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GreyC

Soldier French Foreign Legion 1st Reg. 1890s Sidi Bel Abbes

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GreyC   

Hello Gentlemen!

This is a photo I got with some other civilian photos. I guess from a quick search in the web, that it is not that common, so I ´d like to show it to you.

It depicts a soldier in full gear at the then headquarter of the French Foreign Legion in Bel-Abbes in Algeria, Africa, in the 1890s. The photographer seems to have been popular with the soldiers there. Comments welcome.

GreyC

xFremdenlegionär1890erSidiBelAbbesGrey.jpg

Edited by GreyC

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Farkas   

Hi GreyC

That's a really cool picture... !

what size is the card itself please?

tony

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GreyC   

Hi Tony,

glad you like it.

The size is standard for CDVs: 105x65mm, the photo roughly 95x54mm.

GreyC

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Farkas   

GreyC

Quality photo. May be why the photographer got so popular.... - lovely.

tony

 

tony

 

 

 

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Bayern   

Nice photo , Its of before 1890 , the soldier poses with a Gras rifle , 1874 1886 into service . apart the small kepi , the heavy equipment . nice and non common .

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GreyC   

Hi Bayern,

thank you for helping to date the photo correctly. However, there is a problem, as the reverse of the printed Carte de Visit shows that the studio was awarded a price at the 1889 Paris World Exhibition which lasted till Oct. 1889. The address 21, Rue Chabriére, instead of the older/first address of the studio 15, Rue Chabriére, also points towards the 1890s. The photo was clearly printed from the orignal negative (so no reproduction with internegative of the time).

So: three possible explanations come to mind (maybe there are more).

1) The rifle was used longer in the legion

2) The photo was ordered at least three years after it was taken (because he ran out of copies) and the old negative was still available (which was uncommon after that long a time, but certainly possible.).

3) I know of German photo studios which specialized in photos for the soldiers in the local garison which had uniforms and props ready for their customers. They were not always up to date, of course. So you find soldiers on photos in uniforms and with props that were really past their times.

GreyC

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Bayern   

Hello Grey : The most suitable is , to me , the third . once i read in a french publication Militaria Magazine, in an article about the Tiralleurs that was common in North African cities the atelier photographique whose owner composed for the enlisted men eagers of a special thing , uniforms of phantasy , with non regulated items , or additionals as fourrageres , decorations ,sabres etc . 

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Hello!

Yes, it´s a fantasctic photo!

Please note the number 1 at the collar.

The 1st and 2nd regiment became one regiment in 1862. In december 1884 it was divided in 1st and 2nd again.

The book "Uniforms of the French Foreign Legion" (Martin Windrow) says:

"In december 1884 the formation of the 1st and 2nd RE led to the addition of regimental numbers to the "bombs of officers and warrant officers collar grenades, though not to that on the képi. The troops acquired numbers on their collars - blue on tunics, red on vestes and capotes. In february 1885 epaulettes were suppressed throughout the army, the order being rescined in january 1887. It seems that the Legion may have ignored this order; but from 1886 they wore the red and green epaulettes only for major parades and reviews."

"It was in the mid-1890s that the Gras single-shot rifle was progressively replaced by the new 8mm Lebel magazine rifle."

So to me, the earliest date of that photo could be 1886

Edited by The Prussian

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GreyC   

Hi Bayern and Andi,

thank you for your comments. I, too, think that it is probably the rhird option that comes into place.

GreyC

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