Posts - Page 4

D-Day Conneaut, Ohio, in 2015

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I am a member of a re-enacting group called la société d’histoire In Memoriam in Quebec. In 2014 we decided to participate as soldiers of the Régiment de la Chaudière at the annual D day event in Conneaut, Ohio, USA. This event has taken place every year since 1999. During the event we represent military camps in England before D-day and at the end of the weekend, we recreate the landing of allied troops on the beaches of Normandie. It was an amazing experience with more than 2000 re-enactors from all over North America.

For the 2015 event I wanted to do something different.

I looked at all the different corps and units of the Canadian army. Then, I remembered the Canadian Film and Photo Unit. A unit that I have heard of a few years before. It was perfect!  We can recreate a small unit, only few of us could go that year. We have CWAC that can work close to us. I remembered all the pictures and film that I have watched so many times since I was a little boy. I thought, if I can find the cameras, we could take pictures and try to recreate something as close as possible to the originals. I also wanted people to learn more about this fantastic group of men and women that were in the Film & Photo Unit and what they did.

I started to read everything I could find about the Film and Photo Unit and looked at all the pictures. At that time I already had all I needed for the uniform and camp. I found someone in Ontario who could recreate the Unit shoulder flash, which is so nice, by the way. Then, I started to look for the equipment and cameras. A few months later we had a Bell and Howell 35 mm movie camera and a tripod, a Speed Graphic, and a Rolleiflex plus some smaller pieces.
I posed as a Lieutenant still photographer, my brother a Sergeant with the Bell & Howell Eyemo movie camera and my sister-in-law posed as a CWAC that worked at the Film & Photo Unit Headquarters. Unfortunately, the Bell & Howell Eyemo movie camera was not working as it was modified to work only using an external motor.  We took pictures with the Rolleiflex. It was our first experience with that camera.

In the near future I expect to be able to take picture with the Speed Graphic and to use the movie camera. We now have a Contax 35 mm camera and I have found a small typewriter to write up the dope sheet. I want to recreate everything we need to do our work at the camp. In my craziest dreams, I would have a Jeep and the driver for the unit. It is only a beginning.

Voilà! It is a pleasure to share that passion for the Canadian Film and Photo Unit with you.
It is so sad that all the vet of the unit passed away.
I would have been proud to share this with them.
© Martin Merette 2015

Donald Grant in Holland

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In January, 2015 I was contacted by a journalist from The Netherlands, doing research on still photographer Lt. Donald Grant of the CFPU. Robert Jan Leerink was doing a two page story for the De Stentoran Apeldoorn-based Dutch regional newspaper. Would I happen to know when Lt. Donald Grant had passed away.

Lt. Don Grant is famously known for capturing the image of Major David Currie in the act of winning the Victoria Cross on August 19, 1944.

Major David V. Currie (left, with pistol in hand) of The South Alberta Regiment accepting the surrender of German troops at St. Lambert-sur-Dives, France, 19 August 1944.

Below is a link to the book that includes a piece on Lt. Donald Grant;

 

De Laatste Dagen • Bevrijding van de IJsselstreek, door Niek Megens e.a.

Below is the article that was published in De Stentor;

 

 

 

From: Robert Jan Leerink [mailto:rjlfoto@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 8:32 AM
To: Gervais, Dale
Subject: Donald I Grant

Hello Dale,

My name is Robert Jan Leerink and I’m doing some research for a two page story about Donald I Grant (and the Canadian Film & Photo Unit ) for the Stentor newspaper in the Netherlands.

Do you have any clue when he passed away ?

Regards
Robert Jan Leerink

Journalist
Schippershuizen 10
8131 PS Wijhe
The Netherlands

rjleerink@gmail.com