A visual legacy of the First World War

It was almost 100 years ago that the First World War began, yet there is still war in our world. It appears we have learned nothing.

An unnamed photo of an East End soldier taken at the time of the First World War.
An unnamed photo of an East End soldier taken at the time of the First World War.

War is terrible. People die, are maimed, they suffer from what in the world wars was called shell shock (now there are other terms, such as post-traumatic stress disorder). Let us hope everywhere in our world that fighting between nations will at last be stopped.

This article is not meant to glorify any type of armed conflict, it’s here to show the terrible results.

Here we have photographs of young soldiers who went overseas as part of Canada’s armed forces. In many cases they made the supreme sacrifice.

In these pictures we see young soldiers, and some not so young, who were proud to fight for their country, not unlike the brave soldiers who have just returned from the Afghan conflict.

In many of these pictures we know names of the soldiers, but in some cases we don’t. Our objective is to return these precious photos to the soldiers’ families – they should not be forgotten. Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren – please let us know!

These photos represent part of the history of Canada, but more specifically the East End of Toronto. These soldiers in their uniforms inspire pride. In one, a father and son are seen. In another, two brothers, and in others, friends.

We may not be able to personally thank these soldiers, but we are trying to preserve the memory of their deeds by restoring our war memorial in Kew Gardens. We cannot do this without the help of the people of the Beach, so we are reaching out to you, to help.

If you can identify any of the men in these photos, contact me through the newspaper office, so we can reunite these photos with families.

[flagallery gid=33 name=”Found photos from WWI”].




My great uncle Francis (Frank) Adderley. Through war records able to determine he lied about his age (17 at signing) on his attestation papers. He was gassed and wounded in the war but survived.
I know nothing about his life after he returned to Canada after the war. My grandfather, his younger brother Charles, moved up to Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) shortly after their father passed in 1921. Charles (Chuck) lived to be 100 but never spoke of his brother Frank and to my knowledge never visited him.
Interested to know, if possible, who identified this picture.


Leave a Reply