Men at arms

Notification from the office of the 26th IR

The subject of this post is an interesting and rare postcard. The anxious relative is notified by the regiment’s records office that the name of the soldier in question is not on the loss list. Little hope for those who stayed at home. As far as possible, the formations tried to record the losses as accurately as possible. Possibly referring to eyewitnesses even if the corpse could not be retrieved. But this often failed. At such times, in contrast of the certain death, those who remained at home could still hope that the beloved husband, brother, son was captured and alive.

The relatives of the fallen were mostly notified and assured of the sincere condolences by squadron commanders. But if no such notice came, but at the same time the usual letter was missed, the relatives may have had cause for concern. At such times, they interviewed those returning from the front, comrades, acquaintances, and then turned to the office of the cadre battalion. The notice read here merely states that, under known circumstances, the lance sergeant asked about did not fall or was taken prisoner.

According to the date of the announcement, the 26th Infantry Regiment was then on the Russian front within the 33rd Division as part of the Austro-Hungarian 2nd Army and the Böhm-Ermolli Army Group. This corps successfully defended itself in the summer of 1916 against Russian attacks. They certainly suffered serious losses, but the enemy did not inflict catastrophic defeats on them, unlike the troops near the two breakpoints north and south of them. Despite all this, the summer of 1916 was spent with “waist work” and it is very easy to imagine that lance sergeant József Hrvola did not have the opportunity to write a letter for weeks.

In the picture attached to the entry, the 26th regiment’s soldiers are caring for horses. The cap of one of them clearly shows the 26-er badge. Similarly to the wear photo shown earlier, this photo was presumably taken in the spring of 1917.

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