View Full Version : Please help me find out WHO IS THE MAN IN THE PICTURES. Finding Grandfather project

08-11-2013, 10:13 AM

The man in the attached pictures is with high probability my grandfather. It is a mystery in our history which I must decipher.

1. The man was a soldier in France during ww2. He was probably injured in 1940 (second half) and received a medical treatment from my grandmother, who was a student-doctor at the time. He might have had a head or sight injury.

2. He might have been British (or American?!).

3. My father was born in Sep. 1941 in Marseille, France.

I need to know his full name, if he had children, and/or any available information you may have.

Thank you for your time and efforts to help me find my roots.

10-20-2013, 01:42 AM
I have looked and will keep looking as I'm sure others will on this site.

I'm just hoping that a year or two down the road we can still contact you if something new comes up.

Could you possibly bump this thread once a year if needed? Please do if you can, because if anything is found it will be posted here.

11-03-2013, 06:05 AM
Thank you for the message. I appreciate your efforts. I am still looking for his full identification.
My grandmother was active in the Maquis in France, are any resources may be available? thanks

11-22-2013, 10:19 PM
In 1940 he would have been most likely British, as the US didn't enter the War officially until after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941. The Marquis area was a pretty active area for the French Resistance during the German occupation of France.

I noticed that the photos you posted show a man with dark hair and another picture shows a man with much lighter hair. From my crude method of observing the pictures by the facial features, they do appear to be the same man. The change of hair color just strikes me as something different than something a regular soldier might do.

Do you know was he in a uniform or civilian dress when brought to the hospital?

France signed an armistice with Germany on June 22 1940.

I'll keep digging as I'm sure others will on this site, if I have any more questions or information I will post here.

11-23-2013, 01:22 AM
Dear Wittmann,
You don't know how much I am getting excited with any new message about potential news . I thank you for your human kindness to help me find part of my family. And I still don't even see the tip of the iceberg. I wish I could talk to my grandmother but she is resting in peace since 1974 (when I was six).

About the pictures, They were probably taken at different times, one picture is marked 1944 , but I don't know when the other one was taken. it's also my conclusion that this is the same man although the photos are so different.

I won't be surprised he took an active part in the Maquis in France and I now I am not sure about his original nationality.
My grandmother was active in the maquis and was awarded with a legion d'honore by the end of the war, and they might have been sharing underground activity.

I wish I could answer your question regarding his dress at time of arrival to hospital but unfortunately I don't know.

I am attaching my email for more personal correspondence: [email protected] , thanks a lot.

11-24-2013, 12:45 AM

Next week I'll ask my Great Uncle Dale a few questions and get any background information he has about France during WW2, he's a WW2 veteran who was in France shortly after the D-DAY with the US Army 134th Infantry Regiment 35th Division http://www.huntington.edu/News-Releases/All-News/Bronze-Star-Sacrifice/. I'm sure he will not know the person in the pictures, but he might have some helpful information. I'm sure he will check with his fellow veterans of the 35th http://www.coulthart.com/134/35contents.htm. Of course I will show him the pictures.

This site is a good resource, members from all over the world.

I have one question about the pictures; the picture where the gentleman has lighter colored hair appears to have an ink stamp on it. Is there anything legible on that stamp?

The Odds are really against us at this point, but that's not an excuse for not trying.

If any other member has any information or thoughts, please post.

11-24-2013, 02:09 AM
Thank you again for your efforts. I'll keep my fingers crossed that we'll get some clue through your connections.

With respect to the stamp on the picture, I was trying myself to decipher the nationality. It is very difficult to recognize letters. I only see the letters UL above the head. (can be part of the word CONSULATE or CONSULAT !?). The picture seems to be pulled out from an ID card. The photo might have been situated at the lower left side of the ID card attached by a round knit with an hole in the center (which I cut out in the editing). The hole is in the left corner of the picture, and it is the only one (there were not 2 holes like in other ID cards).

I am sure there are people there who may have an idea about which nationality it could be.

