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1914-18 War • Belgian Soldier

• Photographs of Allied troops have found their way into family albums through wartime friendship.

The Belgian soldier unlike the French never has a number on his collar.

The Belgian lion has no crown, nothing in his paws and just one tail.

Belgian button 5th Linie Infantrie Belgian button
Before the battle of Yser at the very beginning of the war Belgian troops like the one on the left dressed similar to the French. However the Belgian Kepi drum shaped peaked cap had two buttons on the front and the Belgian soldier's tunic buttons had regimental numbers.
This was to change and a typical wartime Belgian soldier is shown on the right.
The Belgian uniform was British drab woollen cloth with Belgian rampant lion buttons. These were brass but later changed to zinc alloy or blackened metal for economic reasons.With only a small section of Belgium unoccupied its army was reformed with allied support. The army wore French Adrienne helmets with the a lion's head in place of the French insignia. It is from the Belgian rampant lion buttons we usually identify a Belgian soldier. Regimental numbers were worn on the epaulettes shoulder straps often a Collar badge gave further information on branch of service.

If you think a soldier is either French or Belgian and he has a number on his collar, he is not Belgian.

Carabiniers4th Infantry Machine GunnerChasseurs of the ArdennesStretcher bearer