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More important Canadian antique memorabilia the Museum has preserved.

Those Faking Combat Photographers in the Boer War - 29 of 95 Fake Combat Photos - 2

Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Fake 8 Fake 9 Fake 10

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure So, is this really a photo of men sleeping by their arms, on Dec. 30th, by Colesberg, when the cannon's roar is still?

To us it all looks too orderly by far, like it has been over perfectly directed by a photographer who liked neatness, and an officer who wanted to show his men at their best.

Note how precisely the arms are stacked and how nicely the men are lined up.

You know, exactly how it says to do it in the drill book. With feet to the rifles, so should a stack of them fall over, by accident, they wouldn't crack open a sleeping head or two...

And to make sure no dastardly Boers would attack them as they got some shut-eye, there are five armed and vigilant guards parading up and down to guard the sleeping men.

Note, there are only two kinds of actors here: the extremely vigilant guards and the extremely good sleepers; no intermediates. The photographer has given his direction.

Very much like a Hollywood crowd scene. When the director says "all cheer," every single person - without exception if they want their pay - cheers madly. A bogus show business unanimity that never happens anywhere else with any real crowd.

It's believable... to some, but not to us.

Comparing this to other photos of men on campaign trying to grab some rest this doesn't wash.

It seems just too perfectly aimed at the home front with all the faces peacefully facing the camera and the nice blankets in place to keep the men warm. Even though the sun is blasting down...

Fake #14 - When the Cannon's roar is still - sleeping by their Arms (Dec 30th) before Colesberg
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #21 And here's another similar photo with the men laid out with textbook precision.

And again five guards keeping a sharp lookout.

And again, everyone is either a guard or a sleeper. No intermediates.

Both photos seem to be "high noon" shots, with the sun making no long shadows. Seems a peculiar time for men to be sleeping then...

And both photos have exactly the same title and date.

Are these the same men but photographed from the other side? We cannot tell definitively, yes or no. Though we believe it is the same group. The two clumps of men sticking out on the right here seem to be sticking out on the left rear in the top picture.

Remember though, there is nothing suspect in having two different photos of the same sleeping men. The guards are moving about which would be normal in guarding sleeping men.

Second or third exposures do not show fakes when men are sleeping and the guards moving about.

Still we think these are posed propaganda photos to impress the home folks that the boys are well guarded, and well looked after while they sleep.

Sleeping by their arms? Not a chance.

Not a single man is sleeping in either of these clearly posed photos.

Fake #15 - When the Cannon's roar is still - sleeping by their Arms (Dec 30th) before Colesberg
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Compare the photos above with a real candid photo of men sleeping during a real campaign.

We know this photo is not a fake, like many of the stereoviews, because it was taken by Lt. James Cooper Mason, with his pocket folding Kodak, at Klip Drift, only hours before these Canadians were to fight and die on Bloody Sunday, Feb. 18, 1900.

James says he took the image at 5 am, while the men were trying to "get an hour's sleep." No shadows visible.

But note the total disarray the photo shows:

- rifles stacked randomly
- men sleeping in total disarray
- heads dangerously close to teetering rifles
- no guards visible
- not a blanket or greatcoat in sight
- countless intermediate poses, including: standing, stooping, kneeling, walking, crouching, sitting, lying
- everybody is all over the place

Hell, could you sleep, knowing that the shooting would start in hours and some of you were going to die...? 20 Canadians did.

There are other photos we could publish that show the same disarray of men at rest, that suggests the earlier two photos are staged propaganda photos to show how nicely the men sleep on the veldt.

Canadians Sleeping, Klip Drift, 5 am, Feb. 18, 1900 - Lt. James Cooper Mason
Orig. Mason photo - Image Size - 8.5 x 8.5 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON

James' handwritten notes on this photo testify that this is a classic shot of men sleeping during an actual campaign, not a photo op, for the folks back home.

Lord Roberts had just started his huge invasion of the Boer republics six days before. The Canadians were sleeping among the British Tommies, on enemy territory, and only hours before the opening shots of the Battle of Paardeberg, where both they, and the British army as well, would sustain their highest number of battlefield casualties of the entire Boer War. For most of some 348 men who would die in the battle, it would be their last sleep.

James' comments also show the men did not like sleeping out when the sun was strong - which is clearly the case in the earlier two posed photos above. So why do it?

Because the photographer's needs are not those of the men, so out they go to do a reenactment for him, even if the lighting is not accurate for a sleeping sequence.

Below are some of the very boys who are sleeping above and never survived the battle, on the plain below.


Go to the Boys at Paardeberg
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Another so called "battle action" picture, supposedly of British Scouts firing on a Boer Patrol.

Not likely Scouts though. Scouts were mounted, and rode out, usually in groups of four, far from the regular army. Perhaps these four might have their horses - and bandoliers - out of camera range.

But no way would they be accompanied on a potentially dangerous patrol by a cameraman toting his bulky stereoview camera. Never.

If you allowed that they are infantrymen, doing guard duty nearby, are they firing on a Boer patrol?

No way. They're aiming all over the horizon...

A Boer patrol would be made up of two or three riders, sticking close together. No way would they be strung out. Hundreds of yards away or more they would be a single point target from this vantage point.

Riding close together, if they were nearby, they would be the point of an obtuse triangle whose sides would be the rifles of the two outside Scouts, pointing sharply inwards, angled towards each other.

If the Boers were a mile away, they would be the apex of a sharply pointed acute triangle.

In fact none of these rifles form the sides of the necessary triangles. All are aimed at different places on the horizon that are at least a mile or more apart.

So, far from being the base of an acute triangle, aiming at a single point, the men themselves are the point from which their rifles "fan out" and are aimed all over the horizon. This would only work if the Boers were strung out over a mile apart.

Using the foreground shooter as a model, see how his helmet is aligned with his line of fire. Note how the other helmets, that should be aligned with his, supposedly focusing on the same target, are all, instead, pointing in all different directions.

Exactly as if the photographer had said "Make like you're shooting at something." Not having a real Boer patrol to shoot at, each picked his own imaginary target.

The photo editor back home, not a military man, then made up the fancy title, for this staged fake action photo.

