Story Of The Week: Unteroffizier Berthold Görig

Our story this week comes from Hermann Sattler of Ettlingenweier, whose great-uncle Berthold Görig fought in the Foot Artillery, Batallion XIV in the Great War.

Berthold was born on January 16, 1870, and joined the military at the age of 20 in 1890. He first held the rank of Kanonier, and on April 23, 1896, he was promoted to the rank of Unteroffizier. At the beginning of the 20th century, he returned to work on his land in Ettlingenweier, where he was a farmer. After war was declared, he joined up again in 1915.

Berthold joins the ranks again in 1915 as an Unteroffizier

Berthold's service medal and leather wrist watchstrap. This is an unusual item, which was designed to hold a watch previously used as a pocket watch

Berthold's "Schiessbuch". This book contained the soldier's individual shooting record. We can see that the Schiessbuch must have been kept since Berthold first joined the military, as his personal information, including rank and batallion, has been changed by hand.

Berthold's "Soldbuch". This was the pay book carried by every member of the German armed forces. It contained unit information, a record of all equipment issued, and other important details.

Inside the "Soldbuch". We can see that Berthold would have once again had a brief period at home to tend the land, and returned to the military on March 1, 1917.

As a successful and respected farmer in Ettlingenweier, Berthold was a highly regarded member of the local community. In March 1918, while he was in the field, the village of Ettlingenweier elected him to the office of Mayor, and the military released him from service for this purpose.

Telegram from the authorities in Ettlingenweier to Berthold, informing him that he had been elected as Mayor.

The letter from the village authorities on March 28th, 1918 to Berthold's military company, requesting that he be released from military service to take up his office as Mayor.

The approvals by the military authorities

Berthold Görig as Mayor of Ettlingenweier

While Berthold was at home serving his term as Mayor, soldiers were billeted at his house, which was a common practice at the time. A billeting note that he received is shown below.

A soldier called Stobel was billeted at Berthold's house. If Berthold had handed in the "Quartierzettel", he would have received money, but apparently he kept it rather than claiming for the billet.

In September 1918, shortly before the end of the war, Berthold received tentative call-up papers informing him of how he needed to conduct himself should he be called up. Fortunately for him, the war ended before he could be called up.

The tentative call-up papers

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