Oberst: 10.9.08 F

    Generalmajor: 22.4.12 H



    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Guest Rick Research

    "Worth?" Hey, I never SAW a "Charlotte" before yesterday... now this is a 100% increase to... TWO-- but still only "one of each!" :jumping::cheeky:

    As a general rule, the Kaiser only signed reserve commissions in the army from Hauptmann up, before the war. That's why there is no signature. They just used the seal.

    TWO very interesting things about this weird career-- how did he go from Field Artillery (and FAR 11 was considered THE elite artillery regiment for socially connected commoners) to Infantry!!! ??? And he is a perfect example of "mix and match" rear noncombatant and frontline combat positions...

    prodycung what would have been a very odd looking medal bar indeed. But we have seen these sorts of mixed groups before.

    I betcha he got the NONcombatant EK2 "on the white-black ribbon." :speechless1::rolleyes:

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Coincidentally, my great grandfather, Rittmeister Otto Finscher, was a judge in Kassel at this time, and was also awarded the EK 1, unfortunately I have no further information about his career in the war. He was thrown out of his job for his anti-Nazi sympathies in 1934 and died shortly thereafter. His successor was the notorious Roland Freisler of Volksgericht infamy.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Thanks very much for that information.

    Paul, I have never really tried to put a value on single documents, or groups for that matter. This unfortunately incomplete group turned up on German eBay and cost approximately what many collectors pay for a clean 1914 EK2 in the USA. For more common documents there seem to be generally accepted price levels, but complete groups or unusual units tend to push prices higher. Since ours are the only Charlotte documents I have ever seen, I wouldn't even know what to guess. There are probably a few collectors of documents from specific Imperial German states who could put a price on them, but I find they tend to keep their collections to themselves.

    The large and small format documents issued by Bernhard certainly turn up more frequently, but I can only go by what they sell for on German eBay as far as prices are concerned, i.e. not very much. Since I mainly collect documents, I am quite happy with this state of affairs.

    Rick, it would be nice to find and reunite his EK2 document with the rest of the group.


    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
    • Create New...

    Important Information

    We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.