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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Can anyone identify this French or German uniform (late 19th or early 20th Century).


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Good evening; we are doing research into family history. Part of our family is French. We have this photo which we think is early 20th Century (.i.e circa WW1 or late 19th). The cardboard passe-partout, however,  bears the name and address of a German photographer. The man in the picture is wearing what looks to us like a "Croix de Guerre" and lanyard. The "képi" seems French also.

Can anyone assist us?

Thanking you in anticipation.2135064705_militaireonclehenrigrandeguerre.jpg.14c062050ca027bbef20561e9bf5ad2c.jpg


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The soldier is French. Langen was in the part of Germany occupied by the French after the war.


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That was quick!

Much appreciated.

Thanks very much, Charlie2

Can you tell me. which part of the French Army this uniform belongs to?

Does the lanyard indicate his rank? 

Thanks again


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Just to make him a little more visible:


French WW1 soldier 2022.jpg

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Yes, that sharpens the visibility of our subject, thanks. Good idea. 

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good morning,


-1: decorations : 
Croix de guerre 1914-1918 with 3 citations (depending on the color of the stars, it goes from the Regiment to the Army Corps).
it has another jellyfish in reduction that I do not have to determine.


- 2: chevrons :
chevrons of presence at the Front (here 4)
this means that he was at the front for 2 1/2 years.
1st chevron = 1 year
2nd, 3rd, ... = 6 months / chevron

it is also called breakers or the term used in the French army of "old briscard"

- green line :
fodder in the color of: the Croix de Guerre or Legion of Honor depending on the color or even Military Medal.


I cannot determine the regimental number at the collar.
metal figure here.

for his rank, I can tell you that he is an officier.
the detail that makes me say this and the chinstrap of the kepi (gold color).



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Good morning "Loos",

that is absolutely fantastic, I had no idea you could extract so much information from a simple photograph, which I had not scanned too well and if it hadn't been for this combined effort by yourself and Andrew Upton we would never have found this out. 

By way of background: the photo was found in an album which my wife has kept for years and had received from a great-aunt. The soldier himself bears a striking resemblance to her father and might be one of her great-uncles. We have been able to get information on other family members previously from French Civil Registry Offices so we have an idea of where to start. 

Many thanks to you for such an impeccably structured reply. The links to Wikipedia are marvellous. 

So, it would seem they had a hero in the family who kept it very quiet.  

Gratefully yours,



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