CINE Personnel - Page 3

Ottawa Race Day – Vimy Challenge


Today was race day in Ottawa for the Canada Army Run;

In what turned out to be a beautiful day, over 20,000 converged on Laurier and Elgin Streets in Ottawa to participate in this unique military event.

“More than anything, though, Canada Army Run, is about Canadians and the Canadian Armed Forces – Air Force, Army, and Navy – joining together in the spirit of camaraderie and community. It’s a chance for the troops to extend the military esprit de corps to Canadians and to thank them for their support. And, it’s an opportunity for Canadians to say thanks to the men and women who serve them in so many ways at home and abroad.”

Unique for this year was the Vimy Challengewhere participants run, walk or roll officially in BOTH the 5K, presented by General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada, and 10K events.” Vimy Challenge “was added to the 2017 Canada Army Run line-up to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge (First World War).” Also new this year was the introduction of Remembrance Row; “a section along the course showcasing signs of veterans who have passed away. These veterans are connected to you the participants, and we are calling on you for submissions.”

My submission for Remembrance Row was both Norman Quick, and Charles Ross, both of the Canadian Army Film & Photo Unit. Alas, only one of the profiles was allowed per participant and Norman Quick was selected to be featured along the course on race day.

The Vimy Challenge mandated that participants had to finish the first leg (5K) before the start of the second leg (10K), 45 minutes later. I knew that I could meet the requirement of running a 5K in under 45 minutes (from previous 5K Army Runs), but I forgot to take into account that with so many participants crowded at the start line, it might take me 10 minutes just to cross the start line!

Ultimately, I was able to ‘position’ myself close to the start line and was off without a problem. My next challenge was to locate Norman Quicks profile which I knew was featured somewhere along the race route. I spotted Norman Quicks profile along the Colonel By parkway, and decided I would grab some pictures during the second leg of the Challenge, the 10K. I wanted to keep going, feeling somewhat pressured to finish the 5K with time to regroup before the 10K.

In the end, it all worked out fine and I made the start of the 10K without a problem. When I happened upon Norms’ profile again, I stopped and struggled a bit to take a selfie of me and Norms’ profile. Fortunately, one of the participants made the effort to stop and took a few pictures of me posing with Norms profile. Big thank you to Mandy Wood for helping me out – it meant a lot to me!!


After the race I stopped by the Cenotaph to acknowledge the men and women who sacrificed their lives in service to Canada.

-Lest We Forget-


WWII British & Commonwealth War Correspondent Model Set


I was absolutely stunned the other day when someone sent me an email asking me if I heard about these new model figures featuring War Correspondents that they had come across. I followed the included link and was thoroughly amazed. The link took me to a website called TRACK-LINK,

“Since (the website) came online in January 6, 1996 as one of the first AFV (Armoured Fighting Vehicle) modeling sites on the Internet, TRACK-LINK has established itself as the leading electronic resource for thousands of AFV modelers worldwide.”

Within the forums section of the website was a posting by modeler Martyn Smith. His topic; Subject: [Figures Review] Bronco Models – W.W.II British & Commonwealth War Correspondent Set


Following the link to his review, I found a very detailed and extensive review of the modeling set. Knowing I had to learn more, I reached out and contacted Martyn. Martyn agreed to share some of his review for this post. See his full review by following the link below…


Martyn was a WO2 in the Infantry (Duke of Wellington’s Regt), and retired from the British Army in 2004. Always interested in modelling he joined Track Link and wrote his first review in Sept 2009.

The modeling kit included everything needed to recreate a 1/35th scale model of one British AFPU cameraman, a British War Correspondent, and to my utter surprise, four Canadian Film & Photo Unit personnel! In an email he explains,

“When I was sent the kit I knew little about ‘our’ forces brave photographers even though I spend an extraordinary amount of time in IWM’s (Imperial War Museum’s) archive pages. I knew the pics were credited to AFPU photographers and they operated in small sections and that was about it!”

