Weaponry and Wartime Experience


The “Military” Photographers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force

When the conflict began, Canada still did not have a photographic service. It used commercial photographers, who naturally stayed far behind the front. This situation was rectified on 28 April 1916 when Captain Harry Knobel became official photographer to the Canadians in France. Before falling ill and leaving the front the following August, Knobel took 650 photographs. He was succeeded by Ivor Castle, a photographer from the Daily Mirror, who was given the rank of lieutenant and subsequently snapped 800 photographs. On 4 June 1917 Castle was replaced by Honorary Lieutenant William Rider-Rider, who would soon be known for his daring. Although not obeying any specific order, Rider-Rider seemed to know where attacks would occur and would arrange to be on the spot. His daring cost him an injury. He took 2,800 negatives and would receive an MBE on the recommendation of Sir Arthur Currie. 74