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    I’ve just bought a whole heap of photos and feldpost, amongst them was the cigarette case and letter pictured below.

    Hans and his brother Gustav are both listed on the same page of the July 1918 casualty list, Hans KIA and Gustav as badly wounded and missing. They can also be found on denkmalprojekt.org where they are shown as belonging to the same unit, Hans KIA and Gustav missing on the exact same day, same battle.

    The 7th Westfl. Jaeger battalion was taking part in an offensive on the river Matz in the Aisne salient, attacking French and US troops. I don't have any details about the battle but it's something I will be looking into.

    Jaeger Hans Letmathe was killed 12/6/18 and is buried in Vignemont, France. His brother, Gefr. Gustav Letmathe is buried in Mons en Laonnois, being killed on 9/6/17 according to volksbund and 12/6/18 according to denkmalprojekt.org.

    I've been able to get hold of some photos of the war memorial where both Hans Letmathe and his brother Gustav are remembered. A pity only the front of the memorial seems to be well kept, the back where the brother's names can be found looks very weathered.

    The note pictured below was found inside the cigarette case, it reads:


    Mr Gustav Letmathe, Heepen

    The following effects belonging to your fallen son Hans, are forwarded by the Company:

    1 cigarette case

    Nothing else was on his person.









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    Very interesting pieces!

    The Jg.Btl.7 belonged to the Jg.Rgt.12 (Jg.Btl.7, Jg.Btl.2, Res.Jg.Btl.1) and that regiment belonged to the Jäger-Division.

    The battle of Noyon started june, 9. The Jg.Rgt.12 at the first day was reserve of the division. The night of the 10th, the Matz should be passed and the bataillon had heavy fights. the 4th company had 18 soldiers killed. At 4pm the bataillon was at the Matz. The enemy-artillery fired too close to their own tropps, so the french went back. So the Jäger took the chance to cross the Matz. The 2nd company was the first on the other side. The fights were at the road Vandélicourt-Marest.

    The next two days the action stucked in the woods. The Jg.Div. and the 4.Garde-Inf.Div. were the front-units. They won against two french divisions and captured 21 officers, 1087 men, and 59 guns.

    At the end of june, the bataillon came back to the Alsace.

    Map: Der Weltkrieg 1914-1918, vol.14 (maps)



    Edited by The Prussian
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    Thanks Andy.

    I don't have Vol. 14, seems to be a hard one to find or I've not been looking hard enough. Actually I don't think I have Vol. 13 either.

    Can you believe I was in the general area at the beginning of July, oh well, that's just another reason to see if I can get there again.


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    There was an iron cross too but the family wanted to keep it however, with no paperwork I can't be sure if it belonged to Hans Letmathe, Karl Stender or perhaps someone else. 

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    Hi Joe!

    Unfortunately I don´t know any maps about that. A complete hisrtory of formation about german aviation is hard to find. The only sources are the order of battles of 1914, so you can say, the aviations might be close to the HQ.

    I´d be interested in your request too!

    Best regards

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    We have all sorts of data in preparation of our next book. Really pretty surprising. I am just looking for maps still and pictures. We are just starting and will use "The Last Great Cavalry Charge" as a spring board.

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    • 2 weeks later...
    More paperwork regarding the brothers has surfaced. Their father, Gustav snr. wrote to his last surviving son’s unit asking for him to be removed from all frontline duties. His wish was obviously granted.
    Below is the confirmation that Willie Letmathe who was in a Minenwerfer unit, was to be pulled back from the front and given an office job. His Soldbuch shows he was in Verdun in 1916 and 1917 where he fought on Dead Man and Hill 304 as well as a stint on the Somme.
    The soldbuch for Jaeger G. Letmathe also surfaced however, apart from showing he volunteered in 1914 there’s very little info in it.
    Photos of Gustav (last photo), reported wounded and missing 12/6/18 and Hans KIA 12/6/18 show them both wearing the iron cross ribbon but unfortunately their crosses aren’t with the paperwork, nor are the certificates.
    The last photo is confirmation from Volksbund in 1933 of where in France Hans is buried. As there’s no mention of Gustav I’ll assume he was still missing and the Gustav Letmathe buried in Mons en Laonnios is a different man.







    Edited by Tony
    Can't work out how to get the pics in the right order
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    • 2 weeks later...

    You lucky lucky man you!!!

    And another nice surprise yesterday when both their iron crosses were offered to me. There was a black Hindenburg cross too but I don't know if it was from Gustav or Hans Letmathe or Karl Stender.

    The paper label probably used to be under one of those glass paperweight things. Wish there was a date showing when they were awarded or better still, the certificates.



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