Envelope with Epaulette and Erkennungsmarke (dog tag)

Production date
See full details

Object detail

Envelope originally containing registered letter (not present) and half a German soldier's Erkennungsmarke (dog tag) and epaulette, the latter bearing the embroidered insignia of the Imperial German Army's 46th Regiment.
CH classification COSTUME Uniforms Military
Production date
Envelope: L181 x W95 m
Epaulette: L115 x W45
Half ID tag: L69 x W25 mm

94 x 145mm registration note 94 x 181mm
Media/Materials description
Registered letter envelope Support: brown wove paper with loose weave fabric interior. Medium: blue /black/red printing. handwriting in black ink and indelible pencil signature lower left Registration note
History and use
These items were some of several battlefield souvenirs collected by Francis Joseph Brewer during World War 1 and posted home to his wife Murielle.

Military forces use a variety of aids - including epaulette insignia nd dog tags - for identifiying individual personnel and their unit of affiliation, the acquisition of such intelligence being difficult sometimes during combat.

The numbers on this epaulette signify that the wearer was serving with the Imperial German Army's 46th Regiment.

Dog tags are primarily used for the identification of dead and wounded soldiers, being so named because of their resemblance to animal registration tags. This particular example bears the personal details of Theodor Whisling (Nr.4757) who was born at Lippborg, Beckum on 23rd July 1897 and served with Germany's 15th Regiment.

A journalist from Bondi, New South Wales, Francis Brewer saw active service in France and in 1918 was shot in the ankle, an injury which eventually led to him being returned to Australia. Like many soldiers, he collected souvenirs, many of which he posted home to his family. He also kept a journal throughout the War (allegedly sold for 50 pounds during the depression years) which is now held in the Mitchell Library.

On his return to Australia, Francis continued his work as a journalist covering politics and court proceedings. He also authored several publications including ‘All About War Gratuity : instructions how to get it, together with a gratuity ready reckoner; Australian handbook for nurses, sailors, soldiers and dependants’ and ‘Sixty-six years of municipal government’ for the Brisbane Council.
Registration number


My shortlist

Explore other objects by colour