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Those Faking Combat Photographers in the Boer War - 12 Fake Combat Photos - 3

Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Fake 8 Fake 9 Fake 10
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure The shadow says it all...

A typical "in camp" scene favoured by Boer War stereograph photographers, because they had all the time they needed to set up their actors and their bulky gear.

Note the shadow of the photographer and his stereo camera that have been caught on this photo.

Now, do you really believe any of those 61 stereo views we publish as combat photo fakes could possibly be real and been taken by this cumbersome setup? While bullets were zinging around your head.

Today we would Photoshop out that annoying shadow. (The cameraman and his rig were crammed into the only space available to take the photo.) But we're grateful it's there. It shows the technology used by photographers at the time. And gives good corroborative proof that stereo cameras were too huge and bulky to be used for anything but setups.

The stereograph photographer's shadow - Boer War, May 1900
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON




In fact when the world's first certifiable combat photo was taken the photographer cast the shadow shown right. The result of a quick candid shot not a "studio" set-up.

These are the Canadian wounded after the Battle of Faber's Put, in May 1900. The shooting has stopped, it's quite safe, and so the photographers come out.

This photographer sports one of the new "folding pocket Kodaks," holding it chest high so he can peer down into the viewfinder.

This is the death-defying profile made by Lt. James Mason when he popped his head up during the Battle of Paardeberg, to take his landmark combat photo.

He only did it for seconds, and still his helmet and badge were pierced with bullets.

Now what was that you said about getting better quality combat photos, by setting up a tripod with a stereograph camera?

Go to James' Kodak
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure A very rare photo postcard featuring the British Graphic's "Special Photographer."

The Graphic was a leading pictorial magazine of the day and published thousands of photographs during the Boer War taken by a paid commercial cameraman it sent to gather photos of the combat.

This German postcard from 1900 shows him in his camp, with a "hut made out of ammunition boxes, and lyddite (high explosive powder) cases."

Behind the tent is the unique South African Cape Cart that many photographers used to pack their gear around as they followed the huge British army on its campaigns.

The photographer - probably Reinhold Thiele who is also credited with the creation of the "Canadians' Baptism of Fire" photo above, sits in front of the tent; his assistant probably behind, by the mules that pulled the cart. The Graphic referred to Thiele as its "Special Photographer" which is written on the buggy.

The large tripod mounted camera they all used, whether for stereoviews or normal photographs, casts its shadow on the ground. Thiele was known to use a large 10 x 12 inch studio camera.

It makes it pretty clear, that with this kind of a logistical burden to deal with, no Boer War photographer could move fast enough to take real combat photos on the fly, and opted instead to fake everything that purported to show men in "action" on the front lines.

And the first movie cameramen, whose cameras were gigantic, had an even worse time at trying to get footage of the army "in action."

In fact, WKL Dickson right one of the Boer War's first movie cameraman, bemoaned that he was always the last to leave a British army campsite as the military consistently moved more quickly than he could pack up all his gear.

The Photographer in the Field - A Hut of Ammunition Boxes and Lyddite Cases - 1900

Orig. pc - Image Size - 23 cm
Found - Guernsey, UK

In fact even in World War I and II photographers worked out of large wagons and trucks, and were heavily controlled by the military on both sides. Independent photographers were virtually unknown, since the generals only gave embed access to the armies, and battlefields to special photographers they approved of, and whose work they controlled.

So photographers, heavily censored as they were, were really not independent reporters, but propagandists for their own side. When they showed horror it was what happened to the other side.

In fact the lightly equipped, fast moving, "independent" documentary photographers we see today everywhere crawling all over the world's hot spots, were not common in the war zones until after World War II.

Bill Dickson wrote of his adventures as a Boer War cameraman, and trying to film an army that was always ahead of him and his cumbersome camera, in the Biograph in Battle. It's the first book ever written by a movie cameraman, all based on his diaries he wrote on the war front.

Once, he was so slow he had to travel at night, by himself.

But he had no trouble finding the path the army took, hours before. The stench of dead animals that littered the way, let his nose guide him till he caught up.

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure An image of artillery horses supposedly ready to take up positions to meet a Boer attack, at the British camp at Slingersfontein in early 1900.

Again the caption writers are trying to make like there is combat in the offing.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

This is just a leisurely camp scene in the artillery lines, perhaps after a training session.

There is no sign of hectic, battle preparation activity; quite the contrary, everywhere one looks life is leisurely carrying on.

You can compare this close-up view with the famous view of the Slingersfontein camp taken from the top of Worcester Hill, featuring an officer looking through his binoculars.

In fact, far from this being a prelude to a battle, the photographer took the time, either before or after he took this image, to hike with his heavy rig to the top of the neighbouring hill to take the next picture. Not something one does if Boers are about, let alone if an attack is expected.

The tents in both pictures are in identical locations; the horses are staked out the same way in both; you can in fact make out the artillery lines that are in this close-up. They are the nearest group in the high angle picture.

It makes it clear that the camp - in both pictures - is quiet, and not expecting any Boer attacks. Clearly, with the horses and men scattered so widely, everyone is relaxed and off guard.