I instantly recognized the members of the Unit having been familiar with the photographs from which the models were created. Posing with their camera gear are; (Clockwise from left) Lt. Harold G. Aikman, Sgt. Lew Weekes, Sgt. Gord Petty, and another of Lt. Harold Aikman. Below them are two British military personnel; crouching on one knee is AFPU cameraman Bob Jones (yet to be confirmed – see NOTE below ), and seated at his typewriter is War Correspondent Alan Wood.

Martyn’s review describes in excellent detail some of the characteristics of the set, including a short description of the figures themselves;

“Figure “F” This is based on Lieutenant H. Gordon Aikman of the CFPU, Colombelles, France, July 1944 although he is wearing a tie rather than an open collar with a revolver shoved down it. Again he is wearing early BD Serge which was worn through the entire war period and a Mk.II steel helmet. The same problem is evident with the rim although I’m being a tad picky to be fair. He is again portrayed holding his trusty 1940-47 Anniversary Speed Graphic camera and the purist may want to replicate the ‘finder’ from fine wire.

Lt. Harold Gordon Aikman – H-101604 – Born Grandview, Manitoba, 26 JUNE, 1914

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 / PA-145496.

Figure “A” This is based on Lieutenant H. Gordon Aikman of the CFPU, Vught, The Netherlands, February 1945. He is wearing early Battle Dress (BD) Serge with a leather jacket of unknown origin (I suspect Air Force or civilian?) and is wearing a Holster, webbing, No.2, Mk.2 for a Browning pistol. The figure is supplied with an excellent rendition of the 1940-47 Anniversary Speed Graphic camera in four parts although the purists may want to add the wire frame finder from fine wire.

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 / PA-150144.

“Figure “E” This is based on Sergeant Gordon D. Petty of the CFPU Hoogerheide, The Netherlands, October 1944. He is depicted wearing early BD trousers and a field jacket I don’t recognise. He is also wearing a MkII infantry steel helmet and again this is fairly well shaped but the anti magnetic rim is oversized a bit. He is depicted filming with a Bell and Howard Eyemo on a tripod. This camera was widely used by the CFPU and AFPU.”

Gordon David Petty – B-84120 – Born August 29, 1921, Galt, Ontario

Sergeant Gordon D. Petty of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit taking cine pictures beside a shell-damaged building near Hoogerheide, Netherlands, 15 October 1944. Credit: Lieut. Ken Bell / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-136212.

“Figure “C” This is based on Sergeant Lew E. Weekes of the CFPU near Hoogerheide, The Netherlands, October 1944. He is depicted wearing early BD Serge (with the box pleat pockets) and a MkII infantry steel helmet. This is also reasonably well shaped but the anti magnetic rim is oversized a bit although I reckon this must be nigh impossible to represent properly in styrene its too fine a detail. Also provided is a very nice ’37 pattern holster for, probably, an Enfield or Webley revolver.

He is depicted reclining while filming with a Bell and Howard Eyemo motion picture or cine camera with the distinctive three-lens rotating turret, on a tripod. This is an excellent little model in its own right consisting of 13 parts some extremely tiny. Note to assemble this you’ll need to study the diagrams carefully the actual construction is shown over three different pictures. Those of figure C, figure E and a stand alone view of the camera and tripod’s left profile.”

Sergeant Llewellyn (Lew) Edwards Weekes – A-34826 – Born Vegreville, AB., March 16, 1916

Sergeant Llewellyn (Lew) Edwards Weekes of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit taking cine pictures beside a shell-damaged building near Hoogerheide, Netherlands, 15 October 1944. Credit: Lieut. Ken Bell / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-136214.

“Figure “B” – This is based on the Daily Express War Correspondent Alan Wood, Arnhem, The Netherlands, September 1944. He is depicted wearing early BD Serge (with the box pleat pockets) and a reasonably well shaped MkI airborne troops steel helmet. The typewriter is a very nice item (two are supplied) and looks to be a 1937 Underwood sat in the bottom half of its carrying case. Note the upper part of the case isn’t supplied.”

War Correspondent Alan Wood is seen typing his despatch, while Airborne troops in the background consult a map during Operation ‘Market Garden’, Holland, 18 September 1944. Smith D M (Sgt) © IWM (BU 1146)


“Figure “D” This character I have not yet identified. Like the others he is portrayed wearing early BD Serge but this time with a beret. He is provided with a RAC Mk.II pistol case for his Enfield or Webley revolver and appears to be using a Zeiss Contax II 35mm still camera acquired initially through the USA 1939-42, although it’s hard to tell from the tiny part on the sprue. Some carried pairs of cameras and a spare is provided.”

