Unteroffizier (Sergeant) Hans Schirmer,
5th Bavarian Infantry Regiment [Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hessen]:
Holder of the Iron Cross.
The death card, something common amongst Roman Catholics, shows that Hans was born on the 9th March 1887, in Rothwind, Bavaria. He died on the 30th of October in Northern France.
The 5th Bavarian Infantry Regiment formed part of the 4th Royal Bavarian Division (under the auspices of the 7th Bayerische Infanterie Brigade [The 7th Bavarian Infantry Brigade]). He was most likely killed at Messines fighting in the so called “Race to the sea…” in the opening months of 1914. Here Hans fought in the same area as another NCO, who was later to cause problems in Europe. The race to the sea, and the battle at Messines in 1914, is an often forgotten part of the Great War, and these soldiers who died in the early days, deserve to be remembered as much as those who died at the bigger actions, like the Somme.
A quick recap on the “Race to the Sea”;