40 below shows exactly where the camera was positioned to take this picture, with the tents in foreground and background lining up properly from that spot. On the right could actually be the wagon, on which the cameraman stood to take this photo.

The smaller wagon to the left is probably the photographer's wagon, a Cape cart, much favoured by Boer War commercial photographers, and where he stored his gear while he hiked up the mountain to take the high angle picture. The photographer may very well have shot from the larger, nearby military wagon, instead of his cramped Cape Cart, which, in this photo, is slightly too far left from where the exposure was made.

Fake #40 - Royal Horse Artillery ready to take up position to meet Boer attack, Slingersfontein
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Warren, MI




flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure The caption is also often erroneous on this genuine picture over the British camp at Slingersfontein.

The officer is sitting above the camp shown today where the yellow dot is above.

The camera is actually facing west, towards Colesberg.

So the officer is facing south west and looking away from, not as the caption would have you believe, towards Orange River and the Boer Republic, which is north from here and off towards camera right.

And no, that is not Signal Hill either.

Signal Hill is actually some 15 miles away in the direction the officer is watching.

Which would of course, be the natural place to be looking with binoculars for a heliograph message. He may even have suggested that to the photographer as a good military pose...

So why the bad caption?

Notes scribbled by cameramen in far off South Africa had a way of being misinterpreted, or were changed for more dramatic effect, by photo publishers back home.

So though not a phony combat photo, it does sport a mostly erroneous caption.

An interesting point to note is the offset between the left and right side exposures of a stereo pair.

The above large photo is from the left lens, and shows 3 1/2 tents to left of the helmet; here, from the right lens, set further to the right on the camera, only 2 tents show up.

Here, again shot with the right lens, his left sleeve covers much of the fourth tent; while above, with the left lens, set further to the left, all four tents show clearly.

This variation, like the distance between human eyes, gives stereoviews the apparent depth you see when you look in a viewer.


Fake #41 - Looking into the Orange Free State - over 12th Brigade Camp and Signal Hill, Slingersfontein
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Nothing at all wrong with this photo of the camp taken from C1 above at Slingersfontein, but probably long before the battles were fought in the area.

This is a rare reverse angle of the above officer shot. He is sitting on top of the hill at back left.

The photographer has climbed the hill on the other side of the camp shown beyond the officer.

The Orange River and the Orange Free State are behind us, to the north.

C1 - Camp at Slingersfontein SA - Many fights occurred on the distant hills.
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Nothing fake about this photo. It's just not an exciting combat photo, which is what the editors back home - and their audiences wanted, more than anything else.

But these kind of camp shots were the bread and butter of Boer War photographers.

They could take all day to set up their tripods. The men - the actors - could hang about and help him do set-ups.

Best of all, there were no Boers within miles, that threatened the camp or take pot shots at you.

These men are easily placed in camp photo C1 aove at the bottom of the row of tents on the right, just in front of the grazing horses.

This photo is C2 in the big photo.

C2 - Filling a Signaling Lamp with Gas, Slingersfontein
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Another genuine - if unexciting - camp photo.

The men commonly look down the muzzle, to check for obstructions, with the bolt open, to let daylight in at the breech end.

Sounds dangerous; It can be for inexperienced troops.

And Canadians were. They were all volunteers from city street, on one year contracts, that offered them excitement for a short time away from farming, butchering, blacksmithing, or clerking.

So most had no real previous military experience.

In fact a "green" Canadian was killed during a "mock inspection" like this when looking into the muzzle, to see if there was an obstruction.

There was; a live bullet.

When his best friend, joshing about, as they all were, accidentally pulled the trigger, it killed him instantly.

(Pvt. Laughlin Scott, a member of Strathcona's Horse was killed Nov. 21, 1900.)

This photo location is C3 in the big photo above.

C3 - Rifle Inspection Jan. 14, at Slingersfontein, SA, on hearing that Boers are concentrating
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Here's another image with a similar caption of ready "to meet a Boer attack," but shot on a different day than Fake #40 - some tents are in different places.

Hey, why not take lots of shots when lots of men and horses are available in a camp full of soldiers with time on their hands?

Note, while the artillerymen are finally saddled up and ready to go into action, it's only for the cameraman in spite of the fact we're led to believe that the British are shown "ready to take up a position to meet a Boer attack."

They're only parading for the camera.

The drivers are leisurely holding the horses. It's not how the British won an empire. When angry commanders finally see them arrive at the battlefield, would their lateness excuse wash? "Well a photographer kept us doing repeats in camp?"

Elsewhere in the camp, it's hardly any more on a war footing. Scattered horses are leisurely chomping on grain in the lines.

This photo was taken from a wagon placed at 42 above, with the artillery train drawn up in the empty space in front of the near line of tents.

Fake #42 - Royal Horse Artillery ready to take up position to meet Boer attack, Slingersfontein
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure The biggest group of fake stereoview combat photos come from Honey Nest Kloof, featuring the Irish Munsters.

