Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt shows the great Sophie Tucker, comedienne, singer, vaudevillian and enthusiast of life during the second decade of the 20th century. You can click through here to a YouTube video which is really a slideshow of images of Ms Tucker over her theme song “Some of These Days.” While I do not have a photo of Ms. Tucker, I am inspired by the thought that she was so very popular that her songs and comedy might have helped some of the boys going off to war between 1914-1918 – the Great War. So, let’s look at some photos of American military during that era.

The distinctive hat and jodhpur pants create a silhouette that is recognizable anywhere. Here a soldier poses with two women on a pile of rocks.

Here three fellows pose on their mule-drawn wagon. World War I was the last war in which horses and other livestock were used on the battlefield.

I can’t tell you much about this one, except the back is annotated “no good, don’t got any more”.

This photo at first looked like a young teen boy, but then I realized that it is in fact a girl – skirt on the bottom but military style jacket and hat on top.

This snapshot is so well glued to the black backing paper it would take a jack-hammer to separate the two, plus there is an odd photo of a giant fern directly behind this one. There was something written on the back but it would destroy both photos to pull them apart enough to determine what exactly was written!

This final image is a real photo postcard, AZO brand. The back inscription reads “Rube Stadler, Taken abt Nov 1918 in San Francisco, Calif. Stationed at Camp Fremont Calif (Menlo Park) 9th Engr. Tr. Regt. Casual Detachment”.

Be sure to click over to Sepia Saturday to find out what other inspiration can be found from the photo of the “Last of the Red Hot Mommas”!

Can’t Get Enough!

13 thoughts on “The Great War

  1. Wendy says:

    Such interesting photos and a unique take on this week’s theme.


  2. Karen S. says:

    Great photos! One great thing for each of them is that thanks to your blog, they will be out there proud and at the ready for someone to one day say, hey I know that boy!


  3. gluepot says:

    An intriguing set of photos, thank you.


  4. Little Nell says:

    That must be really frustrating, knowing there is wriring in the back that you can’t get at. We need some kind of x-ray machine to allow us to read these inscriptions without damaging the picture!


  5. Rube is pretty cute. I enjoyed this weeks selection, thank you!

    Kathy M.


  6. Auntie Kat says:

    The picture didn’t come through, but the girl made me wonder if she wasn’t a girl scout. This could have been her uniform. The picture looks very much like your picture on the Girl Scout site. Girl Scouting has been in the United States since 1912 founded by Juliette Gordon Low. It would have been an empowering way for girls to help out during bandage and blanke drives and the like during WW I.



    Girl Scout 1919
    By 1919, Girl Scouts had a choice of a button-down-the-front coat dress or a short coat, which could be worn with either a skirt or pleated bloomers (worn in the camp setting, not in public). The girls thought that khaki was more practical than blue for hiking, picnicking, and camping, and khaki uniforms were worn until 1928. Khaki-colored web belts, large crowned hats of matching material with a hatband and a “GS” pin, and voluminous neckerchiefs completed the outfit.


  7. Bob Scotney says:

    My father was a saddler by trade and served in WWI. He would never talk about it and what happened to the horses. I didn’t expect Sophie Tucker to take us to a post like this. Well done.


  8. Queen Bee says:

    Great WWI photos. The men’s uniforms with the jodhpur pants was a nice look. Seeing the picture of the horses reminded me of the movie, War Horse, released around Christmas of last year.


  9. Nice selection of photos..the gal must have wanted her photo taken in her brothers uniform..I have one of my Grandfather in his sons uniform..my Grandpa was not in any of the wars.:)


  10. Jana Last says:

    Wonderful photos! Makes me wonder what happened to these soldiers…did they survive the war, etc.


  11. postcardy says:

    I wonder whether the girl is just posing with someone else’s uniform or whether she belonged to a group that wore it.


  12. robstevens says:

    Nice photos! Although probably not on the battlefield itself, a lot of horses were used during WWII (see).


  13. Ed Donnell says:

    Not to nit pick, but YOu mentioned the Great war was the last war that horse or livestock was used on the Battlefield, that is not correct. They where no longer main fighting units, but they were still in the thick of it. being a life student of warfare history , here are some basic facts, easily confirmed with a little research., there where still active horse units in active service, and which saw combat in World war 2 some with several thousand strong units., as in the Polish mounted infantry units regiments that fought against the Germans in 1939, The German army itself was heavily dependent on horses for supplies between the rear and the front line, especially on the eastern front. Also the Soviet armies, there famed Cossacks on the steppes raiding German units thru the entire war, as well as Turkish and Arabian peninsula battles and campaigns, not to forget the Chinese and Japanese on the battles on mainland china. Also the US using mules especially in the hilly and jungle growth island campaigns, I know several vets who worked with horse in war zones or confirm there being there. One is even a former German soldier, who fought against the Russians and in the end had to butcher his team of horses to feed the starving retreating Germans back thru Poland in the spring of 1945, He cried his eyes out he said for days. The US was still using them even in the Korean war, there is a famous marine horse that carried ammo to the front line troops artillery units, and was wounded and survived, the horse was promoted to Sergent and lived until 1968 as a fully honored hero, for deliverying ammo to the frnt, and bringing back wounded soldiers, all without an escort or a person to lead the way! Sad that any animals have ever been anywhere near a battlefield, but they did serve much longer than WWI.


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