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Thread: Incoming - German WW1 Observers watch

  1. #1
    Master
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    Incoming - German WW1 Observers watch

    Hi!

    I have this incoming and am very excited. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:





    Oberleutnant Gerhard Von Stachelsky was the commander of a WW1 German bi-plane bomber which was shot down by British air ace Gilbert Ware Murlis-Green on the night of December 18th 1917. This was first time a German plane was downed at night over Britain.

    Von Stachelsky's plane [A Gotha bomber like the one below] crashed into the sea killing the pilot. He was rescued along with the rear gunner by an armed trawler. The trawler decided to winch the wreckage of the plane on board - but von Stachelsky had set a time delay bomb to destroy the plane and it went off and mortally wounded a sailor [Frank Gee aged 47] who died the next day.



    The watch looks to be in original unmolested condition with possibly the original strap?? Vendor states that it has German silver hallmarks, so hopefully I will be able to date it to verify its authenticity. i have seen no pics of the movt but vendor says it works intermittently so hopefully it will just need a service.

    Also included in the lot is this postcard - which may or may not have anything to do with the watch [i do not know why it comes with it] Can any German speakers possibly Pm me a translation??



    The bad news is that it is an Xmas present from my wife [I pointed out what I wanted] and she has said I can look at it for for half an hour when it comes then she will confiscate it till Xmas day :cry: [Thanks Carole its better than socks!!]

    Looking forward to this one arriving and taking some quick pics of the movt to share with you all.

    Regards

    Tim

  2. #2
    What a great find!

    A rough translation of the postcard:

    Dear Robert,

    Many thanks for sending me your best wishes on my birthday,

    I was very interested to hear of the changes in your life and location, and I am very happy to hear that you like it there so much.

    I am looking forward to your visit here in August very much

    Your grandmother and grandfather send their best wishes,

  3. #3
    Grand Master
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    Definitely a unique piece. I bet you can't wait to crack open the caseback and see what's inside :D (or at least, I would :P )

    Ming

  4. #4
    Master
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    What a wonderful story and a lovely find. Congratulations! The strap looks correct for the time period.

    I wonder how the watch came to be about-was it perchance a confiscation by the apprehenders of V.S.?

    Best regards,

    AP.

    PS I have a watch used by a WW2 Luftwaffe air crew, with copies of his papers and manifests for flight, which included three watches! There are also copies of this Iron Cross awards, and Red Cross de-mob papers, and squadron number. He was in flying boats.

    I should have the watch soon from the watchmaker, when I hope to post a pic of it. It was in the loft for a while so the dial's not perfect, but prefectlly usable.

  5. #5
    Master
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    My man - Von Stachelsky apparently ended up at a POW camp in Skipton, Yorks for the duration.

    Murlis-Green received a bar for his military cross for shooting VS down

    "Whilst flying at night on patrol duty he encountered an enemy aeroplane, which he attacked with great determination and skill, and although there was very little light he succeeded in hitting one of the engines of the machine, which, by reason of the damage, was forced to come down in the sea off a South Coast port, where two of the occupants of the machine were made prisoners." MC Bar citation, Fourth Supplement to the London Gazette, 7 January 1918

    Here is a photo of the grave in Ramsgate cemetery of the sailor who was killed when the timed bomb went off in the wreckage...



    It is not known why the grave says HMS Attentive - as the ship he was on board when killed was HMAT Highlander.

    Very poignant at this time of year i think.

    Regards

    Tim

  6. #6
    Master JCJM's Avatar
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    :shock: :thumbright:

  7. #7
    Master
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    as you said much more interesting than socks Tim 8) 8) 8)


    karl

  8. #8
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Superb Tim, just superb.... :) :)
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  9. #9
    Master
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    Thatīs a very nice piece and a great story, congratulations !

  10. #10
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Terrific. Brilliant. Bravo.

    And don't forget to to post it here:
    http://nawcc-ihc-mb.infopop.cc/eve/ubb. ... =990103944

    ... and here:
    http://germanwatch.proboards43.com/inde ... rd=general

    john

  11. #11
    Grand Master
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    I'm speechless. I hope you know that this is not only a watch, this is a true piece of history!

    Congratulations, from the deepest of my heart!

    Sheer unbelievable.
    We can't stop here, this is bat country.


  12. #12
    Master
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    Thanks for all your replies - obviously I cannot wait for it to arrive to see what movement is inside. I just hope it is not a creative replica [see my ill fated attempt at buying a Longines Weems!]

    I have more details of the story of Von Stachelsky which I shall post in detail when I have the watch in my hands and seen the movt/hallmarks etc. It is amazing what one can research on the internet if one has the knack for it!

    I hope that the strap is removable and not stitched around the lugs as i doubt my spindly wrists will accommodate a strap probably designed to go over the sleeve of a coat [or several, as these planes flew at 15000 feet with open cockpits!!] I would like to be able to wear it. Also should I polish it or leave the silver dull [any thoughts??]

    I cannot find the first name of the gunner - his surname was Wiesman. The postcard is addressed to "Robert". I wonder if it was taken from Wiesman as war booty along with the watch and they were kept together??. Note the postcard has the name "William Longbottom" written in contemporary writing. I wonder if he may be a shipmate of the dead sailor from the "Highlander" who took these items??

    Researching this will keep me going for ages i am sure - which is just as well as the deal was that Carole would buy me this for Xmas on the condition that i did not buy another watch next year :sad5: :sad5: :sad5: But i think the deal was worth it to get this!!

    Regards

    Tim

  13. #13
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    That is a great historical find and so interesting Tim.

    Congratulations and thanks for posting. :)
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by erasuretim
    It is not known why the grave says HMS Attentive - as the ship he was on board when killed was HMAT Highlander.

    Very poignant at this time of year i think.

    Regards

    Tim
    Hi Tim,

    The name is HMS Attentive II, which was the name of the shore base at Dover from December 1914 to 31st October 1919. Maybe HMAT Highlander was part of the base's fleet of Armed Trawlers?

    All the best,
    Paul

  15. #15
    Master
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    Thanks for sharing this excellent find! Absolutely brilliant.

  16. #16
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramc181
    Quote Originally Posted by erasuretim
    It is not known why the grave says HMS Attentive - as the ship he was on board when killed was HMAT Highlander.

    Very poignant at this time of year i think.

    Regards

    Tim
    Hi Tim,

    The name is HMS Attentive II, which was the name of the shore base at Dover from December 1914 to 31st October 1919. Maybe HMAT Highlander was part of the base's fleet of Armed Trawlers?

    All the best,
    Paul
    Thanks i think thats the reason - I have found that Gee is mentioned on the Dover Patrol memorial for the 1914-18 war.

    :salute:

    Regards

    Tim

  17. #17
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    It's be nice if this thread was in BMW so it doesn't get lost.

    john

  18. #18
    Master
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    What a fantastic find and story 8)

    Congrats Tim, can't wait to hear more as and when you find it out :)

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