"Arthur Robert Apel Klaus, geboren 19. Juli 1877, gestorben 11. Januar 1961.
Eingezogen zur Landwehr 1917."
Tried and failed to draw my great-grandfather. -the beard it's too dark, and the face -specially eyes- aren't like the one of the photo.
He did his military service in 1897-1899, and several years later, in 1917, he was called to serve in the Landwehr in the east.
As kid, I thought that he fought in the eastern front, but later I have realized that he was movilized after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, between the bolchevisks and the kaiser's germany, being part of the forces send to occupy the large extensions of lands the treaty granted to Germany.
Despise that, he did fight in that war, and that make me suppose he fought some of the skirmishes of the russian civil war, as sometimes the german army was engaged in actions supporting the whites against the red. Aside these memories of war, neither of my grand-auts, or grandmother, seem to remember in which part of the eastern front he was send. I think it may have been Ukraine, for photos and such.
About the photo I used for reference, as kid as well I thought it was his real uniform, but several things of the equipment puzzled me. At first I thought it was for him serving in the Landwehr -some sort of reserve- he did get outdated equipment.
But when drawing this and looking at the photo with more atention, only then I realized it's a studio photo, as he was standing in a carpet and the background was clearly a paint. So I don't know if he take that studio photo before going to the front, in one of his licenses, or instead, after it. The beard doesn't tell much either, as in early XX century facial hair still wasn't uncommon in soldiers, and even less in older reservists. And the fact that from photos in the eastern front, one can see as well often german soldiers in WWI and post Brest-litovsk did grow sometimes beards.
Neither I know if the cap, of leather and with a light insignia, was from the studio -which I guess- or his own. I guess it may be from the photographic studio, as I have never seen other photos of that era of german troopers with such cap.