Do It Yourself

In an effort to assist reenactors in the development of their impression, the following page contains images of wrappers, labels, and other period imagery that can be printed out using a simple laser or ink printer. After printing, simply cut and paste (the old fashioned way) the images as the case calls for and you're on your way to adding a personal touch to your impression.

  • Paperwork
  • Labels
  • Sundries
  • Currency
  • Postage Stamps
  • Post Cards
  • Tobacco Items
  • Tobacco Ration Packet
  • Addressing Correspondence
  • Horizon-Blue Paint


    Paperwork:

    Permission Slip (single)
    (Paper type: smooth newsprint - 32lb)

    Permission Slip (multiple print out)
    (Paper type: smooth newsprint - 32lb)

    Blank Writing Paper
    (Paper type: smooth newsprint - 32lb. Print PDF as double-sided)


    Labels:

    ARS Gas Mask Can Label (inside lid):

    Lid Label - ARS can (diam: 11.5 cm / 4.5")

    Wine & Liquor Labels:

    Pinard Wine

    1916 Vintage Wine

    1918 Vintage Wine

    Liqueur

    Food:
    Camembert Cheese (single)

    Camembert Cheese (multiple print out)

    Chocolate bars (various)


    Sundries:

    Railroad tickets (various)
    (Paper type: cardstock / coverstock - 67lb)


    Currency:

    50 cents and 1 franc (Military Scrip) (multiple print out)

    5 franc note (multiple print out)

    Postage Stamps:

    10 Centimes Stamp (red)

    10 (plus 5) Centimes Stamp (red)

    10 Centimes Stamp (green)

    10 Centimes Stamp (multiple print out)


    Post Cards:

    (Paper type: cardstock / coverstock - 67lb)

    Flags of Allied Armies (single)

    Flags of Allied Armies (multiple print out)

    1915 Poilu (single)

    1915 Poilu (multiple print out)


    Tobacco Items:

    Matchbox (single)

    Matchbox (multiple print out)

    Rolling Papers Book (single)

    Rolling Papers Book (multiple print out)


    Tobacco Ration Packet:


    The Gros Q was the individual tobacco ration distributed to French troops. Simple in fabrication, it consisted of a brown or tan wax paper wrapper, glued together into a small cube and covered with a ribbon label. It was produced in two sizes: 40 or 100 grams. The tobacco ration was officially called tobac de cantine ("mess hall tobacco") or simply Gros Q ("Big Q"). The soldiers deformed this term to Gros Cul ("Bottom Ass"), as 'Q' and 'Cul' are pronounced the same in French. The 40 gm cubes were issued every other day while the the 100 gm cubes were to be distributed once every five.

    Gros Q


    Materials:

  • Package label (print & cut out image below; dimensions = ~ 11/4" x 95/8")
  • Brown or neutral colored wax paper (can be found at grocery stores)
  • Glue stick
  • Wooden cube (dimensions = 2" x 2" x 2")
  • Pipe tobacco (specifically dark tobacco such as Turkish. Otherwise a 100% Barley leaf tobacco will suffice so long as it is not an aromatic.) See Tobacciana page for more details)

    Instructions:

    1. Cut out package wrapper from the wax paper. Dimensions = 41/2" x 10"
    2. Fold wrappers around cube, making sure to firmly crease the paper along all edges
    3. Apply glue to the long side of wrapper where the ends of the paper meet along one face of the cube. Also apply glue to one short side. When done, the wrapper should be glued closed along its seam and, for our purposes, the base of the package wrapper, so that you now have a cube of paper with only one open end (the "top" of the wrapper).
    4. While the wrapper is still on the cube, wrap the label around the package, starting with the blank end (i.e. the end without the serial #) evenly centered on the face of the cube, lining the edge of the short end of the label up with the edge of the cube. Make sure to firmly crease the label along all edges.
    5. Apply glue to the underside of portion of the label that runs across the first two faces of the cube. These portions should be the blank end of the label and the portion of the label that runs over one flap of the "open" end of the wrapper.
    6. Remove the wrapper from the wooden cube. Now pour in tobacco into wrapper, lightly packing it down as you do so, until the wrapper is full.
    7. Close open end of wrapper and begin tightly wrapping label around all edges of the wrapper.
    8. Glue down the other end of the label (the end with the serial #) on top of the blank end of the label previously glued down. Make sure that the label is a tight fit around the wrapper.

