Soldbuch with a British connection

Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by hucks216, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    In an infrequent series of threads about items in my collection that relate to the British/Commonwealth sphere in some way, usually battles and actions against them, here is an item that is a bit closer to the British arena. It is a Soldbuch to a German soldier who served in a panzer division's signals unit which is so far so good and all quite normal for a German soldier and his Soldbuch. However what relates this particular item and man to the British sphere is that he was born in Manchester.

    Thanks to Alistair who had a look on Ancestry it has been possible to unearth some of his British details. He was born in 1909 in Barton Upon Irwell which is Salford and by the 1911 census the family were living at 10 Highfield Drive, Monton Green which is in Eccles so both locations match with the entry at the top of page 2 in the Soldbuch which confirms his location of birth as Manchester, England. I have had a look on Google Earth at the Monton Green address but it looks as if the houses situated there now are of a later design - 1930's maybe, possible later, although housing designs are really not my area at all.
    His father Alfred was a German foreign correspondent and his mother Louise was English. I don't have any information for what happened to them when WW-1 broke out so don't know whether they remained in the UK and rode out the anti-German feelings or returned to Germany. I can't see the UK authorities allowing a German correspondent to remain in the country upon the outbreak of war so I would assume they went to Germany in the build up or upon the outbreak of WW1. I have found the mention of a Paul Lorenz as being a witness at the wedding of an Oscar Schwengber & Florence Abbott in December 1902 in Chorlton on Medlock (which is to the south of Manchester city centre now) so it seems the area had a German community.

    Back to the soldier, he was nearly 34 when he joined the German Army which is quite old to be called up for the first time so it would either reflect the need for additional manpower to replace the horrendous losses or he served in another branch of the Wehrmacht and was transferred across to the Heer in 1943. It is also possible he originally served in a reserved occupation which prevented him being called up and that all changed in 1943. His occupation is listed as being a commerce employee. He was assigned to the signals unit of 4.Panzer-Division in late 1943 so saw service on the Eastern Front until the wars end.

    As 4.Panzer-Division had a reputation as being one of the best panzer units he would of been in the vicinity of a lot of heavy fighting. Although he never won any combat related awards (he was awarded a War Merit Cross in January 1945) it is difficult to believe he wasn't involved in some combat from time to time especially if & when Russian troops penetrated the lines.
    I have no idea what happened to him after the war but he is not listed in the Volksbund as being killed and the award of the War Merit Cross in January 1945 shows he made it at least that far.

    Lorenz (2).jpg Lorenz (3).jpg Lorenz (4).jpg Lorenz (12).jpg
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  2. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    The 1911 Census entry for him, struggling to find anything later

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  3. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Thank you for adding that. Interesting to see that one of the 3 children died by the time of this census.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
    Name: Alfred Walter Lorenz
    Registration Year: 1909
    Registration Quarter: Apr-May-Jun
    Registration district: Barton
    Parishes for this Registration District: View Ecclesiastical Parishes associated with this Registration District
    Inferred County: Lancashire
    Volume: 8c
    Page: 712


    Alfred Walter Lorenz 1909 Apr-May-Jun Barton Lancashire

    Alfred P Lorenz 1911 Oct-Nov-Dec Barton Lancashire

    Gertrude Lorenz 1908 Jul-Aug-Sep Barton Lancashire
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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Not sure at all if this is the same person - he seems to have been using Walter [Walther] more than Alfred to possibly avoid confusion with his father

    Web: Bremen, Germany, Passenger Lists Index, 1907-1939
    Name: Walther Lorenz
    Gender: Männlich (Male)
    Nationality: Deutsch
    Departure Age: 14
    Birth Year: abt 1909
    Residence Year: 1923
    Residence Place: Ludwigsburg
    Departure Date: 7 Mrz 1923 (7 Mar 1923)
    Departure Place: Bremen
    Destination Place: OH
    Arrival Place: Mantua
    Origin: Württemberg
    Ship: President Arthur
    Shipping Line: Nordd. Lloyd, Bremen
    Passenger Number: 19

    Cant find who else he may have been travelling with at the moment - I doubt he would be travelling alone in 1923, wonder if his father was sent across to USA as a correspondent??


