• Steve Ann poses with a Speed Graphic 4 x 5 still camera, mounted with a Graphlex cell flash. His reenactment group is called "Armed with Camera's".
  • Sergeant Karen M. Hermiston of the Canadian Women's Army Corps (C.W.A.C.), who is holding an Anniversary Speed Graphic camera, London, England, 15 November 1945. Credit: Lieut. Arthur L. Cole / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • Steve Ann poses as a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corp for his reenactment group, "Armed with Camera's".
  • Private Charlie Ross, Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, 11 July 1944. Credit: Lieut. Michael M. Dean / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • Steve Ann posing with a J.M. Wall 35mm motion picture camera.
  • Cpl. Alan Grayston of the CFPU with a large motorized 35mm movie camera.
  • Jordan Ann rides behind in a jeep clutching a 35mm Bell & Howell Model 71-Q with spider turret.
  • Lt. George Noble and Capt. Jack McDougall atop a Canadian Army Film Unit truck.
  • Another angle of Jordan Ann in a jeep clutching a 35mm Bell & Howell Model 71-Q with spider turret.
  • Lieutenant George Cooper, Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, talking with Captain R.T. Miller, his brother-in-law, who is aboard a Humber light reconnaissance car, Caen, France, 11 July 1944. Credit: Lieut. Michael M. Dean / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • Canadian Army cameraman films S.S. Brigadefuhrer Kurt Meyer being escorted to trial.
  • Lieutenant H. Gordon Aikman of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, Colombelles, France, 19 July 1944. Credit: Sgt. Gordon Petty / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • Jordan Ann poses with a 35mm Bell & Howell Model 71-Q mounted with a 400ft magazine
  • One of the last men to be enlisted as a CFPU cameraman, Sgt. Robert Sleigh.
  • Jordan Ann poses with a 4 x 5 format Speed Graphic stills camera.
  • Lieutenant H. Gordon Aikman of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, holding an Anniversary Speed Graphic camera. Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • Jordan Ann gripping Bell & Howell Eyemo with spider turret.
  • Sergeant Elmer R. Bonter of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit attached to the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, England, 11 May 1944. Credit: Lieut. Frank L. Dubervill / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • Jordan and Steve Ann take a rest during their reenactment group, "Armed with Cameras".
  • Photographer, Lieutenant Alfred O. Tate, and combat cameraman, P.O. Charles Beddoe, somewhere in France.
  • Jordan Ann with a Bell & Howell 16mm Filmo mounted on gunstock.
  • Sergeant C.M.G. Lattion, Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, cleaning Sten gun. Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • Jordan Ann next to a motorized B & H Eyemo Q, mounted on a tripod.
  • Lt. George Noble atop a CFPU truck films a scene from the Canadian Army film, 'Smoke of Battle'.
  • Unidentified reenacter posing with a 16mm Victor Cine Camera.
  • Sgt. Hugh McCaughey of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit. Credit: Donald I. Grant/Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada.
  • Four different motoized B & W Eyemo cameras with lenses mounted on a turret.
  • Personnel of No.2 Canadian Film and Photo Unit. (Front row, L-R): Lew Weekes, George Cooper, Gordon Petty. (Second row, L-R): Ken Bell, Mickey Dean, Gordon Aikman. (Rear row, L-R): Charlie Ross, --, --. Credit: Michael M. Dean / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • One of the displays at one of the reenactment shows.
  • Sgt. Norman Quick, Canadian Army combat cameraman. (Frame grab from Canadian Army Newsreel No. 49).
  • Detail image of a motorized B & H Eyemo camera, mounted on a tripod.
  • Canadian Army combat cameraman. (Frame grab from Canadian Army Newsreel No. 49).
  • Jordan and Steve pose with some of their movie and still cameras, along with a mounted Eyemo movie camera.
  • Eve of D-Day. Ciné and still photographers of No.3 Public Relations Group. W.G. Grant, D.A. Reynolds. Credit: Frank Dubervill/Canada. Dept. of National Defense/Library and Archives Canada.
  • Jordan posing with a Kodak 35 still camera.
  • Frame grab CFPU still photographer, Lt. Frank Royal. Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada
  • Jordan poses with a Speed Graphic with flash.
  • Lieutenant Dwight E. Dolan of the Canadian Film & Photo Unit. Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • Jordan shoots using a B & H Eyemo Q movie camera.
  • Sgt. Norman Quick, Canadian Army combat cameraman. (Frame grab from Canadian Army Newsreel No. 49).
  • Unidentified posing as a AFPU combat cameraman with a tripod mounted Bell & Howell Eyemo camera with magazine.
  • Sgt. D.G. Skene taking film footage of German solider talking to Canadian driver concerning transportation of Allied food to Dutch civilians in German Occupied Netherlands. Credit: A. M. Stirton/DND/Library and Archives Canada.
  • Picture of large format Graphex still camera with case.
  • Lieutenant Jack H. Smith of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, who is holding a Graflex Speed Graphic press camera, London, England, ca. 1941-1942. Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • Jordan and Steve pose with a friend in full military dress and cameras.
  • Sergeant CMG "Mike" Lattion, Sergeant AH Calder, Lieutenant Charles H. Richer. Credit: Lieut. Barney J. Gloster.
  • Unidentified posing as a Canadian Army Film Unit combat camera, armed with a still camera.
  • Sgt. Joe Bickerdyke, Canadian Army combat cameraman. (Frame grab from Canadian Army Newsreel No. 49).
  • "Friends Paul and Ian who reenact with us once a year. The show is 'Ramsey at War', near Cambridge England.
  • 32764-N PUBLIC RELATIONS MEN “COVER” BIG PUSH A trio of Canadian Public Relations sergeants “covering” the Canadian part in artillery barrage which preceded the new Alliance drive on Rome. Left to right; Sgt. E. C. Anderson, Sgt. B.W. Williamson, Sgt. J.E. DeGuire. Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada
  • Jordan squints through the viewfinder of J.M. Wall motorized movie camera.
  • Sgt. Gordon Petty, Canadian Army combat cameraman. (Frame grab from Canadian Army Newsreel No. 49).
  • Detail of one of the many cameras used during reenactments.
  • Sergeant A.M. Calder (left) of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit talking with a Russian cameraman, Wismar, Germany, 7 May 1945. Credit: Lieut. Charles H. Richer / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • Jordan and friends posing at the Duxford Air Show, England.
  • Sgt. Charle Ross, unid, Sgt. Pritchard of the CFPU pose with a large 35mm production camera.
  • Steve Ann, AKA 'Pops" and friend at one of their reenactment shows.
  • Lt. Strathy E. Smith, Still Cameraman of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, photographed two (2) miles east of Hitler line. Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada.
  • Various still and movie cameras on display.
  • Personnel of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit who shot the film about the production of the United Kingdom edition of the Maple Leaf newspaper, London, England, 7 June 1945. Private E.W. Pritchard, Captain W.J. Hynes, Bombardier B.O. Gordon, Private J.F. McIsaacs. Credit: Capt. Harold D. Robinson / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • This jeep mounted photo set was taken from one original picture we think italy 44. We had made for us a custom mount to go in the gun mount of the jeep to house the Eyemo.
  • Canadian Army Film & Photo Unit. Credit: Canada. Department of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada
  • Jordan jots down some notes in his war journal as a colleague looks on.
  • Sergeants Alan Grayston and Jack Stollery of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit. Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.
  • Lieutenant R.O. Campbell (left) of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit and Corporal H.H. Mowbray with a movie camera mounted on the turret of a Sherman tank near the Hitler Line, Italy, 23 May 1944. Credit: Lieut. Strathy E.E. Smith / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada.

