4 eme Regiment ou Génie de Grenoble
This is a rare formal photograph of the 4th regiment of Génie of Grenoble France perhaps taken in 1889 or 1898 by French photographer Léon Pineau. The 4th regment was an military engineering ("genie") division. The soldiers are pictured all having a tool in hand and/or a piece of machinery nearby that they may be working or learning with. At lower left is a Barbary Macaque monkey chained to a roller press, possibly the units mascot. Léon Pineau was known to have created many carte de visites (albumen prints mounted on cardboard carriers) of individual military personel of several different divisions of the French Foreign Legion.
The title on the overhead banner reads: "Souvenir de fraternité des ouvriers des ateliers du 4th regimen du Génie Grenoble" In English this translates to "Souvenir of fraternity of the workers of the workshops of the 4th regimen of Génie Grenoble"
DATE OF PHOTOGRAPH MYSTERY
The actual date of the photograph is somewhat a mystery. In the center and just below the banner is a small rectangle that appears to be made by placing a small piece of paper below the negative when making a contact print. On this piece of paper is printed :
The back of the cardboard mount for this print has the following handwritted in pencil notation:
"4 eme Regiment ou Génie de Grenoble (FRANCE)
- 1898 -
Photographe: Léon PINEAU photographe a Grenoble, rue du Lycee 17, vers 1870 a 1898. Succursales VIZILLE. (Isère, France), et a Grenoble, avenue de la Gare, qui demandera la maison principale au cours des années 90, avec Séverin Celestin Pineau"
This translates in English to:
"4th Regiment or Génie de Grenoble (FRANCE)
- 1898 -
Photographer: Léon PINEAU photographer in Grenoble, rue du Lycee 17, around 1870 to 1898. VIZILLE branches. (Isère, France), and in Grenoble, avenue de la Gare, which will ask for the main house during the 90s, with Séverin Celestin Pineau"
INSIGNIA OF THE 4th REGIMENT OF THE GENIE
"INSIGNE 4° Régiment du Génie"
Type: Engineer Regiment, part of 27th Mountain Infantry Brigade
Garrison: Camp de La Valbonne
Motto: "Sometimes destroy, often build, always serve"
Inscriptions on the emblem: Far East 1884-1885
Conflicts: Madagascar 1895, Champagne 1915-1918, Verdun 1916, L'Aisne 1917-1918, Belgium 1918
World War I Wars: Battles First battle of Champagne, Battle of Verdun, Battle of Chemin des Dames, Second battle of Champagne
Military Awards: The Companies of the 4th Engineer Regiment received an award in the colors of the 1914-1918 War Cross ribbon, 1914-1918 War Cross decorations, a vermeil star