Once the images were sorted by geographical areas, it became apparent that the photographs were taken shortly after the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. Although we have not yet pieced together what the actual route was, that may be possible once we formulate at timeline for all the photographs. The majority of the pictures were taken in what was generically known as “Flanders”, that being the areas of Belgium and Northern France where most of the bitter fighting took place from August 1914 to November 1918. For the record, however, this was a “World War” and the battles took place across Europe, Asia, Africa, Russia, and as far away as South America. The First World War did not officially end until August 31, 1921.
The locations where the photographs were taken have been marked on a Google Earth image, which will eventually be linked to the pictures along with historical documents that explain the importance of that location and what is depicted in the images. The only location now shown here is Le Havre (France), which we believe was the final stop. For now we have the image:
The images will be linked to these locations and their history, which for ease of explanation are currently sorted into the dates set by the timeline of the war as experienced by the Canadian Expeditionary Force:
- Lille, France: March-April 1915; August 1917 (Hill 70 & Lens)
- Ypres, Belgium: April-May 1915
- Courcelette – The Somme, France: October-November 1916
- Passchendaele, Belgium: October-November 1917
- Valenciennes, France: October 1918
- Mons, Belgium: November 1918
The other images, not related to Canadian actions of the Great War include, are primarily of historic battlefield areas in Belgium:
- Waterloo: The Battle of Waterloo, June 1815 (historic details)
- La Hulpe, Belgium: The 75th Toronto Battalion & Colours prior to departure.
- The Port Cities: The British Raid on Osten, Zeebruge and Bruges, April 1918 (historic details)
Not included in any of the images are the major Canadian Offensive as part of:
- St. Eloi and Mount Sorrel, June 1916
- Battle of Arras (the storming of Vimy Ridge) in April-May 1917
- Battle of Amiens in August 1918
We know that some of the images were taken very close to the end of the war as they graphically depict dead German soldiers and a number of German prisoners. That places some of the images in the period known as “Canada’s Hundred Days“, August to November 1918.