Fake #16 - British Scouts Firing on a Boer Patrol (Jan 10th) near Colesberg, S. Africa

Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Grange-Over-Sands, UK

In fact what you very likely have, in the background - thanks to a powerful loupe - is the dust cloud from a British transport convoy, made up of several wagons, or an artillery troop, unexpectedly lumbering across the plain, raising a dust cloud, and contaminating a supposed battle scenario. It is unguarded, with no escort, meaning no Boers within 100 miles. A Black guide may very well be walking in front, to pick the best path. The Tommies are clearly not aiming at them; clearly they don't regard them as the hostiles. Besides, no Boer patrol would come this close to a British transport column so close to a substantial British encampment. What's there to patrol? With the men on the kopje, the transport wagons on the plain, the British are obviously in this area in force. So what you have here is what every movie cameraman hates - a jet plane appearing in the sky, when he's trying to shoot a cowboy and Indian scenario.

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #20 And just to prove our point, again, that compromising secondary exposures clearly identify staged "action" pictures.

Time has clearly passed, with what appeared to be a lumbering wagon train above, turning out to be more likely a troop column but still with a single scout out front.

But the men are holding their positions pretty well, and as before, aiming, and supposedly shooting, all over the horizon...

Now how likely is all that?

This second, later exposure undermines the earlier photo and caption.

The men are patently still not firing on the approaching column which they know is certainly British.

Furthermore, no Boer scouts would be in a group that size.

And no Boer column on the move would carelessly blunder into and approach an area that is obviously held by the British in force.

Their scouts would have informed them and their commando would be miles away, and heading in the opposite direction.

The men are good actors though. Even though at least two minutes or more have elapsed between the two exposures of a supposed "firing on the Boers" scenario, they have kept stock still in their positions.

Hell the creases in their pants and tunics haven't budged a single iota.

Now how likely is that in a battle sequence, as opposed to following a photographer's directions to "Hold that pose while I reset the camera."

Fake #17 - British Scouts Firing on a Boer Patrol (Jan 10th) near Colesberg, S. Africa
Orig. plate - Image Size - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure This caption says it shows defenders of New Zealand Hill, without pretending to be a combat photo.

Clearly the caption above for the "British Scouts Firing on a Boer Patrol" would have been a far better fit for this group.

Note how the rifles of the three shooters form the sides of an acute triangle that clearly pinpoints a single target in the distance. Their rifles point inwards.

But they're not shooting; their heads are up. They are merely pointing at something, probably for effect for the photographer.

After all they are high up on a hill, with the plain, across which the Boers would attack, far below. If there were any, their rifles should be pointing downwards instead of straight ahead into space.

Fake #18 - New Zealand Hill defenders and distant hills held by the Worcesters (Jan 25th) Slingersfontein
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Kingston, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Wow is right... This photographer has followed the Worcesters to the top of a kopje and is, in fact, ahead of them with his camera set up.

Without getting shot.

Now how probable is that?

Another good action picture though... Very well composed.

But then the cameraman had lots of time. No Boers about, so he could direct the poses for his viewfinder.

Nevertheless, as a real battlefield picture, completely fake...

"...charging a kopje, and facing death..."

Not on your life.

No one was paying the photographer enough.

And none of the men would risk their lives for a silly photo.

But there was one brave Canadian, who did just that...

Go to The World's First Real Combat Photo

But luckily in Canada you don't have to go back a hundred years to find photo fakes; Canada's modern civil servant historians produce them like sausage, as we speak...

Go to Fake Canadian Boer War Photos
Go to You Guys Sure Made Me Laugh 43 Times
Fake #19 - The Worcesters charging a Kopje and facing death near Norval's Pont
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #11 If you're still not convinced it's a fake, we present another almost identical photo we've uncovered, which is much more dramatic than the first one.

It features a man being shot and falling back during the advance.

A great idea the photographer had, to make the photo more dramatic, but, since the earlier photo was also issued, it completely undermines any pretence that these were real candid battlefield action photos, caught on the fly, during intense action.

Note the complete nonchalance - in both photos - of the man kneeling on the left who has maintained his completely "at ease" position even though he's just seen a man being shot in front of him...

There is clearly a significant time delay between the two photos, allowing for the sudden appearance, and repositioning of the extra man in the middle.

In the first photo he was crouched further up the hill. In this photo the photographer repositioned him - his feet - downhill to get better composition for his death act nearer the middle of the frame.

The kinetics are all wrong too. In the earlier photo the victim leans forward, like the other men. If he were shot he would pitch forward on his face, not stand up, move his feet downhill, and fall back in dramatic form.

This is the same problem with the faked "Death of a Loyalist" Bob Capa photo.

Go to Bob Capa You Fake...

Meanwhile, while all this is going on, all the other three main actors have been frozen into their place in the photo frame by the photographer.

He clearly did not want to lose his fine composition within the frame, by having the men charging on, you know, after the Boers...

Fake #20 - The Worcesters charging a Kopje and facing death near Norval's Pont
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Grange-Over-Sands, UK
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #12 A duplicate view of the same photo was issued with another entirely different military unit doing the charging.

This time it is the Gloucesters, not the Worcesters, who are facing death...

Take your pick of which fake you would better believe.

Sales of this stereoview would be better in Gloucestershire than the other one which would do better in Worcestershire.

A salesmanship consideration when devising captions.


Fake #21 - The Gloucesters charging a Kopje and facing death, near Norvals Pont (Feb 3rd)
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Rogart, UK
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Another supposed combat stereoview which has the look of real action, with the men all believably exposed to possible enemy rifle fire, and the photographer, sort of, hanging back, somewhat...

Except, where are the horses? These look like ordinary infantrymen, not Mounted Infantry, foot soldiers with rifles who were put on horses to be able to close with a mounted enemy faster.

The common photos of MI units feature the men posed prominently with their horses and bandoliers - their most usual identifying features. The MI was a British Boer War invention to try to make infantrymen more effective in fighting a highly mobile mounted enemy.

MI units did work in groups of four, like pictured here - one is on the skyline above the middle man - but one of the men would hang back to hold the horses while the other three scouted ahead. Here all four are scouting. Who's looking after their horses?

So this is a highly untypical photo of supposed "Mounted Infantry" at work.

Still the photographer, or someone, says they are "feeling" for the enemy on June 4, 1900, the day before the British Army entered Pretoria.

Fake #22 - British Mounted Infantry feeling for the Enemy morning of June 4th, 1900 - South Africa
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #13 Another duplicate of the above photo shows conclusively that they are both fakes.

