Updated: Nov 6, 2020
The photograph here shows Pionier Regiment, circa 1916. Seen here they are posing for the photograph with their long “Pionier-Spaten” (Long spades) all with the exception of the two seen on the extreme right who have a pick and a Felling-axe. Whilst most of the Pionieren are seen with their jackets stripped off to shirts- sleeve order, the central Pioneren is seen wearing a drillich fatique uniform as well as to the extreme right the two are seen wearing waistcoats. Whilst working them still look smart, notably to the bottom right one is seen even wearing a tie. Whilst others are seen wearing mütze. Seen hiding from shot slightly is the NCO, he is seen wearing a newly issued Model 1915 Bluse tunic as well as a peaked cap. All the other Pioneren are seen wearing their “Krazchen” (ordinary peakless cloth caps) with the camouflaging cotton band disgusting their arm of service colour. Pioner’s being black. Seen here they are all quite young, these Pioneren tasked with digging trenches and emplacements. Likely that they have paused for a break to take their photograph, capturing their service. It could possibly be sent home so their families know they are well and alive and the kind of activities they are up to. As this photograph is taken it is likely that they are in easier times than heavy front line fighting with artillery and gunfire everywhere. Photography much like in the Second World War was also used in the First World War as a form of Morale. It is unknown any of their names or if the survived WW1 but you can feel for people their age and what they may have experienced.