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Another IOD89 with dedication

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This is an interesting sword on several levels:

*Bavarian cypher on the grip

*High level of engraving on the guard and pommel

*Folding guard has been removed

*dedication on the reverse of the guard that remains...this reads 'Priester s/l Widtmann 1 Juli 1894'

*Initials engraved on top of pommel...a 'W' and what seems to be an 'h', so 'hW'

*The usual Bavarian Motto on the blade...' In Treue Fest'.

Would it be possible to trace the background of these two Bavarian Officers?

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I'm sorry to say that your camera shots are so horribly unfocussed that I can't do much with them--and it is CRUCIAL to be absolutely certain of what is actually engraved. :(

"Priester" (NOT "Prieser"? I can't read a thing in these camera scans) falls through a gap in my Rank Lists: in, out--dead...?

IF that is an "H" tangled in the "W" on the pommel (there were TWO Widtmanns, and the other was a "J") that would have been

Heinrich Widtmann, born 1872

SekLt 28.05.92

OberLt 04.03.01 in K.B. Inf Rgt 21 in 1903... but apparently dead by 1909

It often seems astonishing the mortality among adults back then who would presumably be among the fittest of their time--active duty young officers.

That's the first pass through sources.

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There were two Sek.Lts. in the Bavarian 6. Inf. R. by those names in 1895, Friedrich Priester and Heinrich Widtmann. Priester was promoted Sek.Lt. on 05.03.1892 and Widtmann on 28.05.1892. I am not sure of the significance of date yet.

On 27.01.1899 Priester transferred to the Schutztruppe for German East Africa. He died on 15.03.1899.

I'll keep digging to see what else might be available.


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Widtmann was born 18.07.1872 in Munich.

He was a cadet and graduated from the corps of cadets on 01.04.1890 and entered 1. IR. He went to the Kriegschule from 1891/92 and studied in "Lehrabteilung A." Priester attended the same years and studied in "Lehrabteilung D." On 01.10.1893 Widtmann was transferred to 6. IR, where he would have now met Priester, and we know he died in 1899.

Widtmann left the army on 25.06.1906.

In 1914 he was living in Berlin-Friedenau (at Hackerstr. 27, III) as a "Regierungs Sekretair" and upon mobilization, returned to Bavarian military service (there are four nice entries for him on ancestry.com). He was promoted to Hptm. on 05.11.1914.

He survived the war.


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If both were in K.B. Inf Rgt 6 on 22.03.97 they'd have received the Kaiser Wilhelm I centenary Medal, since Kaiser Bill II was "Chef" of that Bavarian regiment. Widtmann also would have received the Bavarian army 1905 Luitpold Jubilee Medal.

And here Widtmann is, in the 1918 Reichs Hof- und Staats-Handbuch:

From this, he'd already received the Bavarian Military Merit Order 4th Class with Swords (on 05.02.16 as "Hauptmann a.D.") and both classes of the Iron Cross during the war. His Reichs civil service position was in the National Insurance Institution for Employees.

Assuming he remained there, or in some other civil service job in Berlin, he'll turn up in the online Berlin city directories.

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