    Looking deeper at files he travelled with his mother [Frieda] and sister [Marianne] so not the right man
    Bremen Passenger Lists
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  6. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    If they were in the UK at the outbreak of WW1, in August 1914 the British Government passed the Aliens Restrictions Act which meant anyone believed to be a threat to national security was interned at various camps in the British Isles, some of which were on the Isle of Man.

    Others were initialy held at Lancaster Castle.

    Knockaloe Internment Camp - Wikipedia
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  7. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Thank you for the details so far. I have access to the US Ancestry site and can see that his father Alfred is mentioned a few times in UK records for the Lancashire region but unfortunately it doesn't let me access the records held on the UK site so the information you have passed is appreciated.
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Might be him or rather Walters father

    1891 England Census
    Name: Alfred Lorenz
    Gender: Male
    Age: 16
    Relationship: Son
    Birth Year: 1875
    Father: Hermann Lorenz
    Mother: Agnes Lorenz
    Birth Place: Germany
    Civil Parish: Toxteth Park
    Residence Place: Toxteth Park, Lancashire, England
    Sub Registration District: Toxteth Park
    ED, Institution or Vessel: 50
    Neighbors: View others on page
    Piece: 2933
    Folio: 41
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    Hermann Lorenz 41
    Agnes Lorenz 23
    Alfred Lorenz 16
    Elsa Lorenz 15
    Blanche Lorenz 2
    Albert Lorenz 6/12

    His father Hermann (Walters grandparent) is noted as a 'confectioner'


    Blanche & Albert were born in UK, all the others were born in Germany

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  9. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    That is a great additional piece of information. It looks like they lived at 45 Rhiwlas Street which was one of the so called Welsh Streets. The area seems to be going through an extensive regeneration project but the buff coloured house seen here is the house his father lived in as a child.

    45 Rhiwlas Street.png
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Looks like they moved to there from London

    1881 England Census
    Name: Alfred Lorenz
    Age: 7
    Estimated birth year: abt 1874
    Relationship to Head: Son
    Father: Herman Lorenz
    Mother: Anna Lorenz
    Gender: Male
    Where born: (F), Germany
    Civil Parish: St James
    County/Island: London
    Country: England
    Street address: 2 Upper Rupert St
    Employment status:
    View image
    Registration district: Westminster
    Sub Registration District: Berwick Street
    ED, institution, or vessel: 47
    Neighbors: View others on page
    Piece: 125
    Folio: 50
    Page Number: 1
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    Herman Lorenz 32 (Hermann in 1891)
    Anna Lorenz 32 (Agnes in 1891)
    Alfred Lorenz 7
    Eliza Lorenz 5 (Elsa in 1891)


    Something is odd here as in 1891 Hermann and his wife are 18years difference in age, yet here they are the same age, its possible Hermann had 2 wives, Anna died sometime just after 1881 and then he remarried (to Agnes).

    More searching to do
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  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Wonder if this is the second marriage ??

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
    Name: Hermann Lorenz
    Registration Year: 1887

    Registration Quarter: Oct-Nov-Dec
    Registration district: Cheltenham
    Parishes for this Registration District: View Ecclesiastical Parishes associated with this Registration District
    Inferred County: Gloucestershire
    Volume: 6a
    Page: 832
    Records on Page:
    Agnes Denton
    Alice Maud M M Jaeger
    Hermann Lorenz

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  12. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    This has really helped to add some flesh to the item. It seems as if the Lorenz family had put some roots down in the UK.
  13. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Just a small addition - with the information provided above and also a link provided by Alistair I ordered a copy of his birth certificate to go with his Soldbuch. By the looks of it, the Paul briefly mentioned above as a witness at a wedding in 1902 may well of been his father.

    Birth Certificate - Lorenz 1909.jpg
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