           

    Tobacco Ration Label (single)

    Tobacco Ration Label (multiple print out - color version)

    Tobacco Ration Label (multiple print out - B&W for printing on colored paper)

    Addressing Correspondence:


    Correspondence sent to a solider assigned to a combat formation required three main pieces of addressee information:
    1. Soldier’s name (rank optional)
    2. Soldier's unit (regiment and company required)
    3. Postal sector number
    In August 1914, all correspondence sent to servicemen were routed to the respective Army Corps depot. At the time, the public was unaware if their loved one was serving in the “interior” or in the “zone of armies.” However, on 15 December 1914, the postal sector (secteur postal) system was created, whereby all correspondence sent to servicemen was routed to a unique postal sector assigned to each division, group or depot before being forwarded on to the serviceman. For more information on the postal sector system, see the following site.

    There were numerous variations on how the soldier’s name and unit were written, with no strict format required. For the soldier’s name, first name -- last name was most common, though last name -- first name, first name initial -- last name, and first name were also written, Middle names and confirmation names were also written sometimes. The soldier's name was typically preceded by the man’s rank (sometimes abbreviated) or simply a capital letter “M.” (abbreviation of “Monsieur”). Typical abbreviations of rank include the following:

    Soldat = Sdt.
    Caporal = Cpl.
    Sergent = Sgt.
    Adjudant – Adj.
    Lieutenant = Lieut., Lt.
    Capitaine = Capt., Cpt.
    Colonel = Col.
    General = Genl., Gen.

    Naturally, there were variations on what was included for the unit designation and how this was written. It should be noted first that any reference to brigade, division or army corps was strictly prohibited. Therefore, the first unit specified was the regiment, which naturally was a mandatory piece of information. Sometimes the battalion was specified. Otherwise, the next mandatory inclusion was the company number. Occasionally the section and/or squad number was provided. Perhaps due to the inherently temporal nature of these last unit designations (especially the squad), these were not always specified. Typical abbreviations of the various units include the following:

    Regiment = Rég't, Régm't, Régim't, R.I., etc.
    Battalion = Batt., Bat., Bat'l, etc.
    Compagnie = Co., Cie., etc.
    Section = Sect., Sec.
    Esquoade = Esc.

    The secteur postal was the final piece of information required, which was either written out in full or abbreviated as “S.P.” There were a total of 236 postal sectors (1-223, 501, 502, 503A, 506, 508, 508A, 509, 509B, 510, 512, 513, 515, 517). For the infantry combat formations, these were assigned at the division level, so that each infantry division had it’s own unique S.P. assigned to it. A note to members of the 151 R.I., the regiment was under S.P. 35 from 1914 to January 1917 (42 D.I.), then S.P. 124 from January 1917 until the end of the war (69 D.I.).

    The following are examples of how to address correspondence:

    M. Jean Bouchez
    Soldat au 151e Régiment d'Infanterie
    1e Cie., 3e Section
    Secteur Postal No. 124

    Soldat G. Maillard
    151e R.I.
    3e Batt. - 11e Co.
    S.P. 124

    Cpl. Mathieu Picard
    151e Rég't
    9e Cie., 1e Sect., 4e Esc.
    Secteur Postal 124

    The return address (the sender) invariably included:

    1. Sender’s name
    2. Street address (if extant)
    3. Town/city
    4. Department
    As with the soldier’s name, there were format variations. Typically, first and last name were included in full, or else the first name was initialed. Commonly, this was preceded by a capital letter “M.” or “Mde.” (“Monsieur” or “Madame”). If the sender had a street address (this might not be the case if the sender lived in a small, rural hamlet) this was provided next, followed by the town/city. Often, the department name was also written below this. If longer department names were commonly abbreviated (e.g. Pas de Calais = P. de C.; Meurthes et Moiselle = M. & M.; Seine-et-Oise = S.-et-O.)

    The following are examples of how to address correspondence:

    M. Paul Lintier
    14 r. Santieul
    Eloyes
    Vosges

    Mde. E. Dupuis
    3, rue de Wavrin
    Santes
    P-de-C

    L. Fagot
    Liouc
    Gard

    M. Maurice Conflans
    35 rue de Lappe
    Paris – 12 arr.



    Horizon-Blue Paint:

    The following paint code is from Lowe's paint but can likely be provided to any standard paint or hardware store to be used for making horizon-blue paint. The resulting paint is an egg-shell slate-blue more representative of the darker shades of HB:

    Lowe's Valspar - Base 4-34143; Tint: 101-11.5, 102-14.75, 107-5, 113-4.25