Three days ago, I received the following from Herr Kirchmeier:
this morning I got your letter with the tag of Johann Brandl. Thank you very much. Our database knows 18 WWI-soldiers with his name, 17 are buried in france. We don't know their birthdates and -places.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e. V.
Tel.: 05 61 - 70 09 - 1 39
Fax: 05 61 - 70 09 - 2 85
Seventeen soldiers with that name buried in France! How terribly sad. Given those odds, I doubt that Johann Brandl's family will ever be identified. At least his identification has been returned to Germany. I'm watching Downton Abbey these past Sunday nights and am struck by the absolute futility of the First World War. When I hiked in the Languedoc region of France back in 2002, each village we went through had a huge monument to their WW1 dead. The lesson was not, and remains not learned.