Another picture has found a place. I had this picture in my “unknown” box, I did recognize my Pake Jacob Hiemstra (top left), but I often wondered what the circumstances of this picture were. I send it to my new-found cousin Anneke, who not only knows a lot about genealogy, but she also volunteers at Tresoar, a great resource for my genealogy research of all our Frisian ancestors.
A few days later she sent me this response:
“I found out what this picture is and when it was taken. The sign says “Nederlands hoop in bange dagen – July 1922” . It means they will have to defend the country in times of trouble.This is a group of 18 year old boys/men who had been to the military lottery. On their hats they have the number they were assigned to. Once a year there was the military lottery in Dokkum and other places. Every 18 year old boy had to come there. He was assigned a number and with that number he could be called to the army, when necessary. Not every boy went into the army. Some where to small or had other physical deficiencies. Another was the only son in the house or his brother had already been in the army. So this is a gathering of boys, 18 year old, that went to the lottery. It was a tradition that afterwards they went to a photographer. The pipes belong to this tradition.
The picture is an example of a paper of the Nationale Militie. The number this person got is in red.”
So thanks again, Anneke – it makes sense, my grandfather was born in July 1904, which would make him just 18 when that picture was taken. I don’t think he would have been accepted in the militia, because he was a rather short man.
I also googled “lotelingen”, and found quite a few of the same kind of images, young men wearing numbers on their hats and smoking a pipe.
The sign says: Dutch hope in scary times! And Pake is Frist an for Grandpa….