Note how, in both photos, all the men - there are at least two others now visible in the middle, and one further up the hill on the right - in a supposed candid action photo, are literally frozen in situ into a very awkward pose by the photographer, who told them clearly to assume a leaning forward, walking stance, while he took multiple exposures.

In a real candid photo the leaning and feet apart would be normal. But by the time the photographer got to shoot again the subjects would have moved significantly forward, and assumed a different body and foot position in subsequent exposures.

Not the case in these two photos. All the soldiers are nailed into place to give the photographer the composition he wanted for his "keeper" image.

But there is a major change which shows these are faked photos, done as completely separate set-ups.

This photo is not a studio manipulation of a single image. Cropping the wide angle photo above to the dimensions of the narrow field of view of this one, would not give you the same juxtaposition of men and background.

Only changing to a telephoto lens - and perhaps slightly the camera position - could create the difference in these images, notably increasing the front to back compression, giving the men greater prominence, and reducing the terrain behind them. It means there was a significant time lapse between the exposures. Yet the men are frozen into the same place in both... It means they were acting, far from the enemy, not scouting on an active battlefield.

Newfangled telephoto lenses were being used for the first time in the Boer War.

Cropping with the telephoto, the photographer kept the same bottom framing, but has narrowed the field of view and brought the men's heads up against the skyline, and eliminated much background terrain.

While the cameraman diddled with his equipment, changed lenses, and camera position, the seven men stoically kept their awkward body positions.

Scouting...? "Feeling for the Enemy"...? Not a chance. No hostile Boers in this county, or the next. Idle time...

Duplicates again, betray these as fake combat photos.

Fake #23 - British Mounted Infantry feeling for the Enemy morning of June 4th, 1900 - South Africa

Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Chicago, IL

All the photo duplicates we've shown testify that the actors held their poses for a considerable length of time, while the photographer, added more actors, or changed camera positions or lenses, Standing still out in the open meant that they made ideal targets for the Boer commandoes that they were supposedly scouting, or charging, or holding off, whatever. The best possible proof that there were no Boer snipers anywhere within a hundred kms of where these supposed battle pictures were posed.

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #14 The soldiers, in this completely identical photo, says the photographer, or somebody, are Montmorency's Scouts...

Except that "scouting" units in the Boer War, were of necessity, in the most mobile war in history - to that time - mounted units. These are clearly infantrymen. And infantrymen were of no use scouting out fast moving Boers on horses.

And it is now claimed that the photo was taken a long way from Pretoria, but far to the south, at Dordrecht, where a different general and army were confronting a different set of Boers.

And now the date is supposed to be six months earlier, Dec. 29th (1899), not June 4 (1900).

Perhaps someone is confusing Dornkop where Bobs fought a battle on May 29, 1900, with Dordrecht. Is that what they're trying to say the first picture illustrates?

There were no British troops anywhere near Dornkop - near Pretoria in the heart of the Transvaal Republic - in December, 1899. Bobs did not start on his famed March to Pretoria until February 1900.

The captioning in the photos is so totally all over the wall, the picture looses all credibility as a historical document, except as another example of war combat photography fakery.

What we really have is a photo of seven men, on a day off, seconded to pose for the stereoview photographer with his cumbersome camera, and make like they're looking for Boers, who are, of course, nowhere in the same county...

Fake #24 - Montmorency's Scouts Finding Boer Positions near Dordrecht Dec. 29th - South Africa
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... Poor Action Photo - Note how the Boers were careful to shoot all the downed soldiers close to the front of the camera, and nicely distributed across the frame...

Shot in the Arse... Note too the bugler at the rear with his bugle up, foreground right who has turned his back on the supposed deadly fire from the kopje top. How would he ever explain a bullet wound in the arse while supposedly blowing the charge for men mostly ahead of him?

That alone tells you this photo is a fake, a typical acting mistake that happens in battle recreations when a director/cameraman wants a bugler visible in his photo and has him turn around to face the camera, at considerable risk to his self-respect.

Tit for Tat - In exchange for the loan of soldiers to stage a combat scene, the photographer gave the army wonderful spin on how well its medics were giving first aid, to show the folks back home how well the army was looking after their boys.

In fact the truth was that many wounded lay on the battlefields for many hours, some for days, before they were ever discovered. Many bled to death or starved before they were found.

So a good army propaganda photo.

"Storming a Kopje?" (A rocky hill in South Africa) Not on your life; guaranteed, no Boers for miles.

And no, this - like all the others - was never intended to be taken as a fake battle photo or a staged recreation, but was publicized as a completely genuine candid battlefield action photo.

We know this because, on a rare few stereoviews, the supposed "action" - which we've exposed as fraudulent - was carefully described in detail on the back as a real firefight.

The deceit was deliberate war propaganda because the photographer would have told his bosses that all these action scenes were faked to fool the ignorant public. (see Below)

Fake #25 - Gallant Storming of a Boer Kopje by the Suffolks at Colesberg South Africa...

Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Porkopolis, OH

"Gallant storming" - not a chance. Long before this many Tommy infantrymen got a chance to get this close to Boers on a kopje, they would have galloped away and be miles away by now. This is a recreation, not of a gallant storming at all, but the occupation of a former Boer stronghold - if it even ever was, instead of just another movie prop, a handy hill next to the British camp. Nothing gallant; nothing dangerous; just leisurely walk in - very evident here - and sit down, the only thing infantrymen were good at for most of the Boer War, which was mostly a fast moving, mobile, cavalry-based war.

Wounded on a Battlefield - There is no doubt that Canadians bled to death before help could get to them, at the Battle of Paardeberg on Bloody Sunday, Feb. 18th, 1900.

During the worst day of casualties for the British Army in the entire Boer War numerous Canadians were shot down in the early afternoon. Because the Boer defensive fire was so strong no medics could reach them.

They lay there for the rest of the day, on into the night, when medics started to try to find the casualties under the cover of darkness. Without doubt several bled to death during the 12 to 15 hour wait for first aid. (In fact there are stories from other battlefields, of dead soldiers found weeks after a battle, when help never came because the action covered a lot of rough ground.)

Canadian Lt. James Cooper Mason, who was one of the severely wounded at Paardeberg - where he had also taken the world's first genuine combat photo that afternoon - waited in vain to be discovered and helped. In the dark he finally had to drag himself back to his lines.

Go to James at Paardeberg
Buglers at the Back - Buglers - mostly young boys - would have been incensed with this photo showing them cowering ignominiously behind the advancing troops and cosying up with the photographer, instead of being up front with the officers and the action.

