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Casque Rouge

February 15th, 2020

The picture is more than a hundred years old and it was taken sometime during World War One (1914-18), however my father was born during the Second World War (1939-45).

Look closely at the picture and observe that the loading mechanism and mussel are protected against the mud with pieces of socks. The person to very right in the picture could be a woman, which would be surprising and there’s actually a fifth person in the picture, to the far left – he (or she?) didn’t make it into the picture.

Who were these people? Fighting hard; a long, long way from home? The photograph is not dated. One hundred years ago? I’m lost for words…

It simply can’t be my father depicted wearing a casque rouge, because that is just not possible. He was in fact not even born at the time, yet, I’m really uncertain regarding the true identity of the person in the picture…

“Four Senegalese Soldiers” (not dated.) # Paul Castelnau / Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication / The First World War

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