Canadian War Photographs Introduction

=== by Bob Sutherland ===

This is primarily a collection of black and white photographs taken by Canadian army photographers stationed in France and Belgium during the First World War. There are a few Canadian military photographs taken during the D-Day invasion of France during the Second World War. There are a few National Film Board of Canada photographs taken of the unveiling ceremony of the Vimy Ridge Memorial in France in 1936. There are some supplemental photographs related to the above. And finally, there are some coloured photographs that were probably taken by a tourist in 1999 while participating on a group tour of Canadian war sites and memorials in France and Belgium.

This collection of photographs are from the files of Dr. James T. Angus (1928-2010). Dr. Jim Angus, as he was commonly known, is the most likely suspect to have been the tourist with a camera back in 1999.

Dr. James T. Angus was a Professor Emeritus of Education and former Dean of the Faculty of Education of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

For the benefit of high school students and anyone who may be unfamiliar with university titles a professor emeritus is an honorary title that a university can decide to give to their best professors when they retire. A dean of a faculty is similar to being the principal of a school in the sense that a dean is usually responsible for being the academic leader and supervisor for all of the professors, staff and university students in one or more buildings on campus.

As Dean of the Faculty of Education, Dr. Angus was responsible for supervising all of the activities in the Bora Laskin building. The building was off by itself in a corner of the Lakehead University campus. The building resembled a typical two story city school with many classrooms and offices, a library, a gymnasium, a soccer sized sports playing field, a large parking lot, and some portable classrooms. Most of the university students in the building were training to become school teachers. If they already were teachers then they were probably in the building to take an upgrading course or workshop. A few graduate students and professors were involved in doing some educational research.

During his retirement years Dr. Angus became actively engaged in researching, writing and publishing books on the local history of some Ontario communities. Occasionally he would get an opportunity to make a presentation as the guest speaker at a meeting of a local community service club regarding his research.

I received this collection of war photographs from the files of Dr. Angus in the form of 35 millimetre slides. The slides were organized and ready to be loaded into a projector for a group presentation. There was a single page typed on a typewriter listing the sequence for the slide presentation.

While scanning the 35 mm slides into digital photographs I performed some photo editing and restoration techniques such as straightening the horizon, cropping off ripped edges, and removing some of the fingerprints, dust and other blemishes on the photos. I did not fix everything because sometimes I did not like the results of my changes so I pressed the EDIT menu > UNDO option. I then uploaded the scanned photographs to this website to make them available to Canadian students and teachers when they are studying the world wars in History class.

It did not take long before a visitor to this website informed me that the black and white photographs were reprints of original photographs or negatives held in the collections of the Library and Archives Canada. Their website is . Using this new information I was then able to do some research and add the current text that appears below each photograph.

At the time of the First World War cameras were still a relatively new invention using what today may seem like primitive technologies. Therefore although I tried scanning the images at a fairly high resolution the quality of my scans are limited by the image detail that was captured by the original cameras and later transferred to the 35 mm slide reprints in Dr. Angus' collection.