14 year old Bugler John Shurlock right became a national hero for shooting three Boers personally during the charge at Elandslaagte in October, 1899.

14 year old Bugler Dunne at Colenso (Dec. 1899) was wounded in the front ranks of the Irish Fusiliers as they were shot down by scores trying to cross the Tugela River. He also lost his bugle in the firefight. Queen Victoria visited him in hospital and gave him a new one.

At Magersfontein (Dec. 1899) a boy bugler, Willie Milne, lies buried among the Boers.

14 year old Canadian bugler Douglas Williams actually exposed himself to murderous Boer rifle fire at Paardeberg by leaping on an anthill and blowing the charge.

Go to Boys at War
Go to Brave Bugle Boys
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #15 With apologies for the abysmal quality, we offer another version of this almost identical supposed genuine combat photo.

But its existence, and what it demonstrates, is good enough to make our point that neither is real, but are faked battle images when no enemy Boers were anywhere within a hundred miles.

The cameraman took this simpler photo first. Then started to improve on the staging, till he ended up with the above photo.

In the earlier scouting scene the cameraman took time to change lenses between similar photos.

Which showed that the actors "held the pose" while the photographer fumbled with his equipment and staging.

Remarkably, here too, neither the men at the back, or the front, "move on" during the lengthy interval.

This time the cameraman has definitely moved his camera further to the left after taking this image, with the forward casualty lining up with the right side of the kopje top rocks, not the left, as shown here.

Moving his bulky camera, and doing the new set-up, would have taken some time.

The new set-up included adding additional actors to his photo: a patient, a medic, and a bugler.

In a real battle action, the combatants would have moved on a considerable distance in the interval - note how their legs are in a walking stance - and the cameraman's photo would have lost them to his foreground composition.

Yet the main foreground actors - actually almost all the reenactors - are still virtually in the same place in both pictures, with their legs apart, even though considerable time has obviously passed between the exposures...

So they are dutifully responding to the instructions of the photographer, not their officer commanding them to charge the Boers during a supposed firefight.

Still the scene seemed rather lifeless, so the photographer took even more time to pose the bugler, another "wounded" man and medic, to take up other positions among the two casualties shown here, to further tart up an image featuring no fewer than two iconic "offering water to wounded heroes" shown on various other Boer War faked battle photos.

Much improved staging - not the fearless bravado of a heroic combat photographer in the midst of a firefight - made the earlier photo a superior production to this lacklustre first attempt at a "combat photo."

Fake #26 - Gallant Storming of a Boer Kopje by the Suffolks at Colesberg South Africa...

Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Rivertown, OH

Below: By comparing uniform, helmet, and packsack similarities we have identified 11 principal foreground figures with identical numbers in both pictures, which allows you to see the amount of movement ("gallant storming" towards the Boers) each made while the photographer fiddled his staging.

We have not been able to identify #11 who is one of the 3 new figures added in the same spot in picture #2: a patient, a medic, and a bugler. Note, while patient #10 is trashing about - so he's not dead - no one pays the slightest attention, as he rolls on his face and presumably smothers to death... Lousy emergency first aid technique for sure, but hey, everyone knows he's just acting...

It's pretty clear these Tommies will not be doing their "gallant storming" until the photographer gives the "all clear"... And that will be some time. We believe he even took time to have the head of #10 swathed with bandages to add more punch. While he has everyone else keep their feet firmly planted and their body stance unchanged, both at the rear, and front of his staged "attack."

A dead give-away. Note how, in all the time that is elapsing, while the cameraman changes camera position, and adds new actors and casualties in the foreground, nothing is moving at all at the head of the attack, where the men supposedly closest to the Boers during the "gallant storming" would be either charging or heading for cover...

Instead they are clearly acting on "standby" orders from the photographer.

The five figures we feature at the top of the kopje are not budging at all, let alone "storming" the kopje, including the rifleman who never even tilts the angle of his weapon in all that time. All stand around offering extremely inviting targets for Boer snipers, if there were any...

Furthermore: if there really were Boers at the top of the kopje there would be literally dozens of dead Tommies lying in windrows across the foreground.

Massed together like this, it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Boer farmers had an awesome reputation as extremely skilled riflemen at extraordinary distances.

This close to this massed attack scenario the Boers could shoot blindly anywhere and get one or two with each bullet without fear of any consequence of being shot themselves.

Remember that out of the scores of British "attackers" not a single one, in any of the exposures, has his rifle up to shoot. Which proves our point: no Boer within a hundred miles; no "storming" going on.

Clearly the title was made up by the jingoistic media back home, to promote support for the war.

Afghanistan War Mongering Canadian Media - Pathetically, nothing much has changed in a hundred years. From 2005 - 2011, the editorial boards of Canada's top three newspapers (Toronto Globe & Mail, the Toronto Star, the National Post) and their jingoistic calumnists, Christie Blatchford and Rosie DiManno, pulled out all the stops to whip up war fever and anti-Muslim fervour, to promote Canada's race war against the Muslims in Afghanistan. (The shooting troops of George Bush's NATO's CWILLKILL (Coalition of the Willing to do the Killing) contingents were all white European Christian soldiers; the targets were all non-white Muslim women, children, and men.)

The Canadian people - the most sophisticated, most informed, and best educated electorate in history - wouldn't buy any of the unctuous editorializing or Christie's and Rosie's war-mongering rants, and always disapproved of this race war carried out by Canada's political, corporate, and media elites, against the wishes of the vast majority of the citizens. Many people cancelled their subscriptions, sending the newspapers' bottom line into a tailspin, halted only by a massive infusion of advertising that in the Toronto Star now comprises well over half of the column space in its first main section. The jingoistic rants in the media didn't work and Canadian 24.3% Prime Minister Harper was finally forced to bring the "fighting" troops home. Sort of; he cagily managed to leave half of them there - still armed to the teeth - just creatively rebranded as "trainers."

"Gallant Storming of a Boer Kopje by the Suffolks at Colesberg South Africa"

"In War, Truth is the first casualty." - Aeschylus

The back of some of these stereoviews have detailed information on the war, and what the photo purports to be showing.

And accounts for why these many faked combat photos have been passed off as genuine for 100 years.

In fact ebay sellers are continually selling them as real when the most minimal critical examination will show they are staged.

