Quartermaster Fabry cuts a dashing figure in his full dress uniform, complete with an awe inspiring hat. They just don't make uniforms like they used to.
Fabry was photographed in 1858 when attending a veteran's reunion in Paris, on the anniversary of Napoleon's death. Fabry served in the 1st Hussars, and elite French cavalry unit. The 1st Hussars won battle honours at the battles of Jemmapes 1792, Castiglione 1796, Eylau 1807 and Oporto 1809. At the end of the war, in 1815, they were engaged in battle at Namur.
Fabry is shown here wearing the Saint Helene medal (issued August 12 1857, to all veterans of the wars of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire)
This photo was taken during the 2nd French Empire, when the French had re-established an empire under Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. Under the new empire there had been a revival of national pride marked by a new militarism. Veterans of the Napoleonic wars were afforded special honours and status and one can see the sense of pride with which Fabry wears his old uniform. Unfortunately for France, Napoleon III led his country into a disastrous war with Prussia which captured Paris in 1870, deeply humiliating the French and ending their hopes of a Napoleonic restoration. We do not know whether Fabry lived to see this debacle.