Musician of the East Asian Expeditionary Corps



Photo © Peter Klein

This is a posed photograph taken in Berlin, Germany in the Summer of 1900, prior to the deployment of the Expeditionary Corps to China. It shows Musiker G. Heim, a bugler of the 3rd East Asian Infantry Regt ("3. Ostasiatische Infanterie Regiment").  

He wears the East Asian Expeditionary Corps Khaki Uniform, consisting of a dyed yellowish-khaki tunic ("Drillichrock") with a standing collar, six buttons to fasten the front, one left breast pocket and two hip pockets. His shoulder straps are white and a red stylised regimental number 3 can be seen. His status as a musician is shown by the coloured swallows nests on his shoulder, while his rank as an Unteroffizier (equivalent to a Corporal) can be determined from the lace on his collar.

He wears a medal on his left breast, probably the Prussian Wilhelm I Centenary Medal, awarded to all members of the Prussian army in 1897. It hangs on a yellow ribbon which appears darker in this photograph due to the orthochromatic film used at the time.

He wears the straw hat which was standard summer wear for the first batch of the Expeditionary Corps to be sent to China. It is held up on the left hand side with a large imperial cockade above a smaller black/white/black Prussian cockade. The straw hat was supposed to be worn like the Schutztruppe Südwester, held up on the right hand side, although it is not uncommon to see soldiers wearing theirs the wrong way around. Note the adjustable leather chinstrap. 

His yellow-khaki trousers are worn tucked into black leather marching boots. The equipment is in black leather with a belt buckle bearing the Prussian crown and the motto "Gott Mit Uns". A pistol, probably an 1879 or 1883 Reichsrevolver is at his right side and a long S98 bayonet can be seen at his left side. He has a bag carried by a strap over his left shoulder.

Detail of the same Photograph

Please respect the generosity of Peter Klein in sharing this photograph with us by not reproducing it without prior permission. 

Please contact me here if you have other photographs of the German colonies or the soldiers and sailors that served there. I am especially keen to hear from people with family photograph collections and am always happy to try to assist in identifying uniforms, units, places and dates for family history research.

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