Victorian viewers, who were mostly home-bodies - international tourism was unknown for ordinary people except for those who signed up for military duty - and had access to few "outside" voices of reference, to compare what their media bosses were feeding them, ate these up as real.

Inflamed to passion - the point for all these "combat photos" - viewers eagerly supported the war.

The backs make it absolutely certain that deceiving the public was the clear intent of these fake combat photos. Some of the captions already hinted at propaganda fakery. Printed backs like this absolutely confirm it.

Starting with normal informational descriptions, these cards seamlessly segue into trumped up hype on what is supposed to be going on, but is not:

"... hence this fierce charge."

"This one is a live volcano, pouring out a deadly fire on the men..."

And they wring out the tears for all they're worth:

"Ten minutes ago these poor fellows on the ground were as full of energetic vigour as if they were come out for a cricket-match."

In fact the "wounded" men will be up and about as hale and hearty as all the others, just as soon as the photographer gives the "all clear."

Truth be told, the men are out on a romp, posing for the camera, just as if it was a cricket-match. All in good fun on a day when not much else was happening. It offered a welcome distraction to peeling potatoes, slaughtering sheep, and doing latrine duty.

Grousing Grunts, Then - Indeed, infantrymen like these, had a poor war, spending almost the entire time, camping, marching, and waiting for stuff to happen that rarely ever did. Letters home routinely complained that they never even saw a Boer they could shoot at.

The Boers refused to offer themselves as targets but resorted to guerrilla warfare in order to try to defeat the invaders of their homelands.

This was the same tactic used traditionally by Afghan freedom fighters to eject invaders of their homelands (British, Russian, NATO CWILLKILL). Modern invading grunts are predictably unhappy. ***see below.

In fact it was camping out, that killed the majority of Boer War soldiers, and the disease that spread among them in the unsanitary conditions in which they lived, ate, and drank, not the dastardly Boers at all.

So doing a battle scene was a welcome hoot for them all.

There will indeed, be "gaps in the roll call" but the corpses in this photo will not be among them.

***Grousing Grunts, Now - In 2009-2011, several Canadian journalists reported from Afghanistan that Canadian soldiers complained constantly of not getting an opportunity to shoot off their guns and rifles at Afghan "terrorist" targets, you know, the "detestable murderers and scumbags" noted by Canadian top General "Killer" Hillier.

It was he who had recruited Canadian boys and girls, and loudly primed them with his famously brash promise that their job - the Canadian Forces' job - in Afghanistan, was "to be able to kill people." People, he said; his choice of words.

He apparently didn't seem to distinguish targets by age or sex. It appeared that any Afghan or Muslim would do for this gung-ho - and Canada's most Americanized - general.

(In fact he reminded us very much of US General William Westmoreland of Vietnam fame, you know, the guy who tabulated victory by using his famous "body count" of "Gooks" index, which ultimately included over 1 million Vietnamese men, women, and children - but no victory.

He inspired Lt. Calley of My Lai fame to butcher 500 unarmed "Gook" civilians, mostly women and children.)

It is a surprise to no one that the grousing trigger-happy CWILLKILL (Coalition of the Willing to do the Killing) grunts, noted by Canadian journalists, and which Hillier once commanded, killed thousands of Muslim women and children. And continue to do it, relentlessly, every week... including another 8 women and 3 children on July 7, 2011.



Lest We Forget - The killing, by NATO CWILLKILL soldiers, of countless Afghan civilians will be Canada's most searing and enduring legacy in Afghanistan, with both Afghans and 1.4 billion Muslims around the world, bitterly uttering the names of thousands of dead innocent Muslim women and children, in the same breath as Lidice (Czechoslovakia, 1942), Kalavryta (Greece, 1943), Oradour-sur-Glane (France, 1944), Via Rasella (Italy, 1944), and Gaza (Israel, 2009.)

All innocent victims, then and now, of the Dogs of War, unleashed by conniving politicians, tribal fanatics, and their corporate cronies.

"And at the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them...
Lest We Forget."











flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Corroborative proof that the photo of the Suffolks "storming a kopje" was intended to be taken as real comes from the most eminent illustrative publication of the late Victorian Era, the Navy & Army Illustrated.

On June 2nd, 1900, it featured the "storming of the kopje by the Suffolks" on the title page and added the caption we reproduce below.

The photo it used, came from a stereoview camera, and was identical to stereoview #28 above, before the scene was tarted up to look better.

The caption, in general terms, is true enough as to Boer tactics, but that is not what is going on here.

If the men were bunched by accident - an explanation for the photo which the military authors dreamed up because they saw the ludicrous nature of the supposed "charge" when the photo was supplied to them - and if the Boers really did wait till the last minute, before leaving, then a lot more Tommies would be littering the ground. Guaranteed.

So the deception, and pro-war propaganda, related to fake combat photos was carried out by the most popular illustrative magazine of the Victorian Age.

Fake #27 - Navy & Army Illustrated Magazine Title Page, June 2, 1900

Orig. magazine - Size - 25 x 37 cm
Found - London, UK

Some 13 heavy and lavishly illustrated volumes of the Navy & Army Illustrated were issued during the 1890s, and early 1900s. They contain thousands of photos of British officers and men, of the British Army and Navy, as well as of the ships, guns, and equipment they used.

Here, for comparison, is how British soldiers really attacked a kopje when a colonel was directing the men, during a real battle, instead of an inept photographer on a rest day.

This shows the Canadians - top left - at Sunnyside on Jan 1, 1900, during their first ever action in a battle in South Africa.

The Boers are on the distant kopje and the Canadians - as drawn from life, by a correspondent/artist who was there - are widely spread out so they would not be easy targets for the Boers.

The men are many paces apart, left to right and front to back, to minimize targets, as they really do march to "storm" the distant kopje.

In fact no Canadian was killed in this successful attack which routed the Boers off the kopje.

The troops in the foreground are only bunched because they are reserve troops, far out of rifle range.

Which makes the "Storming of the Suffolks" - done on the very same day (Dec. 31, 1899) as the Canadian attack, but in a different theatre of war - such a hoot as a combat photo. It's theatre - bad theatre.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Fake #28 - Methuen's gallant infantry storming a Kopje at Gras Pan, South Africa
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Napanee, ON
Ooops... #16 - To show how confusing everything becomes when fake combat scenes are staged - they can be done any time, anywhere - is the caption for this completely identical stereoview.

