A German assault squad with trench armor (Grabenpanzer), grenades and trench clubs pose for the camera. Although many historians claim that the Germans abandoned trench armor because of its weight, I am inclined to believe now that the Germans continued to utilize the armor not just for forward observers and machine gunners but for quick trench raids. Thomas Wictor has concluded that older pioneers with flamethrower apparatus managed to keep up with their younger unencumbered counterparts. For a quick raid to take prisoners, gather information or take a section of trench, this armor would not have been a burden.
This is a portrait of John Charles Montague, who had been a corporal in the 16th Lancers and served for more than twenty years in India. He distinguished himself in battle on several occasions. When he retired in 1847 he was appointed a Yeoman of the Guard. Millais shows him the uniform of the yeomen, usually known as Beefeaters. The painting was done in 1876, when Millais was then at the height of his fame. This picture remained one of his favourites, as well as being popular with the public.
[Tate Britain, London - Oil on canvas, 139.7 x 111.8 cm]