This is a posed studio
in Salzbrunn, Germany probably in late 1906. It shows
Vizefeldwebel Friedrich Otto Buschan shortly
after his return from South West Africa.
He wears a standard
1897 Schutztruppe Home Uniform in pale
grey with the collar, Swedish style cuffs and piping down the front
and rear skirts in blue for South West Africa. The shoulder straps are
twisted cords in the imperial colours. It has white Litzen on the
collar and cuffs and white metal buttons bearing the imperial crown.
The trousers are matching pale grey with blue piping down the edge.
His rank is shown by the use of white
metallic lace around the collar and cuffs, a button towards the rear
of his collar Litzen and also by the fact he carries a sword (only
worn by those of Vizefeldwebel and above the the Schutztruppe and
army). The sword has an imperial eagle on the hilt and a sword knot in
white metallic lace again with the imperial colours.
He wears three medals in
the form of their ribbons only on his left breast. The most senior
is the top left ribbon in black and white for the Prussian "Militärehrenzeichen
(which Buschan was later also awarded in the first class for his
bravery in action against the Bondelzwart-Hottentotten). To its side is the yellow ribbon of the "Centenarmedaille"
(which appears a darker shade due to the orthochromatic photography of
and below them both is the
"Dienstauszeichnung 1. Klasse".
Buschan was later also awarded the
It was only instituted by Kaiser Wilhelm II in
March 1907, while this photograph was probably taken in late 1906.
His headdress is the
peaked field cap in matching grey with hatband and piping in blue for South West
Africa with a small imperial
cockade and a black leather peak.
Friedrich Otto Buschan was born on 23rd August 1873 in Sorau, Prussia.
By trade he was a brick-layer but on 11th October 1894 he joined the
army in the 14th company of the 12th Prussian Grenadiers ("Grenadier Regiment Prinz Karl von Preußen
(2.brandenburgisches) Nr. 12"). On
27th March 1896 he joined the South
West African Schutztruppe with whom he served for ten years, firstly
in the 3.Feldkompagnie
under the command of Hauptmann von Koppy, later in the 8. Feldkompagnie of the II. Feldregiment. He saw
combat on several occasions and it is recorded that
between 1903-06 he took part in the following actions- 19th/20th
November 1903 Sandfontein (against the Bondelzwart-Hottentotten), 5th
October 1904 Hurub, 14th November 1904 Spitzkopp, 15th December 1904
Koes, 5th January 1905 Gochas and 7th January 1905 Urikuribis. His
service in the Schutztruppe ended early due to ill health and he
retired from the army on 30th November 1906. During the First World
War he served
in the 1st company of the
2.Ersatz-Bataillon of the Landwehr Inf-Regt. Nr. 52 and later (from 28th March 1917) to the "Militärgefangenen-Arbeiterkompanie"
as a Prisoner of War camp guard.
His dates of promotion
through the NCO ranks of the Schutztruppe were-
27th January 1898 überzähliger Gefreiter
27th January 1900 etatsmäßiger Gefreiter
27th August 1900 überzähliger Unteroffizier
1st July 1902 etatsmäßiger Unteroffizier
7th January 1905 Vizefeldwebel