Story This Week: Kanonier Adolf Schott

Our story this week comes from the Stadtarchiv Ettlingen, which holds the 1916 Militärpass (Military Pass Book) of Kanonier Adolf Schott, grandfather of Claus Schott of Ettlingen Town.

Adolf's Military Pass Book, 1916

Adolf Schott was born in Ettlingen on December 7, 1874. He married Hermine, with whom he had 6 children. He worked as a stoker.

When war broke out, Adolf was 40 years old. Probably on account of his age and the fact that he had a large family to support, he did not join up immediately. However, on October 21, 1916, he entered service as a "Landsturm Rekrut".

The Landsturm units usually consisted of men over the age of 40. In most cases, they were deployed close to the Homeland, although during the First World War, some of them were sent to the Eastern Front, and a few to the Western Front. They were often used as munition convoys, as well as for building roads, but were not part of a firing battery. Some of the Landsturm formed reinforcement batallions, building trenches, for example. They were usually kitted with older weapons.

Adolf Schott's Personal Data

Adolf was assigned to the 1. Garde-Feldartillerie-Regiment (Field Artillery), Ersatzabteilung (Reserve Division). His Military Pass Book records that unfortunately, after just 3 days, he was admitted to the garrison lazaret suffering from "general asthenia" - in other words, a physical collapse. The physical work in the Landsturm units was tough, although less immediately dangerous than at the Front.

Adolf must have had a major collapse - he remained in the military lazaret until December 4, 1916, a total of around 6 weeks. It could be speculated that he had suffered a heart attack or similar.

He was released from the lazaret and, as far as the records show, returned to his unit. The 1. Garde-Feldartillerie-Regiment was subordinate to the 1. Garde Division, which during this time was stationed at the Somme in trench warfare. We can thus assume that Adolf experienced something of the battles taking place there, during the last phases of the Somme.

Adolf Schott is discharged

On January 17, 1917, Adolf was examined and found to be "g. v. Heimat". This is a German military term short for "garnisonsverwendungsfähig Heimat", which means that a soldier is no longer fit for service in the field and may only be deployed, for example, in a garrison in the Homeland.

Subsequently, Adolf was discharged on March 25, 1917 to work in the company "Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken" (German Weapon and Munition Factories) in Karlsruhe, Ettlingen's nearest city. He was thus put to work for the war effort. The report in his Military Pass Book explicitly states that he had not suffered any disability as a result of military service, although this might be debatable.

Apparently Adolf was still eligible for military service in the Homeland, as he was not officially released until December 9, 1918, and returned his uniform and boots in March 1919.

After the war, Adolf worked as a stoker in the Huttenkreuz Brewery in Ettlingen. He died on April 5, 1940, in Ettlingen Hospital.

No comments: