|When originally acquired the nationality of this man was unknown. Based on the location where the photograph was
taken, in this case Boreno, it seemed that he could have been British, Dutch or even possibly American. His name -
Andrew Rape - while somewhat unusual did nothing to narrow down the possibilities. The rather generic look of his
uniform was also little help. The fact that the inscription on the photo's reverse was in English seemed to ultimately
eliminate him being from the Netherlands.
Was this man was a member of one the regular British military units stationed in the Straights Settlements or possibly
employed in the local forces of the North Borneo Chartered Company? Could he have been an American soldier from
the Philippine Islands that lie not that far to the north east?
After quite some time and many repeated searches I finally identified this man as Andrew Wesley Rape of
Petersville, Pennsylvania. The finding of two United States passport applications filled out by Andrew Wesley Rape
one from 1916 and the other from 1921 both of which bear photos of the man confirmed his identity.
Andrew Wesley Rape was born at Petersville, Pennsylvania on 6 September, 1877 the son of Elias Edward Rape and
Mary Buehler. As early as 1900 Andrew was employed as an oil rig builder. His trade took him all over the world and
his passport applications and steam ship passenger manifests show him traveling to the Caribbean, South America
and the Dutch East Indies - anywhere it seemed there was oil to be had.
At some time during his life he was a member of the Fifth Service Ordinance Command with his duties including that
of carpenter. This mention comes for his 1964 obituary and newspaper articles such as this are notoriously bad when it
comes to getting things like old military unit names and designations correct. Without a doubt a member of a U.S.
military unit I have been unable to find any mention of an organization by that specific name. The article also makes
no mention as to when he was a member of that same unit. It is possible that he was enlisted at the time this
photograph was taken which would account for his rather military looking khaki uniform although this could have
simply been his chosen civilian tropical kit worn while working in Borneo. His military service may well have been
during World War One.
Andrew Wesley Rape married Miss Grace McCoy with whom he had four children. He died at the age of 89 on 26
June, 1964 at Newark, Ohio.
8 January, 1904
|Right: Andrew Rape's identification
photo taken from his 26 February,
1916 U.S. passport application.