Young Women Rifles AEF Machine Gun Battalion WWI Military Photo RPPC

$550.00

It is tempting to label these young faces early Girl Scouts or Girl Guides (a less famous predecessor), but there is no evidence to support the claim other than a common bias. The uniforms seem more closely align to military service than to GS or GG of the time and there does not appear to be any marksman training given by...

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It is tempting to label these young faces early Girl Scouts or Girl Guides (a less famous predecessor), but there is no evidence to support the claim other than a common bias. The uniforms seem more closely align to military service than to GS or GG of the time and there does not appear to be any marksman training given by the early female service groups. ADD the period handwriting on reverse: 1851725 Co (company) D. 136 Machine Gun Bn (Battalion), American Expeditionary Forces.

 

There is no record of women attached to a Machine Gun Battalion during the war, however it is worth mention that there are very few rolls / records available from WWI at all due to a 1970s fire in the archives. There are always exceptions, especially in time of war, and many service men and women simply went where the need was most pressing. If these young women were field nurses (their most likely employ at the time) they are not dressed as such nor does it explain the firearms. If that is an ASN number of the photo’s owner, the very limited archives do not appear to house its biography.

 

Studio postcard measures 3.5 x 5.5” with domestic back and stamp block consistent with war time. Presents nicely with rich tones. Margin soiling, water spot to far right of face, corner wear and chip top right. With so many unexplained but potentially revelatory circumstances here, the girls roles are worthy of expert study.