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A German in the British army


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A chance look at German ebay and a successfully purchase of a broken WW1 victory medal named to G-73411 PTE. FJ Andrae. Middx R has come up with an interesting story....http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bronze-Medail ... true&rt=nc

Frederick Jacob Andrae was born in 1883 Germany (the 1901 census has the place as Gilbroth but no such place exists) the surname seems to be Bavarian.

He is noted in 1901 as being a barman at the William IV public house in Shepherdess Walk and in 1911 as a publican at the Springfield Hotel, Springfield Terrace, Bounds Green Road, New Southgate, he was made a naturalised UK citizen in 1910.

In June 1916 he was called up and served 31st and 30th (Works) Battalion, Middlesex Regiment.
Authorised by Army Council Instruction 1209 of 1916, the Middlesex Regiment formed two labour battalions, numbered 30th and 31st (Works) Battalions, manned by recruits who were naturalised British citizens but of enemy alien parentage. The men mainly came from German backgrounds and were for the most part not of low medical grade (such as was the case with the units of the Labour Corps). The two units remained in England as part of the regiment and were never transferred to the Labour Corps.

However Fred seems to have managed to get to France arriving in Bologne in march 1917 with the 2 Infantry Labour Company - and returning home over two years later at the end of 1919.

He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory.

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An interesting background - obviously the Middx. Regt. was used as a holding base for the Labour Battalions. I wonder what work they

put them to on the British mainland ?

During the 1st WW Britain interned all foreign Nationals from Countries we were at war with. We used the main town on The Isle of Man -

Douglas . This had a British garrison , under the Command of Colonel Panzera. He was formerly a Major with the Rhodesian BSAP and

after the Boer War became the Governor of Bechuanaland. (now Botswana). He died on duty in 1916 from a heart attack.

I think this is the first time I have seen reference to Labour Bns. formed from internees. Mervyn

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This is a new one to me as well, though I knew that the Labour Corps threw a very wide net: Indians, Chinese, Maltese and more served in France, so the use of 'enemy aliens' isn't too large a leap.

Here in Canada there was an issue, especially in the Maritime provinces, over blacks wanting to join the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Many had come to Canada in 1780, as either free blacks or slaves of Loyalists leaving the new formed United States and given land grants in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I know of two black brothers from just outside Toronto who joined a regular CEF battalion and there were the odd Chinese, Japanese and even ten Sikhs accepted into CEF battalions, especially late in the war. The black brothers played - pitcher and captain, I believe - on a local baseball team, so were known to be 'ok'. In Nova Scotia, however, there were enough blacks that it was considered a 'problem' and the solution was to put them into all black Labour or Forestry units, where they did sterling service!

Edited by peter monahan
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There are some villages like Gilbroth in Gemany.

Gieleroth and Gelroth, both in Rheinland Pfalz, Gailroth in Bavaria und Gillrath in the Eifel

Thanks P, been looking like mad.....my money is Gailroth in Bavaria

There are some villages like Gilbroth in Gemany.

Gieleroth and Gelroth, both in Rheinland Pfalz, Gailroth in Bavaria und Gillrath in the Eifel

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