Friday, July 8, 2011

Volksbund Letter

The very kind people at Volksbund ( recently sent me a letter confirming that August Storm is buried at Plaine de Walsch.

They included a map of the cemetery
and my brother in law, Toby, immediately found it on the net

So thanks to the help of a number of family, friends and kind strangers - we now know where he is buried after spending a lifetime of knowing nothing. Thank you to all who helped! We can finally put this chapter to rest.

If possible we would like to still find our "Storm" relatives because we are blood relations and we still don't know who they are, where they are - or indeed, if any still exist! Looking forward to the next chapter...

- Tim Oestmann

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just so there are no misunderstandings...

I first put this blog together as a tool to find our ancestors. Being descendants in Australia and not being handed down much 'ancestor' knowledge (for reasons unknown to us), myself, my family and cousin(s) are trying to track down our German ancestors.

You'll find references to wars and the thinking of that time. I don't subscribe or endorse any of that.
The only purpose here is to try and discover and make connections with our ancestry. (Tim)

August Storm's grave details

This site had the what details they had at hand of Storm's burial:

They very kindly updated the page after we contacted them with the Hamburg Wilhelmsburg details. We are very thankful for the help that people have generously given us in this search.

Here is a screenshot of the site and page:

August Storm's grave and then some more...

My brother in law, Toby, started to find more:

quick research shows that he was killed on 24 Aug 1914 (not 20th) and is buried in Plaine-de-Walsch (Lorraine, France) at the French/German Military Cemetery. There are 277 graves there, and he is shwon as being in plot no.25. He was listed (rank/job) as a “Fusilier"

and then he found the cemetery on Google street view, of all things - here's a snapshot:

August Storm's grave and then...

Apparently the information was found in
I had tried there but not being able to speak German and using Google translate, I got lost. So, we appreciate the kindness of strangers ("Ken S") who took the time to post it for us.

He also posted further information:

The cemetery is Plaine-de-Walsch. According to the regimental history on August 19 his company advanced toward a village called Sitifort which is about 3 km to the SE of Plaine-de-Walsch and were fired upon by the French. The regimental history states that among the killed were a Lt. Thelen and Feldwebel (ie. a Sergeant) Marienfeld. According to Volksbund there was a Lt. Leonard Thelen who died August 20 and a Vizefeldwebel Marienfeld who died August 21. Both are said to be in unmarked graves, possibly in Plaine-de-Walsch. That shows that in general there appear to have been discrepancies in the dating for casualties at this time and location, also that the burial for members of the regiment killed during this time would (likely) have been Plaine-de-Walsch.

In terms of August Storm's birthplace, there is an online record of the village's war memorial as well as a list of names (Namensregister). Since he does not appear on the list, he likely was resident elsewhere. Fusilier-Regiment Nr. 40 was associated with (but not garrisoned in) a territory called Hohenzollern in southern Germany (around the city of Sigmaringen). After the war, the territory compiled an extensive honor roll listing most from the territory who served in the war, c. 14,000 names. If he was resident there, he will likely be listed; unfortunately, there is no index, and the men are listed by town/village which makes searching a little difficult if you don't know what community they're from. Also I have a book about the garrison of Rastatt where the regiment was located in peacetime. It also has an honor roll."

August Storm's grave found!

Margie joined the Axis forum and in a short conversation got a reply from a "Ken S" who posted these details:

"....from the regiment's honor roll:
S t o r m A u g u s t, Füsl., geb. 29. 1. 91, Hollenbeck, Lauenburg, gef. 19. 8. 14, Vallerystal

this could well be him, despite the slight difference in date. The regimental history briefly mentions the events of Aug. 19, which involved 7. Komp., and the locations mentioned are only several kilometres from the cemetery:

August Storm ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Plaine-de-Walsch.
Endgrablage: Grab 25
Nachname: Storm
Vorname: August
Dienstgrad: Füsilier
Todes-/Vermisstendatum: 24.08.1914..."

In short, after years of searching - we were given the place of August Storm's burial spot!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

still searching for "Storm" family

Margie and I (Tim) have renewed our search for the Storm family from Wilhelmsburg that we have descended from. There are so many dead ends and roads that go nowhere. However, we know that - someone, somewhere - will know something so we will try. Andra also picks this up too.

Here are a few places we are trying:

Axis History Forum

Find a Grave

German War Graves

Ancestory .com

...keep you posted.....

**Please read the post about "August Storm" below for the reasons why....**

Monday, April 18, 2011


My Grandfather, Rudi Oestmann Sr, gave me his mandolin (because I am a guitar player) in 1987. He told me that he had bought it off of a Greek Sailor, and it was made in Brazil. It was also borrowed from me and used on a national TV show in Australia the 1990's. So it has been well traveled. Before he gave it to me he and my dad sang German shanties on it : )

The people at Giannini told me that it was made in 1954 "bandolim-romano 1954"

That's me (Tim) with the mandolin

Here is the ad that Giannini kindly sent me:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oestmann's from Germany to Australia 1958

All the Oestmann's in Australia (up to this date, anyway) all come from one single family who migrated from Hamburg in Germany to Australia in 1958. They came on the ship "Castel Felice" (pictured) :

Here is a picture of the Oestmann's who migrated from Germany to Australia. The photo was apparently taken in Terowie, South Australia in 1960:

Pictured (left to right) Rudi Oestmann Sr, (back row) William Oestmann, Erna Oestmann (nee Pfeiffenberger), Gerhard (Gus) Oestmann, Rudi Oestmann Jr, (front row) Uwe Oestmann, Peter Oestmann

Until they arrived we are not aware of any other family of "Oestmann's" living in Australia. All the descendants (their children and grandchildren) all come from this family.

-Background of Australian "Oestmann" line-

Rudi Oestmann Sr

b 2 Feb 1914 Neuhof, Prussia (now Hamburg)
d 2 Nov 2000 in Adelaide and buried in Ceduna, South Australia

married to

Erna Agnes Margaretha Pfeiffenberger
b 27 Jul 1920 Hamburg
d Dec 1999 in Adelaide buried in Ceduna, South Australia

Pictured above: Erna and Rudolf Snr Oestmann with little Rudi Jr (1943)

Rudi Oestmann Sr was the son of Dora Oestmann & August Storm
August Storm was killed in the first world war (see first article on this blog) so his son, Rudi, took on his mother's maiden name "Oestmann"

Dora Oestmann
b 14 Jan 1895
d 1976 Hamburg

Dora Oestmann in later life (unknown date)

Dora Oestmann's parent were Hermann Oestmann & Wilhelmine Catharina Margaretha Maria Oestmann (nee Bergeest)

Hermann Oestmann
b 25 Oct 1863
Ship carpenter in Wilhelmsburg
d ? ? 1939 Wilhelmsburg (Hamburg)

Wilhelmine & Hermann Oestmann(1938) Most of the people are unknown in this photo except Erna Oestmann (nee Pfeiffenberger) who is the lady directly behind, with her arms over the unknown child

Hermann Oestmann's father was a Carsten Oestmann b 10 Mar 1838 Altenwerder, was a Ship carpenter in Neuhof and d 19 Nov 1909 Neuhof.

This is about as sure we can get of our family history - if you know more about this Oestmann family, you can email Tim Oestmann with any interesting/important information.