An album of field post from WWI recently came into my possession. I noticed that around 20 postcards were addressed to the same father, Johann Oestreicher, from Theilheim, Bavaria, between 1915 and 1918. That family had all their 3 sons Georg, Wilhelm and Hubert in combat. I couldn’t ignore the question in my head if any of their three sons ever returned from the war. So I looked them up in the draft lists of the German army, available on Ancestry:
Wilhelm, the oldest, born 1883
Georg, born 1887
Hubert, born 1890
There was no remark about any of them perishing in the war, which was good news. I also checked the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge) website which also came back with nothing. I was optimistic that perhaps all three sons survived the war.
I was wondering if anyone was perhaps missing those keepsakes of family history. So my next action was to contact the so-called Club of Comrades of War in that region. And guess what! I got a phone call from the grand-daughter of Georg Oestreicher. She recognised her grandfather far left in the group photo. She had known all three brothers personally, so I was relieved to hear that this family could thank their lucky stars as all 3 young men had returned from the war.
I’ve returned the postcards to the family. It makes me so happy to know that now the keepsakes are back with who they belong with and I’ve been able to contribute to the family memories being saved.