Seesoldaten of the III. Seebataillon



Photo © Freddy Rudolf and Zylgwyn Heckenbücker

This is a photograph taken at Kurume Prisoner of War camp in Japan at Christmas 1915, just over a year after the fall of Tsingtao. The glum faces of the five Seesoldaten reflect their thoughts at being imprisoned away from their loved ones at Christmas. Note also the sparse Christmas tree in the background.

The five men wear their blue caps with white hatbands and piping and an imperial cockade on the front. Two of the caps have black leather peaks, usually worn by NCOs and officers but sometimes privately purchased by other ranks.

They all wear the other ranks 1867 grey/black greatcoat, some with the collars turned up for extra warmth, others displaying their white collar patches with yellow Litzen. The shoulder straps are dark blue, piped in white with yellow insignia. The insignia shows an imperial crown above two crossed anchors and the numeral "III". The figure on the right wears a 1900 Grey Litewka under his greatcoat, without its collar patches. His trousers are dark blue with white piping.

One of the men in this grouping is Jacob Heckenbücker (see Seesoldat Heckenbücker for biographical details). 

Please respect the generosity of Jacob Heckenbücker's grandson and great-grandson, Freddy Rudolf and Zylgwyn Heckenbücker, respectively 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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