Men of War


As we here in Britain prepare to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the end of the Great War, I thought it might be appropriate to show some of the military personnel from my collection.

The first two in the top row show English soldiers of the 19th century. The next image is that of a young Russian soldier, possibly pre-Revolution and next, in reflective mood, an officer(?) from Germany. In the second row, the first image is of another German military man who may have actually seen the horrors of the great war. How do I know? Because a date is written on the back of his photograph It is 1916  and the war is entering its third year. Who knows whether he lived to pass on his experiences or perished on the battle field. Next to him is the image of a soldier from the Baltic, in what is now Estonia, flourishing a rather splendid moustache.

In the bottom row are images of a soldier from Hungary and a young sailor, again from Germany. The name of his ship, ‘SMS Wittelsbach’, can be seen round the rim of his hat, as he clutches his white gloves tightly in his hand. It is possible from the style of this photo to infer that he too may have seen action in the war to end all wars. Perhaps it would be possible to research ‘Wittelsbach’ to discover her ultimate fate and that of her crew.

N B – Wikipedia has a page relating to SMS Wittelsbach. Further information about any of the uniforms shown above would be very welcome.


Published by qvictoria

A collector of Victorian photographs for many a long year. I'm interested in both the individual photographs and the studio advertising on the 'backs' of the images, Victorian graphic design at its most varied and interesting. My collection of "cartes de visite" photographs is housed in plastic pockets within a series of albums, numerically arranged in order as they are acquired. There are now roughly 3000 photographers and images in all. I use directories, newspapers and genealogical information to research the life and work of each photographer and their studio but there aren't enough hours in the day. This photo is one of my collection, chosen for the gentle expression in the face of the sitter.

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