Surreal colourized photos from the First World War 'tell an old story in a new way' - Macleans.ca

Surreal colourized photos from the First World War ‘tell an old story in a new way’

Vimy Foundation’s ‘They Fought in Colour’ collects 260 digitally colourized photographs showcasing Canada’s contribution to the First World War

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Canadian soldiers returning from Vimy Ridge. (George Metcalf Archival Collection 19920085-295/Canadian War Museum/Vimy Foundation)

A soldier says goodbye to his family. A politician reviews the troops. A baseball game provides a distraction from the rigours of war. These are some of the images in the Vimy Foundation’s They Fought in Colour, a new book that collects 260 digitally colourized photographs showcasing Canada’s contribution to the First World War.

Jeremy Diamond, the foundation’s executive director, calls it “a way for us to tell an old story in a new way.”

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“The faces of those individuals in many cases look like people that we know today,” says Diamond. “That made it a lot easier for people to relate to, which I think is so important when you’re talking about a story from so long ago.”

The colour was added by Mark Truelove, a B.C.-based artist who learned the process by working on his own family photos. Truelove conducted extensive research in order to get the colours as accurate as possible, from the colour of the patches on the uniforms to the weather on the day a given photo was taken.

Bill Nix returns from war. (Fonds 1244, Item 904A/City of Toronto Archives/Vimy Foundation)

 

This photo of a Canadian Aeroplane Victory Loan Float c. 1917 is one of the images in the Vimy Foundation’s ‘They Fought in Colour,’ a new book that collects 260 digitally colourized photographs showcasing Canada’s contribution to the First World War. (John Boyd, PA-025181/Library and Archives Canada/Vimy Foundation)

 

A new book by the Vimy Foundation, ‘They Fought in Colour,’ collects 260 digitally colourized photographs showcasing Canada’s contribution to the war. In this image, a game of baseball at Camp Smiths Lawn, Sept. 1, 1917. (Box 3849, Access 177-288 photo album 2/ PA-118481/Library and Archives Canada/Vimy Foundation).

 

A Canadian soldier at a Division Sports Meet does balancing fete. June 1918. (PA- 002765/Library and Archives Canada/Vimy Foundation)

 

Star athlete Cogwagee, or Tom Longboat (right), was a messenger in the army, where his long-distance running skills served him well. June 1917. (PA-001479/Library and Archives Canada/Vimy Foundation).