This Week: Private Alfred Schottmüller

Our photos and stories this week once again come from Brigitte Weber of Ettlingen-Spessart, which lies in the hills above Ettlingen Valley. Brigitte's uncles Josef Martus and Albert Fang both fought and died in Laffaux on the Western Front. Brigitte's family collected the memorial cards of friends and others who had fallen, as well as postcards sent home from the Front.

A typical postcard sent home during the Great War. The theme of many of these romanticized portrayals of the Front was to let the soldier's loved one (girlfriend, wife) know that he had died "true" to her.

"Und sag' ihr, dass ich treu,
Ihr treu gestorben sei.
Es soll nicht sein, ich kehr' nicht heim
Nach Stolzenfels am Rhein".

"And tell her that I died
True only unto her.
'Twas not to be, I'll not return
To Stolzenfels am Rhein".

Alfred Schottmüller was a friend of the family and a member of Spessart's Choral Society. A photo he sent home, taken at Christmas at the Front, is shown here. Alfred is standing and marked by the x in this photo.

Alfred served with the Infantrie Ersatz Bataillon 110, which was assigned to the 28th Division of the German Army. He spent the latter part of 1914 and early 1915 in training at the 8th Korps recruit training center in Heidelberg-Schwetzingen.

The recruits of the Ersatz Bataillon 110 at Heidelberg-Schwetzingen in early 1915. Alfred is standing at the far right of this photo, marked again by the x.

In August 1918, the bataillon was stationed in trench warfare in the Champagne region on the Western Front. Alfred fell on August 15, 1918 at Maronvilliers.

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