Postcards & Photos

When Private Charles William Palmer of the 48th Battalion, A.I.F. returned to his home in Perth, Western Australia in April 1919 he brought with him a number of mementos and reminders of his time overseas and specifically the 20 month period of his internment by the Germans as a prisoner of war.

Among these mementos are a number of postcards and photographic postcards. On this page I will progressively add these items to complement the information provided in this Blog.

Use these links to jump to a section of interest on this page:

Lüneburger Heide, Germany
Hamburg, Germany
Güstrow POW Camp
Hochofenwerk Lübeck
Hochofenwerk Lübeck – Prisoners-of-War

 Lüneburger Heide, Germany

Lüneburger Heide is a heath-land of natural beauty about 70kms south of Hamburg. After the war Charles brought home two postcards from the area. I have assumed he purchased these at a stopping point during his 600km train journey from Friedrichsfeld POW Camp to  Güstrow POW Camp on 18 December 1917.

Luneburger Heide postcard, 29791Fine print on the reverse of the card above reads:
Kunstanstalt Karl Braun & Co., Berlin S 42, ges. gesch. 1916 [indistinct] 29791

Luneburger Heide postcard, 28280Fine print on the reverse of the card above reads:
Kunstanstalt Karl Braun & Co., Berlin S 49  28280 G. g. 1916 [indistinct]

Hamburg, Germany

On 18 December 1917 Charles was entrained at Friedrichsfeld for the 600km journey to Güstrow POW Camp. As there is no indication in his war-time writings of any other opportunity to visit Hamburg I have assumed that the following postcards were purchased when his train stopped briefly at or near Hamburg on its way to the camp.

Hamburg postcard, 1917Print on the reverse of the card above reads:  Postkarte. 27517. This symbol appears in the left hand bottom corner.postcard-09-11-hamburg-symbol-rear-of-card

Hamburg postcard, 1917Print on the reverse of the card above reads: Postkarte. 27520. The same symbol as that on the previous card is also present.

Hamburg postcard, 1917Print on the reverse of the card above reads: Postkarte. 26099. The same symbol as that on the previous card is also present, together with the numbers 69

Güstrow POW Camp

Charles Palmer spent two periods in this camp; the first was for 10 days between 18 and 28 December 1917. The second occasion was for 29 days between 21 November and 20 December 1918 while awaiting repatriation. It is almost certain that the two photographic postcards that follow were produced during his first stay at the camp in late 1917.

Gustrow POW Camp ChurchThe postcard above is a photograph of the Güstrow POW Camp Church, probably taken in December 1917. The reverse of the card has lines for an addressee, but no identifying catalogue numbers or words. Charles Palmer has written in pencil “Church Gustrow Prison of War Camp”.

Unidentified group at Güstrow POW CampThe postcard above is a photograph of an unidentified group of prisoners at the Güstrow POW Camp, probably taken in December 1917. The configuration of the window panes matches those in a number of other Güstrow images available online.
The reverse of the card has lines for an addressee, but no identifying catalogue numbers or words.

Hochofenwerk, Lübeck

Charles Palmer spent 11 months between 28 December 1917 and 21 November 1918 as a prisoner-of-war working in the iron foundry at Herrenwyk, 14kms from the town of Lübeck. He collected the following postcards during that period. These postcards  depict some of the key buildings that formed part of the settlement built prior to WW1 to support the administration of the foundry and to house its workers.

Hochofenwerk Lübeck - the Administration Building
The postcard above shows the Administration Building for the Hochofenwerk (blast furnace). Print on the reverse of the card above reads: Postkarte. Lichtdruck Von J. Nöhring, Lübeck.

Hochofenwerk Lübeck - the General Manager's HouseThis is the first of two postcards depicting the Hochofenwerk General Manager’s House. Print on the reverse of the card above reads: Postkarte. Lichtdruck Von J. Nöhring, Lübeck. Charles Palmer has written in pencil “Iron & Steel Works, Lubeck, Germany. Manager’s House”. Note that the photo itself is truncated on the right.

Hochofenwerk Lubeck General Manager's HouseThis second postcard depicts the rear of the Hochofenwerk General Manager’s House . Print on the reverse of the card above reads: Postkarte. Lichtdruck Von J. Nöhring, Lübeck. Charles Palmer has written in pencil “Manager’s House”.

Hochofenwerk Lübeck - the Workers' HousesThe postcard above shows some of the worker’s houses at the Hochofenwerk Lübeck. Print on the reverse of the card reads: Postkarte. Lichtdruck Von J. Nöhring, Lübeck. Charles Palmer has written in pencil “Worker’s homes”.

Hochofenwerk Lübeck - the Coke OvenThe postcard above shows the blast furnace coke oven. Print on the reverse of the card reads: Postkarte. Lichtdruck Von J. Nöhring, Lübeck. Charles Palmer has written in pencil “Iron & Steel Works. Gas retorts”.

Hochofenwerk Lübeck - the HarbourThe postcard above shows the nearby harbour that serviced the Hochofenwerk Lübeck . Print on the reverse of the card reads: Postkarte. Lichtdruck Von J. Nöhring, Lübeck. Charles Palmer has written in pencil “Iron & Steel Works. Lübeck, Germany”.

Hochofenwerk Lübeck – Prisoners-of-War

POWs at the Iron Foundry, LübeckThe postcard above shows a group of POWs at the Hochofenwerk Lübeck . Charles Palmer is at the end on the right. Lower right corner contains a faint circular purple stamp which is indecipherable. Print on the reverse of the card identifies the photographer as: Atelier Schnoor,  Lübeck, Sandstr [remainder worn away].

POW William Johnson, York & Lancaster Regiment

The portrait above is of British POW William Johnson from the York & Lancaster Regiment. The photo was taken at the Hochofenwerk Lübeck. Johnson can also be seen in the previous group photo above. He is at the centre of the rear row (5th from the left). Lower left corner contains a faint circular purple stamp which is indecipherable. Print on the reverse of the card identifies the photographer as: Atelier Schnoor,  Lübeck, Sandstr. 17, II. Charles Palmer has written in pencil “William Johnson York & Lanc’s”.

POW James StewartThe portrait above is of Australian POW James Stewart from the 13th Australian Battalion. The photo was taken at the Hochofenwerk Lübeck. Stewart can also be seen in the previous group photo above. He is third from the right in the rear row. Lower left corner contains a faint circular purple stamp of which only der Kriegsg is decipherable. Print on the reverse of the card identifies the photographer as: Atelier Schnoor,  Lübeck, Sandstr. 17, II. Charles Palmer has written in pencil “Pte James Stewart 13th Australian”.

The little research I have done so far on Stewart indicates that he was captured in France on the same day as Charles, 11 April 1917.

POW Blanc, FranceThe portrait above is of French POW [first name unknown] Blanc. The photo was taken at the Hochofenwerk Lübeck. Lower left corner contains a faint circular purple stamp of which only IX.A.- __ Inspektion is decipherable. Print on the reverse of the card identifies the photographer as: Atelier Schnoor,  Lübeck, Sandstr. 17, II. Also on the reverse of the card is the number 4201. Charles Palmer has written in pencil “M[indecipherable] Blanc France”.

Keep checking this page to see further postcards as they are added!

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