How to prove a fallen soldier is Jewish – an update

I took up the challenge of trying to prove that 10 Jewish soldiers who fell in WW1 were Jewish. For some reason, though they had not proved they were any other denomination, they put crosses on their graves.  My researches have been intensive for the last 4 weeks and ranged from one country to another from military records, censuses, BMDs researching Jewish Communities, and learning how too use my new computer! . I have written hundreds of letters worldwide. I learnt about records I had not realised existed and had the most wonderful help from JGSGB members and their families  throughout the world.  I have now almost completed the first three.

George Norris, I found was Joseph Nossek. After a great deal of genealogical research, I selected the information that as his brother Rueben married before he died and a Marriage Authorisation from the Beth Din, showed his name as a brother.  So I am working on that and trying to contact his relatives who I traced down to the present.

 

I have sent for the birth certificate for Isaac Coster who was buried in the St. Lazar Cemetery. This should prove he is the son of Benjamin and Sarah Coster who married in Sandys Row Synagogue and whose Marriage Authorisation I got from the London Beth Din.  I also have him in the Census living with his parents and a brother Hyman who was killed a few months before he did. Miraculously there is an Army Enrolment card for his brother on which is handwritten the word “Jewish”. 

With Hubert “Bert” Solomon I have built up a fantastic story ranging fromNew ZealandtoAustraliaand toEnglandwhere he is buried in theRainborooughCemetery.  I am now waiting for the Archivist in the Wellington Synagogue to return from his holiday for a marriage certificate for Hubert’s brother who is named as next of kin on one of his military records and to find out where his parents were married inWellington. I would be delighted if some kind person inWellingtoncould purchase the birth certificate of Hubert and his brother’s marriage certificate. I hope to write an article in greater detail as this has been a wonderful “learning curve”.  The most difficult thing for me, is the accurate keeping of records and sorting out as I get so exited that I scribble things down quickly.  I need a computer literate secretary!

Louise Goldschmidt – Guest Blogger

How to prove a fallen soldier is Jewish

The JGSGB receives many requests for assistance. Some are made directly to the Society and many more are made through JGSGB Discuss which is a members only discussion group.

The JGSGB was recently approached by the Archivist of the AJEX Museum. For those that don’t know, AJEX stands for Association of Jewish Ex Servicemen. He has had a continual struggle on behalf of AJEX trying to persuade the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to change war grave headstones with crosses, to Stars of David.

Recently he had a blow delivered regarding a number of soldiers, who it is known are Jewish from Jewish Chronicle insertions, but have been refused by the CWGC under the heading of “insufficient evidence” - even though many similar cases have been accepted by them in the past.

So if anyone out there I able to look into these cases to find more evidence such as parents’ marriage certificates, their army records at TNA if they survive, or even if they are related to them and can prove Jewish descent, etc., it would be very much appreciated. If you are able to help, please reply through the blog in the first instance.

1. 13052 Pte H. or Zeph Orman / aka Normand – 4th Middx. – kia 14/10/14 son of Simon Orman, Cross Keys Monmouthshire.

2. 7449 Pte Maxwell or I. Solomon 1st Scots Guards kia 14/9/14, from Upper Accomodation Rd, Leeds – JC 9/10/14 p.15 – former police officer in Bradford

3. 8068 Sgt W V Mackowsty, 2nd Staffs – kia 22/7/18 – JC 18/9/14 listed as Mackowsky, William Charles –  won DCM 1/1/17 – London Gazette 12/2/17

4. 352158 Pte S. Swedloff, 7th London – kia 24/2/17 – from Greenfield St Stepney – son of Abraham from Russia and in Norwood Jewish Orphanage as  Samuel Swedloff 1911 aged 13

5. 9389  Sgt W Mack, 2nd Seaforths kia 30/5/17 – JC 29/6/17 p. 14 – aka KURTZMAN – son of Barnett Morris and Esther nee Sender.

6.  2nd Lt Hubert ‘Bert’  P Solomon  RFC, kia 20/10/17 – family in Australia and mentioned in Australian/NZ Jewish Book of Honour p 88.

7. 38421 Pte Jack ‘Isaac’ Coster   2/8 Worc reg – kia 2/10/18 – JC18/10/18 p 2  has his death as son of Esther and the late Benjamin , 22, Eckstein Rd Clapham.

8. 359486 Pte Abraham Bernstein  2/10 Liverpool Reg – kia 10/5/17 son of Barnett Bernstein, 19 Clarence St, Mount Plessant, Liverpool, 8 – JC 25/5/17

9. 491966 Pte  Emmanuel  Isaacs, 2/13 London – kia 25/5/17 – JC 8/6/17 – buried Salonika -  son of E Isaacs, 91 Lordship Park, London N

10 .  20670  Cpl G Nossek aka Norris , 2nd Royal Scots – kia 23/7/16 – son of Israel and Leah – - JC 25/8/16 p. 2

Tony Benson – Blog Editor