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WWI Red Cross Nurse and Her French Colonial Soldier Sweetheart

Love is definitely in the air as the pretty young nurse and her recovering patient gaze into each others eyes in this hand-tinted WWI photographic postcard. The "setting" is faraway Africa. In reality, the photograph was probably taken in a French studio, as can be seen by "A-N PARIS" printed in the lower righthand corner. A skillful photographer has removed every trace of the original background and sketched in a secluded courtyard enclosed by walls where striped awnings shield the building from the rays of the afternoon sun, palm trees wave in the distance, and exotic plants and flowers line the paths.


The soldier is a French Colonial soldier, and he wears the 1870 French Legion of Honor Medal, Chevalier (Knight) Class. Thanks to my flickr friend ericcau for the identification of the medal! The numeral "5" is on his collar. If anyone can identify the soldier's unit, that would be SUPER!


The title of the photograph "A Enfermeira Da Cruz Vermelha" (which translates as "The Red Cross Nurse") is in Portuguese as is the verse. Since both were allies in WWI, I am assuming that the photograph was published in France and meant to cater to the Portuguese trade. If someone could translate the verse, it would be deeply appreciated.

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Taken on February 6, 2010