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    Guest Rick Research

    This is a VERY strange photo.

    Those are CHILDREN...

    the "uniforms" and "Guard" helmet plates make no sense....

    presumably the placard being held in front Reveals All... but the wretched contrast of the original bad photography has completely blanked it out! :banger:

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    I could well be wrong, but I think this is okay. I think it is a group from the NCO prep school, which would have put them at 14 years of age. Maybe 15. The helmet certainly looks like the helmet of the NCO school.


    Non-commissioned Officers (NCO) came from two sources, either promoted from the ranks or having gone through the NCO training schools. Students graduated from Volksschule at approximately the age of 14. Military service would not begin until age 17 when young men could be inducted into the Landsturm. In addition to work, there was an option of joining a NCO preparatory training school (Unteroffiziervorschulen). There were nine such schools scattered throughout the empire (Annaburg, Bartenstein, Frankenstein, J?lich, M?lln, Sigmaringen, Weilburg, Wohlau, and Marienberg). The preparatory school had a general curriculum with much attention paid towards physical development throughout the two-year course. Once graduated from the preparatory school pupils could go to a NCO school (Unteroffizierschulen). There were eight of these (Marienwerder, Northeim, Potsdam, Treptow a/R, Weissenfels, Wetzlar, F?rstenfeldbr?ck, and Marienberg). The course lasted two years for preparatory school graduates or three years for those who joined the NCO school directly without having gone through the preparatory school. This was a purely military school, whose graduates were either 19 or 20 years old. Upon graduation, they had to contract to remain in the active Army for four years. Graduates were posted to the regiments with some coming out as sergeants and others as Gefreiter. These schools accounted for about 25% of all NCOs.

    I still have no idea about Mister medal man!

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    I am thinking they are some sort of cadets, wearing hybrid stuff that is supposed to look "military".

    My money would be on a circus/troubadour group......dwarfs etc, with the person with the cross being a "real soldier"

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