This purports to be Methuen's men charging at Graspan; the earlier one, French's troops - the Suffolks - charging at Colesberg. Two entirely different armies, generals, and locations.

It can't be both Graspan or Colesberg. Clearly, one of these is a fake.

We say, both are...

"Joe, can you remember where we did those fake charges up the hill? Was that with French at Slingersfontein, or with Methuen at Belmont?"

The Suffolks were not in Methuen's army - they were under General French - and never fought at Graspan in November, 1899, when, in fact, they were just getting off their troop transport in Cape Town. They launched their celebrated charge up a kopje at Colesberg, on Jan. 5-6, 1900.

Take your pick of Generals, regiments, and locations...

The only thing for certain - it's a fake, whatever else it is or purports to show.

Here is our ebay seller again, with another stereoview he's hustling as a real battle photo.

capt_harry_flashman on ebay is an old hand at promoting supposedly genuine antique items to whet the appetite on the flimsiest or nonexistent facts, and creating provenance were none existed.

Go to fake bugle

"My favourite of all the stereoviews I have ever owned of the Boer War," is of course a fake combat photo.

"There is so much happening," is of course, all faked by a regiment during downtime to help out a photographer.

This was staged, not during a battle, but "instead" of a battle as we have clearly demonstrated.

It's, in fact, a very poor reenactment of what really went on in the Boer War.

Had the men charged up hills like this, closely packed together, they would have been shot down by the scores and hundreds.

So contrary to the ebay hustler, this does not at all "really conveys the sense of chaos of the small skirmishes that the British kept fighting throughout the war."

One of a large series of fake combat images staged by Boer War photogs for the commercial trade to profit from war hysteria back home.

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure This could be the reverse angle of the photos above.

Obviously a staged photo with the photographer and his bulky camera set up on top of the kopje where the Boers usually are.

This is a classic example of how troops, that were at rest camps, or in war theatres from which the Boers had fled, were put at the disposal of commercial photographers who were making propaganda pictures for the home front.

The British Tommies, in fact, did not charge the kopjes like this. If they had they would have been shot down in droves. Even a blind man could have scored a hit with every shot.

In fact when attacking kopjes, the men were spread many paces apart to avoid being shot by Boers who were all expert shots from their hunting background.

This supposed bunching in a charge is entirely a silly photographer's creation and does not show the "bravest" but the most foolhardy, if it were true.

The title at least could pass as merely a demo of "how it was done," and does not claim to be an actual attack in progress.

Still it's more than a bit of a joke. Notice how the men in the rear are marching with rifles in the "slope arms" position - resting on the shoulder - used when leisurely walking from place to place. Never during an attack or an impending attack.

We know this photo was taken before the one below.

Actor #1 is walking towards, and ends up behind, another man before the second exposure was made. Actors #2 are weary of standing and squat.

But the interesting thing is that while these show time passing none of the other actors are really moving, showing it's "hurry up and wait for the photographer" not the "storming of a kopje."

Fake #29 - The way Britain's Bravest charge the Kopjes - Boer War
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #17 - We have managed to find another compromising near duplicate - the bane of fake combat photographers, hoping to have their pictures recognized as real candid combat snapshots - of the same photo .

The title here claims this is an actual photo of the "fearless Suffolks storming the Kopje," a title duplicating the earlier similarly captioned photo taken from the plain below.

That ties the photos together as the same occasion - a photo op when no Boers were about. The photographer carried his heavy stereo camera up the hill and snapped several exposures from there.

(Struggling up a rough and rugged, boulder-strewn kopje, is extremely difficult work. Having, numerous times, carried a heavy - some 70 lbs. - television tripod mounted camera up rugged kopje hillsides, tripping and falling over tilting rocks, more than once, we cannot possibly believe any cameraman could do this under fire, even if he wanted to. Let alone survive to snap pictures of an attack on top.)

Note the bayonets, which are only out if hand-to-hand fighting is expected, or, as is the case here, if the photographer wants them on, to make a better picture. Certainly the photographer wouldn't turn his back on dastardly Boers just behind him...

Note how the "storming" Suffolks are standing patiently in the plain below while the photographer organizes his front actors to better effect. "Hey mate, aim the rifle a bit lower so we can see the bayonet better."

Down below, our #2 Tommies, who grew tired of standing around, are squatting and probably having a smoke.

So much for the "fearless Suffolks storming."

Fake #30 - The fearless Suffolks storming the Kopje, Colesberg, SA, Dec. 31st - many of them were captured later
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Rogart, UK
While the foreground actors are virtually frozen into position, the photographer has decided to add corpses for this exposure.

Which is why, in doing forensics on photos, it is important to get the most detailed blow-up possible. The photographer can lie, but the camera picks up compromising detail that escaped the faking photog. Once again, taking multiple exposures while everyone stands around ruins a good fake combat scene.

While all five men behind 3 stand immobile he drops dead... Actor 4 squats in situ, and actor 5 drops dead, out of the frame...

Comparing the uniforms, helmets, and actor placings allows us to compare the identity of the men in this fake combat photo.

It's all quite leisurely really. The two men to the right of 2 are both smoking, probably pipes.

While the Boers are shooting at them... No wonder they're called "fearless" and "Britain's bravest" in the captions.

But, what about the photographer? Hell he stands and takes at least two photos, and turns his back, while the Boers are shooting through his legs...?

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Stereoviews showing masses of Tommies bristling with guns, and standing close together were all bogus battle pictures, regardless of what the captions said, purely designed to convince the folks back home that the British were invincible.

And they were desperately needed when, in the opening months of the war, the Boers scored huge battlefield and propaganda victories against the most powerful army on the globe.

This is a classic photo of how the war against the Boers was NOT fought.

Both the caption and the "formation in which they met an attack" are ludicrous.

Boer victories were successful because they fought intelligently not because they charged these massed rifles in suicidal charges.

All their victories were defensive battles, in which they turned British attacks into celebrated routes and notable victories that stunned the world in the fall of 1899 and early 1900.

This British square formation, stemming from Napoleonic times, to stop cavalry charges, was last used in the Sudan in 1898 when the Mardi's suicidal warriors charged and were killed in the thousands.

This is a nothing if not merely a souvenir photo of the way war was fought BEFORE the Boer War, exactly because Boers refused to carry on war in the old way.

They applied intelligence to warfare, not mindless bravado and glorious charges into impossible odds.

