British soldiers and German girlfriends in the British occupation zone

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by tgrubb, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. tgrubb

    tgrubb Junior Member

    My great uncle, John England Grubb, made it through Dunkirk and Italy with the HQ Battalion of the Buffs and went on to become CSM post war. The story goes when he was part of the army of occupation, he asked a German girl to marry him and, when she said no, asked her sister! She said yes and they went on to get married in 1949. Her name was Aenne/Anne P Spesser and she came from Hamburg but I cannot find out anything about her now. This extends to her not being on any passenger lists post war so I was wondering whether anyone knows whether a soldier could get passage for a girlfriend on their return to the UK? This seems unlikely to me but others might know better.

    My wife is half German and my mother in law escaped Hamburg before the bombing so I am interested in trying to fill in a bit of Aenne's tree. No one in our family seems to have researched considered her past.

    Medwyn Edwards likes this.
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  3. tgrubb

    tgrubb Junior Member

    Yes, I have all those - I am more interested in her and how she managed seemingly to get here not via the usual routes.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
    Name: Anne P Spesser
    Registration Date: Apr-May-Jun 1949
    Registration district: Folkestone
    Inferred County: Kent
    Spouse: John E Grubb
    Volume Number: 5b
    Page Number: 1317

    I doubt very much if you would find her name on any passenger list, it could be they flew home [to the UK], if they travelled by ship it could have been military [no passenger lists] or even cross channel ferry [no passenger lists]

    I would expect somewhere that she would have become 'naturalised' - the family may know this, but where you might find those forms I dont know

    ozzy16 and CL1 like this.
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Replace or correct a UK citizenship certificate

    If you became a citizen on or before 30 September 1986
    You can search the National Archives and order a certified copy for a:
    registration certificate issued between 1 January 1949 and 30 September 1986

    That is assuming she took UK/British citizenship


    Heres what I was after
    Certificate Number: R3/2525 . Name: Anne Petronella Grubb . Date of Birth: 14... | The National Archives
    Reference: HO 334/521/2525
    Certificate Number: R3/2525.
    Name: Anne Petronella Grubb.
    Date of Birth: 14 November 1915.
    Country of Nationality or Birth: Germany.
    City or Town of Birth: [unspecified].
    Date of Certificate: 22 July 1949.
    Home Office Reference: G 46947.
    Date: 1949 July 22
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    So she married then applied for naturalisation
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    In 1949 what would you consider "usual routes"

  7. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Chap I used to know was the second British serviceman allowed to marry a German girl, from Burgdorf, near Hannover.
    We used to visit every 4 years or so to join in their Schutzenfest celebrations.
    tgrubb likes this.
  8. tgrubb

    tgrubb Junior Member

    I would expect 'usual' to be on a ferry through the usual immigration process where she would appear on some kind of record. Given she doesn't appear on these I didn't want to assume she came over in the back of an army transport.
  9. tgrubb

    tgrubb Junior Member

    Thanks, that's brilliant. Just what I was after. I'd like to see if she has any living relatives in Germany.

  10. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Early postwar BAOR used to run ferries from Harwich to the Hook of Holland and troops proceeded to their base by troop train.A late friend of mine was stationed in West Berlin told me that the troop trains were required to have their windows blacked out as soon as they entered East German territory on their way to and fro Berlin.

    My wife's cousin of this era married a German girl and and I found him quite easily in records but not any detail of his marriage.He may have been married in Germany.....intend to look deeper.

    Interestingly my son's in laws were married in Palestine...both in the army and were married at Haifa late in the war. ....found them in the FMP records.

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