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Old 06-28-2012, 02:10 PM
Karen Blyth Karen Blyth is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2024
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Default German/Finnish/New Zealand mystery


My Grandfather was given a knife while he was a prisoner of war between 1941 and 1945. I am trying to trace the knifes original owner/possible descendants.

My Grandfathers name was Lance Johnstone he was a soldier in the New Zealand army - 24th Battalion. He was captured by the Italians in the Battle of Sidi Rezegh in Libya and held originally in Italy then transferred to Germany later in WW2

My Grandmother has told me that the knife was given to my Grandfather by a German guard at a prisoner of war camp that he was held at in Germany. I have his war records and know the names/numbers of the camp(s) he was held in.

Due to an engraving on the knife we think that the German guards name was Herbert and that he possibly served in the German airforce in Finland/Lapland prior to working in the prisoner of war camp. The knife is of Finnish make, I have had this confirmed by the makers of the knife - the factory is still in operation today. It also bears a Rovaniemi badge on it's handle.

We think that the German soldier was named Herbert and was given this knife as a gift for his birthday on 25th June 1942. It is engraved in German on the knife sheath 'Happy Birthday Herbert 25 June 1942.

Any assistance with directing me to where I may be able to locate records of German soldiers (possibly air force) that had served in Finland prior to WW2 would be most appreciated.

Kind regards,


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