A father and son remember the Canadians in the Pas-de-Calais in September 1944

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I was recently contacted by a visitor to the website seeking information on the Canadian involvement during WWII around the Boulogne and Calais area of France. Specifically, Steve Ann, from Suffolk, England, was seeking the whereabouts of the Canadian Army Film & Photo Unit (CAFPU) for his research during the Fall of 1944. In exchange for information, Steve agreed to share some images of he and his son posing as U.S. Signal Corps cameramen. Looking at the images, I could not help but note that in many of the images Steve and his son Jordan posed in, were eerily similar to poses taken in many of the images of the CAFPU. So, in collaboration, Steve and I agreed to juxtapose his images with those of the CAFPU. Thanks to Steve and Jordan. Enjoy!

 

My name is Steve Ann and together with my son Jordan, We have been visiting the battlefields of the Pas-de-Calais, France for the past 17 years. We live in Suffolk, England and are approximately three hours from the battlefields of France. For us our trips combine several hobbies, world war two history, photography, re-enacting and collecting ww2 artefacts including cameras.

I am putting together a collection of my own black and white photographs of the remaining elements of the Atlantic Wall and the V Weapons sites. Many of which have been destroyed or lost to the sands of time over the years. As you know the Canadian 1st Army swept up the channel coast after D-Day, and the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division liberated the Boulogne and Calais area. In September 1944 it was one of the most heavily fortified parts of the Atlantic Wall, being nearest to England.

Where the infantry and armour went, so did the Canadian Film and Photo Unit (abbreviated to CFPU). 35mm movie footage was shot of the battles for Boulogne, Cap Gris-Nez and Calais. Cameras such as the Bell and Howell 35mm Eyemo were the main weapon of choice for the CFPU cameramen. Not only were they used hand-held or on a tripod, but some were attached to tanks in combat to capture the up close action.

When my son and I display at re-enactment shows in England, we remind the public that all the photographs and movie footage they see was actually taken by the brave men such as the CFPU; who risked life and limb to get “the shot”. Combat units featured in the headlines at the time, but the camera units were there at the front too! Brave men such as Lt. Grant and Lt. Bell

Jordan and I have often walked the Pas-de-Calais battlefields in the footsteps of the CFPU; sometimes standing on the spot where original photographs were taken. Some of the most famous photographs taken by the cameramen are the cross channel guns, of which some still remain to this day, including the Todt Battery of four casemates. One of which is now an excellent museum. I am at present researching the 25th of September 1944, and the battles of Cap Blanc-Nez, Noire Mottes and Belle Vue. All won by the Canadian units and accompanied by the CFPU.

I hope you have found this article interesting. Kind Regards, Steve and Jordan.

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