In Search of D-Day: Charles E. Beddoe

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When my father first sent me the article on Charles Beddoe, I was surprised to see that there had been a RCN Combat Cameraman living right here in Ottawa since 1958, the same year that I was born! I immediately contacted the Ottawa Citizen, who graciously provided me with his contact information; residing at the Perley & Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre, at 1750 Russell Road.

What happened next became an interesting mix of straightforward interviews, discoveries, and…even more discoveries. Charlie had only recently moved into the Perley & Rideau, when the family had come across a cache of films in their old residence on Browning Avenue, only a few blocks away. This treasure trove launched a series of searches into the vaults at Library & Archives Canada, where I was fortunate to come across footage shot by Charlie.

Was it his D-Day footage that he describes shooting aboard LCG939? This video documents that journey with interviews of Charlie Beddoe, and a step by step account by myself as I mine the vaults at Library & Archives, in search of Charlie’s D-Day footage.

I want to thank the following people in helping me along in the making of this video; Douglas Gervais, Lionel Goddard, Greg Boa, Stéphane Larivière, Tina Harvey, and Greg Eamon. Of course none of this is possible without the participation of the Beddoe family, especially Charlie’s daughter, Margaret Lawrence, and son, William Beddoe.

This film is dedicated to Charlie Beddoe, and all the men and women who served, and continue to serve Canada as military photographers.

Charles Beddoe passed away April 1, 2018 – his films remain a permanent record of Canada’s involvement during WWII, and a testament to Charlie’s will and bravery during a tumultuous moment in world history.

Dale Gervais has been actively researching and documenting the history of the Canadian Army Film & Photo Unit since 2006. Dale is currently employed as a Film Conservator at Library & Archives Canada.

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