This post is in memory of not only First World War Soldiers from both sides of the conflict, but is in Loving memory of a follower and supporter of the collection. The Late John Pearce, to which the Songbook attached belonged to. Like other items from his collection that have now been included into the KB41 Collection. A dedicated post will be made on him in some time to come, Rest In Peace my friend †
Part of The KB41 Collection On This Day Series
The post here shows a First World War Deathcard of a Jnfanterie-Regt. Graf Barfuß (4.Westfälisches) Nr.17 (Mörchingen) XXI Armee Korps who died in the year 1914. Seen accompanied by a WW1 Songbook printed in 1914, Stuttgart and a Personal cross that would have been held close to those with faith either at the front or at home.
The Deathcard seen here (with attached reverse) is a single sided format showing the young face of Simon Jais, a Infanterie of Graf Barfuß, (4.Westfälisches) Nr.17 who unfortunately lost his life just four months into the first year of the war. The war would go on for another 4 years ending on the 11th of November 1918 at 11 o'clock. The Deathcard just a reminder of one of many young people that would unfortunately loose their lives fighting in the conflict.
The Deathcard in German reads as:
an den tugendsamen Jüngling
Stadlersohn v. Oberweidach
Soldat beim kgl. bayer 17.
Res.-Jnf.-Regts. 2 Komp.
welcher im Alter von 22 Jahren
zwischen dem 3. und 5. November
1914 den Heldentod fand.
Unser Hoffen mar vergebens
Er reicht uns nicht mehr seine hand
JmgrößtenKrieg dens gab zeitlebens
Fand er den Tod fürs vaterland.
Druch von gebr. erdl, Trostberg
Dem Heldentod in Kampf und Streit
folgt Himmelsohn, die seligkeit
In English the Deathcard reads as:
Pious prayer reminder
to the virtuous youth
Stadlersohn From Oberwiedach
Soldier of the 17th Royal Bavarian
Reserve.-Infantry.-Regiment. 2 company.
which at the age of 22
between November 3rd and 5th
died a hero's death in 1914.
Our hopes are in vain
He doesn't give us his hand anymore
The biggest war there was in my life
He found death for the fatherland.
Printed by Gebr. erdl, Trostberg
The heroic death in battle and strife
follows the son of heaven, bliss
The Deathcard is of the young Simon Jais, a Stadler's Son from Oberwiedach (district of Altötting, Bavaria) Simon was an Jnfanteriste (Private Soldier) of the 17th Royal Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment "Orff" who unfortunately lost his life in combat aged 22 years old sometime between November 3rd and November 5th. The young Simon Jais seen here is seen smartly dressed in a Dunkelblau tunic, a photo that would likely have sat proudly in the family home. Which now sadly is presented on this Deathcard of the young Soldat. The exact death date is unknown as Simon was likely killed overnight in shelling. Since on those days, his Regiment was involved in The Battle for Wytschaete, Belguim. This was part of the Battle of Messines, which is part of the overall campaign we now term The First Battle of Ypres. The Deathcard shows its reverse (Seen in second photo) too which bears a detailed image of a dying Soldat with the
The German forces would have been in a waiting period in the capture of Wytschaetev, located somewhere in the South/South-East of the town of Wytschaete. His regiment (Bay,RJR17) was in 12. Bayerische Reserve-Jnfanterie-Brigade, alongside the Bay,RJR16 (Liste Regiment) which contained a certain Gefreiter Adolf Hitler, who was awarded his Iron Cross 2nd class on 1st November 1914 for saving a wounded soldier. The Brigade was in 6. Bayerische Reserve-Division, who would attack Ypres on 10th November.
In this "Holdfast" period, his death would have likely died occurred overnight 3rd/4th in the shelling and sniping of the temporary "hold" of the ground (pre-entrenchment), prior to the attack Ypres on 10th, but he obviously wasn't in cover, or his cover was poor. This was still a war of movement, prior to the entrenchment of the whole of the Western Front. The area of Ypres was fought over for most of WW1, and the First Ypres here was known as "the Graveyard of the Old Contemptable" as frankly, the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F) took most of its heaviest losses of the late 1914 period. The Second Battle of Ypres would see the first use of poisonous gas, the Third Ypres is considered the most hellish of the battles of WW1, in particular the Battle of Passchendaele, 31 July – 10 November 1917, where the ground (which was reclaimed marshes and bogs) liquified and became a series of quagmires, which would swallow anyone falling into them, whole, within seconds. The Fourth Battle, 9 - 29-April 1918, was a final attempt by the German Army to take Ypres, as part of the "Spring Offensive.
The songbook attached, detailed with its imagery of 3 kameraden on the front with the words, "Stimmt An! Neus Soldaten Liedbuch" which translates in English as "Right On! [Forward], Songs for Soldiers". The songbook having a spirit in the title to uplift the spirits of those who sing them in the same way that the songs featured in this book would. The book itself was produced in 1914 the same year in which the First World War started and to which Simon unfortunately lost his life. The songbook accompanies the Deathcard nicely as does the cross as these are personal items to which Soldats such as Simon Jais would have held close whilst in service.
The young loss of life seen here so early in the first year of the war aged just 22 years old. This would be the unfortunate fate and the ultimate sacrifice of many serving their country from all sides in this World War. The young Simon Jais also one of many to not have a confirmed date of death or location of death as record upkeep in the First World War was not as well documented as the Second. Many Thousands and Millions dying and not being given a proper burial as they should rightfully get, many dying in "No mans land" and lost to the unoccupied areas of the conflict. It is not known where Simon is buried but it is hoped that if he is a "Unbekannter Soldat" (Unknown Solider) that he is buried respectfully.
Lest we forget those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their countries in this conflict. This post if in Remembrance of Simon Jais and the other Millions lost to conflict.
We Will Remember Them