I am looking forward for more information to be received :)

Thank you so much

Rising Sun*
11-26-2013, 08:15 AM
If the picture which you think is marked 1944 (although the 1 could be an attempt at an A or some other symbol preceding 944) was taken in 1944, it is highly unlikely that the man in it was a British serviceman as he would most probably have been a POW at the time and in military uniform rather than the casual clothes in the picture.

Your father's birth date requires conception around Xmas 1940. By that time the British had been evacuated from France for about six months during the Dunkirk evacuation.

It's always possible that the man in the picture was a British soldier who evaded capture after Dunkirk and or who was an escaped POW in 1944 in civilian clothes, but the odds are very much against it.

If your grandmother treated him as a battle casualty in the second half of 1940 and had to be in his company around Xmas 1940, he wasn't British as the British weren't engaged in any battles in France in the second half of 1940. Then again, he could have been wounded at or before Dunkirk and protected by the French and received treatment in the second half of 1940.

You might like to consult a facial recognition expert to see if the photos are of the same man.

11-26-2013, 09:18 AM
Thank you so much for your observation, reasoning and recommendation. It is helpful. If it's not likely he was British, How can I find out what his nationality really was?

My grandmother came from Prague (where she also studied Medicine in the German language). Then she volunteered to fight in Spain in the civil war for the communism side. When she understood how Stalin treated the returning soldiers, the whole ideals have faded, and she decided to stay in France. She was Jewish and therefore had to hide or fight in the underground. She became active in the Maquis in Southern France, and again studied and practiced medicine. By the end of the war she was awarded with Legion d'honor. But she paid a heavy price, she was caught by the gestapo, tortured, and by miracle her life was saved, she already had an execution date.

But who she might have met on December 1940 in southern France ? Any assumptions?

11-26-2013, 10:27 AM
Can't help you with the two photos sorry, but I have to say, your Grandmother was a very brave women, it was the likes of her, that help't us win the war, you must be very proud of her.

11-26-2013, 10:40 AM
Thank you. Yes she was brave, and she was an inspiration to all of us.

11-27-2013, 08:10 PM
"My grandmother was active in the Maquis in France, are any resources may be available? thanks."

I must apologize for my previous line response about Maquis, not sure what I was thinking. Some basic info on the Maquis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maquis_(World_War_II).

Your Grandmother was very brave indeed.

12-20-2013, 02:44 AM
well, i am confused with this kind of things!

01-01-2014, 10:07 PM

I'm still trying to find out what I can and will continue to do so until you tell me otherwise. My uncle Dale remembered running into the French resistance and said that they gave them valuable intelligence and support, he said the stamping on the second picture looked very familiar as something that he thought would be on an a ID Card for Vichy France, but wasn't sure as many cards were issued for different reasons in Europe and France and the passage of time in his own mind . He was in out of war due to injuries , he said that he would pass the picture along to any surviving members of his Division.


Basically I posted Marquis as a region and not Marseille as I intended, and that's why I made the post above to correct the obvious mistake, I apologize for the confusion. Even though the name of Marquis was adopted, or given due the activity initially within that region.

Back to the point of this thread, trying help this member find their due the grandfathers identity .

If anyone knows of a French document guru, please post. I believe identifying the stamp on second picture will be a big help.

Rising Sun*
01-02-2014, 08:02 AM
I believe identifying the stamp on second picture will be a big help.

The problem with the faint stamp is that it is above the picture but doesn't appear to be across the picture, which defeats the usual purpose of stamps on identity pictures.

The ?1944? is handwritten, which is not what one would expect on any sort of identity card in the position where it appears as part of the usual issue process. Perhaps it was added at some later stage as some part of a different process by another authority or force?

There is also the curious formation of the apparent '1' in the handwritten 1944. I don't think it conforms with the usual Arabic numeral in general use in Europe at the time. Maybe it's just poor handwriting, but it is closer to the old Cyrillic (Russian) numeral for 1 than the Arabic numeral, but that doesn't fit as the '944' is in Arabic numerals.

Taliam, what are the sources of your photos? That might offer some useful clues.