Who is this man and where did he come from ?

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by Michel Knockaert, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. I am back... (You know I have a job...)

    Following my call the police Sunday night and the visit of the patrol to the scene of my discovery, I have been "invited" to come up again on Monday October 27 in the morning, I had to wait a phone call at home.

    In fact I did not think I could be present at the exhumation, then the morning, very early, I returned to the river to take some photos in daylight, but it had rained much of at night, when I came to the river, I saw that the water level had risen by 20 cm and could no longer see the place where the body was there and I was very disappointed, I could not photograph the soldier's feet as I had identified on the eve.

    Around 10 am I finally received the phone call the gendarmes who asked me to go on the road a few hundred meters from the body.

    Julien was with me and we were interviewed by the police who wanted to know details about our discovery and why we allowed to believe that there could be a body, I felt good that they do not really believe us.

    Then they asked us to show them the place, so I said 'OK, but you will not see anything because the water level has risen considerably this night, so they decided not to go.....:rolleyes:
  2. Look at the size of the boot over me ... he had big feet ...

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  3. In France, this kind of situation would require the agreement of the prosecutor (representing the Ministry of Justice) for the police to undertake research body or bodies and I saw that the head of the patrol did not want too much to ask permission to launch operations excavations.

    Then I played cards on the table and I said very clearly that even if he did nothing I look after myself to go dig up the body, thus he called the first deputy public prosecutor who is a woman to explain the situation.

    After several minutes of delay, and especially after she learned of my profession (she asked if I was reliable so I told the police to respond as a senior Territorial Administration I was notI used to tell anything) and that the policeman had explained that I was a lot interested of the First World War, she finally give the green light to research ...


    From this moment, Julien and I were no longer mere witnesses, we were potential suspects since we entered the procedure of Article 74 of the French Penal Code which deals with discovery of dead and we were asked to go immediately to the police station to be heard.

    Julian and I were interviewed separately to see if our statements were consistent, I must say that this does not make us very happy, but law is law...

    While we were interviewed, the head of the gendarmerie launched requisitions to bring the shovel and warned the police specialized ... for a while there were 11 policemen on the spot by the river and none of them was down at the water's edge...

    After our interview, the police asked me if I agreed to accompany them in the afternoon to guide the research that the water up and that we could not see anything, I said OK, but as long as I can attend the entire operation, they could not otherwise accept, but I could not do photos, banning the procedure.

    Appointment has been set at 3pm.

  4. Have you ever tried to make a knot in your handkerchief Polly?:D
  5. At noon we came out of the gendarmerie and Julian and wewent for lunch in a small bar not far away, in Richebourg.

    At 1.00 pm I warned my boss that I will not go to work and I immediately took the path of the river where the water level had dropped considerably since the morning, I could see again the boot which emerged a few centimeters and took several photos.

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  6. The level is coming down...

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  7. a little closer ...

    The mud was deposited ...

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  8. New close up before the police arrived...

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  9. polldollagain

    polldollagain New Member

    Er ... Why have I got a knotted handkerchief???? ....
    . aha... :rolleyes: to remind me ....of :confused:..erm something ...

    Great photos by the way Michel ... I do love our adventures with you ....
    Have we found another Robert mystery ..?]
  10. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Those photos are fascinating Michel ..... he does have big feet and the boot has been well preserved ! .......

    It didn't occur to me that they would think you were a suspect :eek: ....... oh my goodness !

    So then what happened ?

    Annie :)
  11. spof

    spof New Member

    From the last picture, how did you ever manage to see that was a boot. I know you were looking especially along the bank but I'm amazed.

    Great pictures and I also can't believe the size of it. Did the Germans have "guards" types of regiments where everyone was over 6 feet tall?
  12. Oh yes Polly and I will need the help of all ...:)

  13. Spof

    In fact, Sunday afternoon, the water level was so low that both shoes were completely visible, we tried to photograph them when I came back with my son, but I did not succeed due to lack of light and the distance ...

    about the size of the man I'll explain later ...