NOTE: Regarding the unidentified British cameraman, forum member Keith Mathews adds “The kneeling figure is based on a photo of still photographer Bob Jones, paired with his film cameraman Fred Palmer during the ‘Goodwood’ operation – they were responsible for many of the photos of Cromwell tanks in action. Palmer has the more typical in NW Europe ‘boxy’ Vinten “Normandy” cine camera. American, De Vry ‘lunchbox’ cameras were also in use in NW Europe.” Unfortunately the link supplied by Keith Mathews is no longer active. To visit the forum posting page click here.

If anyone has more information regarding the identity of “Figure D” please contact me at

I want to thank Dan Conlin, and Christopher Hoyt for notifying me about the Bronco Correspondent Set, and to Martyn Smith for allowing me to post sections of his 2013 Model review, he writes;

“I guess my thought on the kit are hopefully captured in the review, they’re pretty accurate, based on real characters, and it’s a refreshing change to have a chance to portray the guys taking the photos rather than those in front of the lens.”


I am very pleased to post pictures in the gallery of a finished set from the Bronco War Correspondent kit, sent to me by Jerry Plettenberg of The Netherlands.

Once again, a special warm thank you to Jerry Plettenberg who writes;

“Hi Dale…I would consider it no less than an honour to see some of my work so much appreciated it is deemed good enough to be shown on your site : ) 

Do keep the memories alive of all these heroes, CFPU included, to whom us here owe so much; our freedom to begin with!”

© Dale Gervais, January 2016

70th Anniversary D Day, JUNE 6th, 2014


JUNE 6th, 2014

Speech by Charles N. Ross

To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of D Day and the Normandy Invasion, I have posted a video excerpt of an interview with retired Sgt. Chuck Ross, former Combat Cameraman of the Canadian Army Film Unit, reading from his speech that he shared on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of D-Day, at the Edmonton Legislature in June 2005:

Below is the transcript from the speech;

“As dawn broke over the Normandy shore, the greatest combined operations the world had ever seen had begun. It was June the 6th, 1944. D-Day. The Air Force had already attacked forward and rear bridges and strong points all along the beach and in the rear areas. The Canadian Airborne Battalion jumped after midnight to capture bridges and were engaged in heavy fighting. As the landing craft were approaching the beach at Beny-Sur-Mer and Courseulles-sur-Mer they came under heavy fire from the enemy. Once on the beach our Canadian troops were in control. Juno Beach will be part of our history forever. On one of our landing craft was Sergeant Bill Grant of Vancouver getting ready to film the great footage of the Queen’s Own Rifles hitting the beach. The film footage and stills of the battle were taken by cameras of the Canadian Film and Photo Unit which was shown in North America 48 hours later. That day, Bill Grant’s footage scooped the world. The cemetery behind Juno Beach will always remind me of the cost of victory that day. Up from the beach the next battle would be the Carpiquet airfield. The enemy fought hard but the Canadians were more than a match for them. It was on to Caen and over the river Orne to Vaucelles where the Germans had retreated. Casualties were high on both sides. The road to Falaise was heavy fighting all along the way to close the gap. We were bombed by both the U.S., Canadian, and British bombers causing casualties and equipment loss for our troops. At St. Lambert-sur-Dives a squadron of tanks carried Major David Currie of the South Alberta Regiment, with a Polish Division closing the gap. Major Currie was awarded the first Victoria Cross in Normandy. On a personal note I will always remember a Sergeant with the Regina Rifles leading his squad through a grain field. His face was young but his eyes were those of a veteran who had seen it all. Those men were his responsibility. We Albertans can be very proud of our military then and now, although today it is sixty years ago. For those of us who were there at Normandy and on it will always be yesterday.”

To read more about Chuck Ross, click here…

Click the link below to visit the War Amps You Tube channel for the Canadian Army Newsreel;

Click the link below to visit the main War Amps You Tube channel;