Updated: Dec 23, 2019
"Rekruit-Füsilier vom Füsilier-Regiment, ,Generalfeldmarschall Prinz Albrecht von Preußen'' (1. Hannoversches) Nr. 73, mitt eine Instruktor-Unteroffizier" Depot, Hannover, Peacetime, March 1914.
The photograph here shows a detachment of 12 men, with a Junior NCO, chances are these are "Rekruiten" who were likely 20-24 years old, on their initial "Full Time 2 years" under the Imperial Military Reserve system. The Unteroffizier with them was likely their Training NCO. It is possible this is a sort of "graduation" picture. You can clearly see on the man at the extreme left, the famous "GIBRALTAR" Armband/cuff title. This was a battle honour restored to the regiment (with 2 others) for the deeds of 16 October 1775 to 15 August 1783, where the Hannovarian battalions "von Beden, "de la Motte", and "von Hardeberg" were sent to garrison Gibraltar. As fate have it, the Spanish would lay siege to "the rock" in June 1776. the garrison which also included British units (at this time George III of Great Britain, was also King of Hannover), held out for the 7 year long "great siege, and in honour of their exploit, and bravery, HM King George III bestowed upon the three battalions a "cuff band" in blue with "white borders and gold lightning bolts" in 1784. The cuff band was retained in the Hannover Army until the annexation of Hannover in 1866. To commemorate the three Hannoverian units that fought in Gibraltar, Kaiser Wilhelm II by AKO 24.01.1901, awarded the right to wear a commemorative cloth cuff title for all three units that had perpetuated the original Gibraltar survivors. It was a JELOUSLY guarded dress distinction. Returning to our men here, they are dressed in ordinary garrison uniform, the "Dunkelblau-Rock" or "M.1895 Waffenrock" an attractive Dark blue uniform, with Red facings, worn with its ordinary dark blue trousers, with a thin red stripe in the side seams. Most of the men are wearing it over their ankle boots, (SchnurShuh) except the man to the extreme left, who is wearing his tucked into his "jack boots" or "M.1866 Marschstiefeln." Their epaulettes are white with red numbers. Although difficult to see, the cuffs are also piped in light blue, and the tunics are finished with 22,5mm Tombek (Coppertoned Brass) plain buttons. They are also all wearing the M.1867 Krätzchen (field cap) this "Mutze" (cap) was essentially a soft simple cap, which was adorned with a pair of cockades. Uppermost was the REICHSKORKARDE in Black, White and Red. All units wore this imperial cockade. The lower one was the STAATSKORKARDE, which depended on which state the unit came from, in this case, Hannover was considered "imperial" territory, so it is the Black, White, Black Prussian cockade. There was an unofficial "Hannover Cockade" which many senior ranks sported, it was Yellow, White, Yellow. The NCO (4th from the right) differers mildly from the rest, with the M.1867/95 Schirmmütze (Peaked Mutze), and his rank was shown by the bright gold "treße" on his upper collar (and cuffs, but this is obscured). That of Unteroffizier.
Notably seen is a Rekruite with a cross above his head, this is likely to who the photograph belonged to. X and arrows were commonly used to indicate individuals or elements in photographs
Tags: Second Reich Peacetime, Rekruit-Füsilieren, Rekruit, FR73, NCO, GIBRALTAR, Hannover, M.1867/95 , cuff title, Unteroffizier, M.1895 Waffenrock, Dunkelblau, Prinz Albrecht von Preußen, Hannoversches