German Soldier Writes California Mother on Death of her Son

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

  2. Dolphin

    Dolphin New Member

    It's not a unique occurrence, as I discovered when researching the men of the AFC who died in or after the War.

    Martin, Lieutenant Charles Henry, No 4 Sqn AFC

    Charles Martin came from Port Melbourne. He was born on 1 April 1894 and was a Building Foreman when he joined the AIF in Ballarat on 7 February 1916; he was already serving as a Lieutenant in the AMF’s 52nd Infantry Battalion. He was posted to a number of training units in Australia, and was promoted to Sergeant Major, before he left Melbourne on HMAT A32 Themistocles on 27 July. After arrival in the UK he served in the 2nd Infantry Training Battalion before he transferred to the AFC in March before beginning pilot training on 1 June, after which he was commissioned in October. He was posted to No 4 Sqn in France on 12 January 1918, and promoted to Lieutenant at the end of the month.

    He was killed in action over Lille at 14.15 on 17 February 1918 while flying Sopwith Camel B5207. Other pilots on his patrol reported that as they began to attack some enemy aircraft at about 3000 feet, his Camel disappeared in a cloud of smoke, after which the wings detached. The Camel had apparently been hit by an artillery shell and broke up in the air. He was initially posted as Missing in Action, but in August formal advice came from Germany which confirmed that he had been killed. In the interim, Ltn Waldemar Karstens, a German infantry officer who witnessed the crash of the Camel, wrote to Lt Martin’s family on 18 February to let them know that their son’s body had been recovered and properly buried. The location of his grave at Prèmesques could not be found after the Armistice.

    Lt C H Martin has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial and the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France.

  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    They were "feeling" men first before they were the enemy !! :)

    Were you able to find out anything about Ltn Waldemar Karstens at all Gareth ?

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