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1914-18 War • Portugese Soldier

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

This Portugese soldier has no visible insignia.
Despite political turmoil at home Portugal joined the war in 1916. Her troops on the Westarn Front were armed with British weapons to make the supply of ammunition easier.

This is the only portrait I have of a Portugese soldier.
Portugese troops wore a distinctive fluted metal helmet.The also wore a peaked cap with a blackened badge showing arm of service or infantry regiment number. Not visible in this photo is an oval cloth patch on the upper arm which bore the same arm of service or the number of his regiment in blue embroidery. Otherwise there are no buttons ,badges or patches to give a clue to his unit or nationality. The most distinctive thing I can see regarding his horizon blue uniform apart from the small patch breast pockets are the large cloth belt loops made to accomodate the British 4 inch wide webbing belt he is wearing.

Portugal is Britains oldest ally. The cold and mud of the Western front was especially hard on Portugese troops.