Posted 3 months ago
Imperial German Souvenier Stein of Feldwebel Paul Geickler who served in the 103rd (4th Royal Saxon) Infantry Regiment. The 4th Royal Saxon Infantry Regiment was formed on June 14, 1709, and was garrisoned at Bautzen on the river Spree 50 miles east of Dresden. The unit was attached to the XII Army Corps.
This stein is an unusual example in that the roster lists only seventeen company members, all of which are non-commissioned officers: Specifically, (in order of their listings) two Feldwebels, three Vice-Feldwebels, four Sergeants, seven Unteroffiziers, and one Sanitatsunteroffizier (medical NCO). Lastly, The date of service is shown as just one year, 1908. This in itself is highly unusual, as the term of service found on steins is normally two years for infantry/artillery, and three years for naval or mounted units. Normally only one-year volunteer steins will exhibit one year of service.
An expert on steins opines that typically only men passing into the reserve purchased steins commemorating their two years in the service. Those men were usually Reservists, (privates), Gefreiter and Obergefreiter (Lance Corporals) and much less often Unteroffizier (senior corporal). The rank of Feldwebel (Sergeant-Major)or Vice-Feldwebel ( junior Sergeant-Major) is rarely seen on reservist’s steins. Persons achieving this senior NCO rank were almost all professional soldiers. The various NCO's named must have served more than two years and most likely did not join the army in the same year, but they all probably left in the same year - 1908 - hence the one year service date. Obviously showing the various NCO date of enlistment to their end of service dates would have been impracticable. This in the end is speculation, and I invite any other logical theories as to the unusual traits of this colorful and flawless stein.