Fake #31 - Royal Munster Fusiliers - formation in which they met an attack at Warrenton (April 7th)
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Another phony Boer War photo set up, is the classic lineup to repel a Napoleonic cavalry charge, from days when it was customary for entire regiments to charge these lines en masse.

Men were still trained in the old way, and this scene was done during training or a photo op, decidedly not "to meet a Boer cavalry charge at Naauwpoort."


Fake #32 - Col. Porter's Men ready to meet Boer Cavalry Charge on Naauwpoort (Dec. 13th)
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Again a drill exercise, done for the photographer - note the very fine camera framing.

And by no stretch of the imagination a combat photo of "the firing line at Colesberg."


Fake #33 - The "South Lancashires," on the Firing Line at Colesberg
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure By now you should be able to pick out all the reasons why this is a fake candid battle photo, arranged by a - well not too bright - photographer with troops at his disposal.

The men are wonderfully hunkered down, and protected in trenches. They're not taking any chances of being shot as they "hold back the Boers."

Not so the brave photographer, who has his big stereo camera on a tripod high above the parapet, offering a wonderfully exposed target for those dastardly attacking Boers.

Note too the fringe actors the photographer forgot to "arrange," and now serve only to spoil the story he was trying to tell with all those men at his disposal.

Namely the horse's ass, so bravely pointed into the hail of fire from the Boers.

And the two figures walking leisurely about, on a supposed battle scene, including an officer carrying a map, sauntering calmly towards the trenches. He is decidedly not running for cover.

No real shooting is going on. No puffs of smoke. And the rifles are all uniformly horizontal on the parapet. And just as expected, the only one really aiming his rifle as if to shoot is next to the photographer who is urging him on.

Clearly the men are all, uniformly, in "getting ready to fire mode" but it's not against the Boers but for the photographer.

Fake #34 - In the Orange River Trenches holding back the Boers
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Well it took years of searching but we finally found the fatal dupe photo that betrays a so-called candid shot claiming to be a combat action photo.

Everybody - except the front man - is pretty well "frozen" into position in both photos. He is following the photographer's directions to "show a little more face."

Except whatever happened to that slow walking officer with the map who has completely disappeared in the meantime. Meaning some five minutes has passed between photos. And still the Boers haven't shot the photographer and his highly exposed tripod camera...

Something else. By cropping out the horse's ass which was an intrusion in a so-called battle scene, on the left, the photographer has move his camera a shade too far to the right and - what the hell is this? - has exposed the ass end of another horse just standing there calmly between the supposed Boers and the hot fire from the trenches...

Note that the original horse's ass is still parked in the same place and is picked up by the second right view of the stereo pair.

Bad, very bad staging...

Fake #96 - In the Orange River Trenches holding back the Boers
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, UK
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure A photo of the defenders of Mafeking supposedly "firing volleys."

Maybe, but it's in training, not during a battle.

If there were this many rifles firing at once it could only be against a massive Boer attack.

As many bullets would be incoming from the Boer attackers, as are supposedly being volleyed from here.

The photographer's tripod is far too dangerously exposed here, if real shooting targets were around.

There are others who are dangerously exposed, including the NCOs sitting calmly on their haunches in the middle distance.

In the distance a horseman is dangerously standing his horse in the midst of what is purported to be a hailstorm of fire.

Worst of all, another officer, calmly has his back to the supposed fray, with his hands nonchalantly clasped behind his back, watching a British column leisurely coming, or more likely just standing nearby.

Sorry no combat photo here. Just a simple training picture, at a place where the men apparently come quite often. It does look like a latrine in the background to give men some privacy when it's "down trousers" time on the open veldt...

Fake #35 - 6th Regt of New South Wales Imperial Bushmen Volley firing near Mafeking
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Too many signs of staging are evident here:

- the stereo view cameraman with his tripod set up high above everyone else where he would become the first casualty

- the dead guy plant lying in front of his mates, when they would have, long ago, moved him back to get medical attention, or shelter his body; only cameramen leave bodies lying around in their photographs

- the nonchalant leader, is merely a photo prop, a nice bookend for the photo. He just holds his binos till he can see someone close enough to view. And his rifle is just held by his side; there's nothing to see to shoot.

- standing like that is never a good idea when the "bullets fly thick and fast" and if the Boers are in the neighbourhood, which they obviously aren't.

Fake #85 - Where the Bulltest fly thick and fast. The irish Brigade in a hard fight, Orange Free State SA
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, UK
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure It's often that second photo of the same scene that kills the effect and exposes the phony combat photo.

Finding this photo confirms everything we said before about Fake #85.

If you saw one, you might say, "looks real." Not now.

The camera here is locked down almost to exactly the same place with rocks in the foreground and the background lining up wonderfully.

But the actors have changed positions in major ways. So time has clearly gone by.

Dead bodies are gone...

Everyone has taken up major new positions. Everyone except the photographer with his bulky stereo view camera.

Clearly though he is the most exposed to enemy fire he does not fear it one bit. Why? Because there is no rifle fire, nor enemy Boers in this county or the next...

Therefore for certain - no bullets are flying thick and fast as claimed in Fake #85 and #87 is no firing line, other than for training.


Fake #87 - The Irish Brigade on the Firing Line
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Westbrook, ME
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Of course with photographers trying to fake so many combat pictures, they must be suspect in other photos, of trying to pull a fast one on the viewers.

We believe this "Field Hospital on the Tugela" is one such fake, and should more properly have been labeled a "Studio set-up in London, on the Banks of the Thames." (Where in fact, fake South African combat movies were also shot.)

Soldiers who were at death's door - frightful numbers died in hospitals in which conditions were so bad they outraged a nation - would hardly love posing for a photographer, let alone do repeats...

But the military, in view of the bad publicity, needed photos to counter the negativity.

Here is the result, we believe, of a bogus set-up, shot against a drapery of canvas.

This looks more like a scene in a library with the near soldiers holding magazines or newspapers, with more scattered nearby, at a time many Tommies couldn't read. And just where on the Tugela would all this massive amount of reading material come from? Remember, there were thousands of men in hospital beds in South Africa...

But other props the photographer used, are more damning. The white bandage around the head, is obviously and deliberately put on to echo the trademark bandage on the "Gentleman in Khaki" illustration made famous during the war.

The glaring and huge in-your-face Red Cross armband is another suspect prop. You won't find one like it in any other Boer War hospital shots.

And where on the remote Tugela, could one possibly find a white - it is definitely not khaki - ceremonial dress helmet, complete with chain mail chin strap and spike on top?

