Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Belgian Expeditionary Corps Cantinieres. 2

Some figures I did a while back of the Belgian Cantinieres. The first one was scratch- built from a Japanese Anime character kit. I have no idea what series! I made this one back in the 1980s

This original figures done by Chuck Caldwell from Gettysburg, Pa. Mr. Caldwell used to make one-of-a kind figures from Sculpy . I had him make this one unpainted and based on a modern magazine story illustration of the Belgian Corp in Mexico. The Cantiniere was leading a wounded man on a horse and carrying a short Enfield rifle in the illustration. Her Belgian "top hat" has a campaign cover. This one was done around 1985.

Sharp eyes! Two French cantinieres were killed by loyal Mexican forces in 1862 , probably female "Soldaderas" * (Soldaderas in the Mexican Military by Elizabeth Salas)

The Red/White/Green stockings worn by the Cantinieres representing the Mexican flag colors!

Added 1/19/2010



"In 1864 werd Mexico een keizerrijk. De kroon werd aangeboden aan Maximiliaan van Habsburg en zijn echtgenote, prinses Charlotte, dochter van koning Leopold 1. Toen de toestand, door de burgeroorlog in Mexico, voor keizer Maximillaan gevaarlijk werd, stuurde België in 1865, zonder toelating van het parlement, een expeditiekorps naar Mexico. Onze troepen werden snel in gevechten betrokken en de hevigste veldslag had plaats in Tacambaro.
Keizerin Charlotte kwam tevergeefs hulp vragen in Europa; keizer Maximiliaan werd in 1867 gefusilleerd...."

Tacambaro monument
(Google Translation)
In 1864, Mexico was an empire. The crown was offered to Maximilian of Habsburg and his wife, Princess Charlotte, daughter of King Leopold 1. When the state, the civil war in Mexico, for Emperor Maximillaan endangered, Belgium sent in 1865, without authorization from the parliament, a corps expedition to Mexico. Our troops were soon involved in fights and the most violent battle took place in Tacambaro.
Empress Charlotte came in vain for help in Europe, Emperor Maximilian was executed in 1867.


  1. Hello,
    I stumbled across your blog and your postings on Belgian cantinieres. They were also called Marketentsters and one per company of soldiers was allowed. She had to be married to a soldier below the rank of NCO. She was allowed to sell non alcohlic food and drink during "buissness hours" and a shnaps like spirit called "jenever" after service hours.She also washed and mended clothes. With her husband she was allowed to stay in barracks and was also called the "mother of the companie".
    I give you this link to the statue in our village, Leopoldsburg, which was founded next to the first Belgian army purpose build garrison and exercise fields.
    I could get a proper picture if you want.
    The statue is in honor of the marketentsters and also a tribute to the (unofficial) last modern cantinieri, but that is another story. She is called Mie Tet (Busty Mary, or some such). She still has a stall selling her food and drinks on our local saturday market. She is so well known in the Belgian army, even our king Albert II, saluted her when passing her on the national day parade a couple of years ago. Whan the rest of the parading troops paased several detachment commanders ordered a "eyes to the right" salute for her.
    Anyway, hope you like the folklore.


  2. Thank you for the comments and information Pjotr.