German soldiers pocket book

Contained within the collection of Lieutenant Edgar Thomas Towner, VC, MC, is a most unique souvenir.

Towner wrote to his family in Blackall, in October 1917 that he had removed a ‘wallet’ from a dead German soldier, and was posting it home to retain as a memento. The pocket book / wallet and its contents is an artifact of immense personal and historical value.

Written on the inside of the pocket book are the details of the first soldier -

  • Reservist Hermann Schoenfeld,
    Reserve Infantry Regiment 2,
    1 Company 1 Battalion, 3 Reserve Division
    Osten

Warberg, Schroda

Many records for German soldiers who served during WW1 were destroyed during allied bombing in 1945.

Tucked inside the pocket book is a beautiful studio portrait of a soldier and his son, I would like to think that this image is of Hermann Schoenfeld, and his boy.

  • George Julius Augeleit
    Reserve Infantry Regiment 265
    8 Company

  • The pocket book relates to a German soldier that died in 1917
  • The soldier’s paybook was still in use in 1918

German military pay books contained coupons, which were torn out when the soldier was paid. Augeleit was last paid in May 1918. Lieutenant Towner’s writes that he was the officer in charge of Interrogation of POWs in June 1918. It is highly possible that Augeleit was interviewed by Towner, and his papers confiscated.

Sobersken, Ragnit

A well creased letter was tucked into Augeleit’s paybook, and has been translated to reveal that it is from his wife Grethe, in Tilsit, dated 26 April 1918. Grethe writes that she has had to move and with their two children, she worries about being able to pay the rent.

Tilsit, Ragnitz

 

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I also have a wallet of a WW1 German soldier my grandfather brought home after having a German soldier die in his arm.