These were common in the UK for parades; we have seen none photographed in South Africa. In fact at the biggest ceremonial parade during the entire war, when the British Army paraded in triumph past Lord Roberts in front of the Boer Parliament in Pretoria, everyone was in khaki, from top to bottom, including Bobs.

Furthermore, this helmet is sitting on top of a nice coloured tunic, supposedly from a fighting army that was entirely dressed in khaki the whole time, from generals on down.

The second patient's dark ceremonial dress uniform is also hanging at the back, complete with - horrors, wouldn't the Boers love to aim at this - his white webbing...

Was all this stuff really on the Tugela, or just produced from a London photographer's bag of military malaprops?

Fake #36 - In a field Hospital on the Tugela River

Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON

Mom as a Prop - The nurse is quite overweight, not like those fit women we've seen photographed as sent for service in South Africa. At a time most medics were men, introducing single female nurses to serve those "lonely" men in remote South Africa, created a major concern for the photographer. Should he use a sweet, young thing as a model - as many nurses were - and alarm the thousands of soldier's wives burdened with children in the UK whose sex-starved husbands were to be in their hospital care, far away, for years? Clearly the photographer deliberately chose to use an untypical overweight, matronly woman of the "mother type" - complete with prominent wedding ring - to put any worry of possible sexual interest to rest.

The concern was real; Harolde Orchard, like many wounded soldiers in South Africa, fell in love with his nurse...

Go to Listen to My Tale of Woe
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #17 And just for the die-hards among you, who still have any doubts about our analysis, here is a near duplicate of photo #44. Those duplicates that give the lie to supposed instant candid photos of fleeting and honest moments in history, instead of carefully faked studio hokum.

It conclusively proves this is a phony set-up and taken before the photographer decided he could improve the staging he shot later in Fake #44.

The unappetizing, ample proportions of Mom, the prominent wedding ring, the blaring bandage and Red Cross band are still there.

Worse though are some significant differences from the earlier picture.

"Mom" is still holding the patient's head and still giving him water exactly as in the photo above, where her hand is more visible. But it is totally staged. Or he drank a gallon or more while the photographer was rearranging the studio set-up.

Note how, if you thought this was a quick candid shot so as not to discomfit the poor wounded patient, there is no reading material on the foreground table and the uniform pants are differently arranged.

And there is no second dress uniform hanging in the back as in the photo above. And horrors, the white webbing turns out to be the sling on a rifle, the only one we've ever seen in a hospital... sorry we meant studio hospital. So the rifle, with white ceremonial webbing, is another dumb studio prop.

But the foreground patient is good though, keeping his fingers still on the paper. Not so the second patient who inexplicably - but probably exasperated with the delays - changes his grip on a magazine he shows no interest in reading.

Clearly arranging the secondary staging took extra time while the poor patient and nurse stood by until the photographer was happy with the improved set dressing and ready for Take 2 above, so they could all finish the gig and go back to their respective homes in Wapping, Euston, and Knightsbridge.

Sorry, we meant Tugela Crossing...

Fake #37 - In a field Hospital on the Tugela River
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #18 And just to show you what a long-suffering patient had to put up with, posing over and over, and drinking gallons of water, here is a near duplicate of the earlier two.

The middle patient's hand has moved and Mom's face is turned more to the camera.

That makes three different exposures of this scene and gives us the parallel of a modern contact sheet, showing the betraying sequence of repeat shots to get a good photo, not to capture an instant, passing moment of real history.

It's how Robert Capa's Death of a Loyalist fakes were found out, showing that his supposedly "one of" photo was actually one of a group of other attempts at a combat photo.

Go to How Bob Capa Killed an Actor

Photographers who stage fakes would be well advised to destroy their contact sheets of all the negatives they shot, and all duplicate exposures, and go with only a single photo.

Fake #38 - In a field Hospital on the Tugela River
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #19 We've found four different exposures of these now. The patient ought to be drunk by now.
Fake #86 - In a field Hospital on the Tugela River
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #19 And just when you thought you'd seen it all here is Fake #46. The fact that it exists - alone - identifies it as a fake.

Note how M.E. Wright of the Excelsior Stereoscope Company, of Burnley, UK, created an almost exact duplicate studio setup.

The tent is draped the same way and has three patients.

Note all the voracious - THREE THIS TIME - readers in this hospital, TWO bloody head bandages, and the strange and obviously jury-rigged Red Cross looking more like a German Iron Cross.

The Union Jack has replaced the uniforms.

But an unusual pith helmet is there, a four piece rounded dome, with two side vent holes, when the overwhelming numbers of helmets in South Africa were six piece, slope domed, and without side vent holes. It has more in common with pith helmets worn in India, not Africa. Where, in a field hospital on the Tugela, would they ever find this specimen?

The answer? Another London studio prop from an India retiree at the Chelsea home for soldiers.

But the wedding ring is gone. And so is overweight Mom, replaced by a very appealing young thing.

Very likely this was made for sale to American viewers. There they did not have to worry about the negative effect on the home front, of showing a sweet young thing looking after married men in South Africa.

Fake #39 - Interior of a Field Hospital
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Kitchener, ON

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure We have chosen over 43 of the best supposed combat photographs taken during the Boer War, and exposed them as fakes, all staged with the help of British troops at rest camps when the Boers were far away.

All of them were taken by large, tripod-mounted stereoview cameras, which by itself betrays that they are staged.

No photographer would ever dare set them up where they could get shot.

In spite of all this, over a hundred years later, people still sell and promote these bogus photos as real battlefield action pics, on ebay and in other publications.

There is only one certifiable candid combat photo we've been able to find, among the tens of thousands taken during the Boer War.

And that was the one taken by Canadian Lt. James Cooper Mason DSO, on the afternoon of Feb. 18, 1900.

In doing so he had to use a small Kodak Folding Camera, and expose himself for a A FEW SECONDS, only long enough to snap ONE PICTURE.

And still he had his helmet and badge pierced by rifle fire. He didn't do it again...

So he became the first man in history to shoot the first genuine combat photo of men in action on the front lines, and to take the first photo of a dead man on an active battlefield.

Left James Mason and the camera with which he risked his life, to take his landmark photo.

Go to the World's First Real Combat Photo
Lt. James Cooper Mason DSO & his Kodak
Orig. photo & camera
Found - Cambridge, ON