  14. So then what happened ?



    At 3.00 pm I was there and I saw an armada of police, with 5 vehicles and even a boat motor, we would have said "the experts to Manathan."

    After the presentations and recognition of the site, two divers went to get dressed in diving and took in water at the place that I had indicated ... and the work of clearing the body began.

    Before going down in the water, I noticed that one of the divers had focused, head down, eyes closed, as if he feared what he would discover, it touched me because although these men are experienced in this work, they are still human beings with their fears and their sensitivity.

    For both it was the first time they took care of a lost for so long, at the end they were very proud to have done the work.

    Very quickly they told us that there was a complete body was intact and that, internally I was delighted ... I won my bet.

    I was very impressed by the delicacy and respect with which the police divers have emerged slowly, inch by inch, the body which was stuck in the mud of the river, making waves with their hands to do not disrupt the bones and do not interfere with the river which was still powerful enough after the flood of the night...
  15. Arrival of the shovel ... a little too small for me to do a good job ...!

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  16. Then they made us a description of the position of the body, lying on its side, slightly twisted along the banks of the river, an arm returned, as dismantled, as if he had fallen in on itself round one shot in the water in top of the bank ... I am suggesting that he died exactly at that point and had not drifted with the current after being killed or injured more upstream towards Locon.

    Then the excavation of mud began and divers were first released in a piece of tissue with what I believed to be originally a button but actually turned out to be the coin of 1912 (1 pfennig of Deutsches Reich) after I had cleaned with my fingers and with a tissue paper gave me a policeman.

    At this time we knew it was certainly a German soldier of World War ... I was once again delighted ...
  17. As I said before, I was not allowed to take pictures because we were in criminal proceedings ...

    Me neither ... but not my sister and my brother-in-law who, by chance, had a walk at that time on the other side of the Lawe ... :D

    In this picture, we consider the coin and the divers photograph the remains for the judicial investigation file ...

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  18. Then the decision was made not to use the shovel to remove the body to avoid the breaking up and not see the risk of overreaching in the river, but to the excavator in position suspended above the water With the body bag inside the bucket, so that divers can drop what they were discovered.

    From that moment I did not want to lose a crumb of operations and I decreed it was time that I look after my "baby" and took foot on the side of the river, to be the front row .. . and nobody has stopped me ...

    And it is natural that divers have begun to put my hands in everything he found in water and mud, object by object, and subsequently the entire skeleton, which I gently deposited and methodically in the plastic bag ...

    to be continued...

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  19. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Oh wow - Michel !!!!! ....... What a feeling you must have had !

    I'm amazed !

    Annie :)
  20. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Michel ... I found this the other day ....

    German Army in World War I, 1917-18 By Nigel Thomas, Ramiro Bujeiro

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Ao...dq=M1866 leather marching boots.&source=bl&ot

    But then I found this today .... do you think he could have been a German Infantryman in the 4th Bavarian Infantry Regiment Western Front Spring 1915 ? I know this is only a model but it gives details of uniform !

    Marching figure with left hand in trouser pocket and rifle slung in front of chest. Around the neck is the bandolier. The base depicts a section of the cobbled road and pavement so often found in Flanders at the time. There is a choice of 2 heads. Uniform: Spiked leather helmet M1899 Pickelhaube with cloth cover and Regt. No. Tunic M1910, waterproof overtrousers and boots M1866. Equipment: Light field equipment with the old style ammunition pouches M1889, trench box periscope (with mirrors - functional) and bandolier. Weapons: Mauser Gew. 98 with canvas breech cover and bayonet M98/05 (butcher type).


    Infantryman. 4th Bavarian Infantry Regiment. Western Front, Spring 1915

    Infantry Boots M1866: Infanteristiefel M1866. The nailed infantry boots were made out of leather and had a tendency to `winkle┬┤ down around the ankle after being worn in. Depending on size they had between 35 and 45 nails in the sole, with a reinforced heel. Colour: at the beginning of the war the boots had a natural light tan, which was then often darkened by coats of dubbin. Later, boots (and much of the other leather items as well) were issued in blackened leather.


    Annie :)

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