Wednesday 22 June 2016

Canada's Most Famous War Photo Graces Stamp

It's the most famous and most recognized photo ever to be taken in Canada during World War II.  It appeared in Life, Time and Newsweek.  It hung in every school in British Columbia during the war.  And it was used to sell Canadian war bonds.  It is called "Wait for Me, Daddy!".

On October 1, 1940, a column of Canadian soldiers walked down Vancouver's Columbia Ave. to the train station.  Their uniforms freshly pressed, their hats tilted on their head at just the right angle, their boots freshly shined, their bodies trained for battle.  But one little boy wasn't ready for them to leave.  The white-blond haired boy broke away from his mother's grasp and ran after his father who was part of the column, reaching out his little hand as if to say "Wait for me, Daddy!".  His father responded by reaching out his own hand. His elegantly dressed mother reached out for her son's hand, trying to keep up.  

All the while, photographer Claude Dettloff was snapping photographs of the column of soldiers on Columbia Ave.  Unprepared for the scene to follow, he captured a once in a lifetime moment on film. His photograph would be published in The Province newspaper,  later to be picked up by several magazines including Reader's Digest.  Dettloff would become famous over the heart-grabbing image of the white-haired boy chasing his war-bound father down the street.

The little boy, Warren "Whitey" Bernard, later sold war bonds for his country, holding up the famous photo and pleading with his audience to help "bring his Daddy home".  Warren's Daddy was one of the lucky ones who returned five years later, in October 1945, for a happy reunion with his son.

No comments:

Post a Comment