Great Grandpa Winter and his Tattoos

I have written from time to time aboutĀ  my great grandpa Winter (see the links below), and was inspired to do so again after reading an article today.

Although the article was about convicts their tattoos, it reminded me of Otto Winter’s tattoos which I found out about from his military records.

The image below isĀ  portion of a page from Otto Winter’s WW1 records which are held at the National Archives of Australia – which lists his tattoos in his distinguishing marks.

I remember being totally stunned when I read it purely as I hadn’t considered that he would have them. But there on his arms are an American flag, clasped hands, a basket of flowers and on his chest the Australian Coat of Arms which is an interesting mix – and I’d love to know the reasons behind them, particularly the basket of flowers.

As he was a seaman I shouldn’t be surprised, because has there ever been a seaman that didn’t have tattoos?

Otto Winter - military record description 550

Otto Winter - military record description 450

So you have to LOVE military records not just for the detail about the military history of the person, but also the personal details they include!

And I couldn’t have a story about great grandpa without including a photo of him, so I’ve included the picture below. I don’t have many of him at all. And in fact it’s the one side of my family that I have VERY few photos unfortunately.

Otto Winter (age 62) and his daughter's dog "VG" - taken c.1942

Otto Winter (age 62) and his daughter’s dog “VG” – taken c.1942

And for anyone that is interested in more about Otto Rafael Winter, here’s links to the previous posts I’ve written about him:
Anzac Day Blog Challenge:He Was Proud to be Australian
Family History Through the Alphabet: F is for Finland and Football
Is this Otto Rafael Winter?



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