1942, Emile Stein, “Passage de la Legion”

A new bicycle

This caporal of the French Foreign Legion looks as proud and happy, as any young boy would look, when getting a brand new bicycle.
He apparently was so proud, that he decided to have this studio photograph taken together with his bike.


He most likely did this in 1942 because on the back is written:

Légion étrangér 1er Régiment Sidi-Bel-Abbés
passage de la Legion en gare de Montbeliard en 1942

Emile Stein

At the back the maker of the photographic paper can be found: Agfa.
Following website provides guidance on dating photographic paper; Agfa Photopaper, indicating that this style of company logo was used on pre-1945 Agfa postcard paper.

It is photographic paper with a structure, I believe it is called “satin”. It looks nice but unfortunately it also blurs details when studying the photograph in close up.
As such details like the collar patches especially the unit number, who are always a challenge, cannot be properly indentified. It looks like a very small 1.
What is still clearly visible is his service chevron on his left upper arm, indicating that he was at the time serving in the Legion for more than 5 years.
The fact that he wears the “medaille coloniale”, which at the end of the 1930’s was no longer frequently awarded, aligns with his earlier pre-1937 service. The “agrafe” on the “medaille coloniale” appears to be that of the colonial style.
His rank chevron shows he is a caporal, aligning with this is the fact he is wearing his kepi without the white cover.

Unfortunately this is nearly all informatie that can be retrieved from this historical photograph.


Provenance: Delcampe “daktari” 13-11-2021

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