Police, German New Guinea, c. 1910.

The German colonial possessions in the south Pacific had no permanent armed force apart from the armed police. Uniform clothing was habitually supplied from naval stores. Photographs show that clothing was uniform on each of the several island possessions, but varied between them. The police in New Guinea were the closest to being a military force because of the size of the island and its many warlike peoples. I bought this photograph thinking it was of British constabulary and only when I received it did I realize these were German police. I do not know why one of the men is in the water with his hat on. Notice that the two belt buckles are different.

Page by Mark Conrad, 2012.