An incomplete tale of three Deutschmann servicemen

On a visit to the Scottish National War Memorial in 2018, on the trail of those Scots I have researched who are commemorated on War Memorials outwith Scotland, I spent some time in its Section M. In this section you will find the Memorial Books, and Plaques recording the losses and some of the battle honours of the London, of the Liverpool, South African, Canadian and Tyneside Scottish Regiments.

The three red books at the foot of the Memorial are Regimental Rolls of Honour.  From the left they are the Roll of Honour of the London Scottish, then the South African Scottish (4/SAIR) for WW1 and finally, that of the South African Scottish for WW2.

As I skimmed the pages, noting the Scottish surnames, while pondering the presence of a number of typically Dutch (Afrikaner) surnames, one entry stood out. I photographed the page, anticipating that my curiosity would take this further. Here is the entry:

DEUTSCHMANN, Herbert William, 10271 P[riva]te Missing; died France, 24/3/1918.
Served as MACONOCHIE, HW.

Served as MACONOCHIE?  There followed a ‘what the heck’ moment.  I will look into this as I work on Herbert’s blog post, while hoping to dig a little deeper and to be able to weigh up his adoption of an alias against the timing of his transfer to 4/SAIF from 2/SAIF.

Deutschmann #1 is Herbert William Deutschmann who served in the 4th South African Infantry Regiment (aka as “The South African Scottish”) as H W Maconochie.  Herbert’s father, August was baptised as August Friedrich Wilhelm Deutschmann in Gramzow, Brandenburg (Prussia) on 9 July 1858, four weeks after his birth there, on 12 June.  On 15 October 1858, his parents, with their daughter Ottilie (2) and son, August (4 months), sailed from Hamburg to East London, which they reached, after calling at Cape Town, three months later on 13 January 1859.  Two waves of German immigrants arrived in the Eastern Cape at this time. The first to arrive, in 1857, were ‘military settlers’ followed by the ‘farmers’ in 1858.  There’ll be more on this enterprising family and in time Herbert will get his own blog post. His service record offers an intriguing but still baffling clue to the choice of the surname Maconochie. I will get working on that when I have an opportunity.

Deutschmann #2 is the Deutschmann I found when I searched the CWGC website, looking for further information on Herbert William Maconochie.  And that was a bit of surprise, as he turned out to be a man serving in the German Navy, who was buried in a war grave in the United Kingdom.  This man was Werner Deutschmann, who died aged 21 on 13 July 1946.  His grave is in the Darlington West Cemetery.  Was he a POW?  What was the cause of his death?  Was it from natural causes, or of wounds, or something else? [See update in comment below.]

Deutschmann #3 I found while seeking further information on Herbert Deutschmann.  I came across an official South African ‘Death Notice’ for Edward William Deutschmann, formerly a Trader’s Assistant.  It revealed that Edward had been born in Johannesburg, the son of Edward and Emma Deutschmann and died, aged 28 years and 6 months on 12 April 1918 while on active service in France.  There is a service number (13742) and the note than he was in the 2nd South African Infantry Regiment.  The names of his siblings are also recorded: Hugo, Frederick, Robert and Wilhelmina.  His case is also a puzzle because he does not appear on the CWGC list.  He is not listed on the Pozières Memorial though his death was within the given dates for that memorial, nor does he appear on the South African War Graves Project.

***Update 1
While researching Herbert William Deutschmann, I found an entry for Edward in the Register of Soldiers’ Effects, in which his name was spelled Deutchman. and realised he was Deutschmann #3   He is on the CWGC database as Deutchman.  So I used his date of death, from his Death Notice in 1919, which matched the one in the Register of Soldiers’ Effects and the forenames Edward WilliamThat generated a result.  He’s commemorated on the Menin Gate, which means no war grave.
I’ll give him a short post of his own once I’ve completed the research into Wiehahn servicemen, that currently preoccupies me.

***Update 2 (2020)
Edward has his own post now, and it’s anything but long.

Research tip
I describe another way of finding a missing person in records in which you are sure they should appear, but to your dismay, apparently aren’t in a post, on my professional blog Discover Your Family History.

The title is How to find a D*t*m*n* but it’s helpful whenever you can’t find a record despite being sure that one was made.

If you’ve visited this page before, this post is no longer a stub.

About Margaret Frood

Margaret Frood is a Family and Local Historian with an insatiable curiosity about the partially told stories of a family's past. Her four war memorial blogs have been created in the hope that they will help to rescue from oblivion the stories of those listed on the war memorials of Petersham, Ham and Tur Langton, as well as Southern Africans commemorated in the UK and in Western Europe.
This entry was posted in German Spring Offensive, Kaiserschlacht, Military Hospitals, Roll of Honour, Scottish Regiments and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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