This is the "Alarm" set, all clearly done by the same photographer during the same propaganda shoot when he had a lot of men available with time on their hands. (See diaries and article below.)

This photo is purported to have taken place on Feb 12, exactly one day after General Roberts started his March to Pretoria and invaded the Boer Republic at the head of a huge army.

The Boers were madly running away with their families in all directions from this mighty juggernaut, except at Honey Nest Kloof (some 26 miles from Kimberley) apparently where the Boers were attacking...

Certainly it's a fake. Note how the photographer has his tripod, accidentally but fortuitously, set up in a great place to catch a huge mob of Tommies running for the trenches, shown in stereoviews below.

And happiest of all, the bugler has picked the front of the camera to blow the alarm, instead of his tent door, or perhaps from the latrine, where the sudden Boer alarm caught him unawares.

The photographer could not possibly have known of a Boer "alarm" coming... unless he staged it...

This has all the earmarks of a studio directed "alarm" where men are asked to gather and run on command.

But the photo is interesting in another way. It shows that action photos were possible. The men are frozen in mid-stride. So contrary to what many photographers were saying, to excuse the fact they had no real candid battle action photos to show, the technology was there to capture action. Just not the will to risk life and limb to get the photos.

When fakes were so easy to stage, and far less dangerous to take.

Fake #43 - Camp Alarm at Honey Nest Kloof Battery repulsed Boer attack Feb 12
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Stratford, ON
Ooops... #22 Here is a second photo, taken only moments after the above "alarm" picture was shot. You can see how far the men moved away from the camera in just a few seconds.

So ask yourself: if a real alarm was sounded, how far would the men have run from their camp to the trenches, below, while the photographer ran off to get his camera, ran back out to where the action was, put in the film, set up his tripod, etc.?

And do all that faster than the men above, who only had to grab a rifle and run, and yet still manage to catch them running in mid-action?

It's absolutely clear that the photographer came first, then the "Alarm," and only after he had set up his cumbersome gear and was ready to take the exposure, whereupon the men were instructed to "run like hell, as if the Boers were attacking."

It's a hoot. Sorry, we meant a re-enaction. And our Fake #44.

According to captions on three sets of cards from Honey Nest Kloof, Boer attacks supposedly took place on Feb. 12, Feb. 13, and Feb. 16.

The captions and the large number of photos gives the impression that Honey Nest Kloof must have been one of the hottest battle action centres in South Africa at the time.

Read the real account of just how "hot" it was by a Tommy who was there, below.

It makes pretty clear that the photo captions, the alarms, the dates, the attacks are all fake.

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Now here is a more believable photo with the British hiding from Boer sharpshooters properly hunkered down in the trenches.

So do we have a real front line combat photo at last?

By now you should have spotted the fakery right off the bat.

This is supposed to represent the men sheltering - as they assuredly are doing - "on a Boer Alarm."

This must be the second Boer attack. Look at the man with a dressed head wound lying in the trench.

That is supposed to mean - however improbable the scenario is - that the Boers are massing for another attack. More shooting will occur; and men will get wounded. Some may die.

But apparently not the photographer.

Note how, while all the "front line soldiers" are cowering for cover, the photographer, and his huge stereoview camera rig are propped high up, into the direct line of fire. He would be, guaranteed, the first one shot.

This is again, demonstrably, lousy show business photography.

In fact, during the Boer War, photographers were always the first to run to the rear, and stay in the rear, whenever shooting of any kind was in the offing.

The photo is defining proof that one of the most celebrated "battle" photos of the war, is a total fake, by the very fact that it exists...

Fake #45 - Royal Munster Fusiliers lining the Trenches on a Boer Alarm, Honey Nest Kloof, SA
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #7 Here is a virtually identical "combat" photo copy of the one above, and taken only moments apart.

It says time is passing, the alarm in ongoing, the Boers must be getting closer, perhaps the bullets are zinging more densely. And still the photographer has not run for cover.

Now how probable is that?

Note how almost everyone has pretty well frozen their pose, as instructed by the photographer between exposures.

But look at the near mule's hind legs. And look at the second man lying down. He has completely turned his head.

The wounded man has changed hand and head positions.

The man in front has also shifted.

Proof that time is elapsing, and still the photographer has no fear of being shot. And is busy taking photo after photo...

Guess why?

Ooops... #12 This very same stereoview is often captioned "Royal Munster Fusiliers holding back the Boers at Honey Nest Kloof on Feb. 16." This, the publisher figured, would give it a stronger cachet as a battle picture. In fact it gives this picture a date, that is the same as the photos that follow.

Fake #46 - Royal Munster Fusiliers lining the Trenches on a Boer Alarm, Honey Nest Kloof, SA
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
99% of people who viewed the Boer War stereoviews would never have been aware that duplicate photos existed. Even today the vast majority of Boer War students are not aware of this, and of what it implies about the "real photos" they own or are looking at.

Since most people would have seen only one photo they would think it was a wonderful "one-of" snapshot of a real combat scene.

These duplicate photos of supposed rare "grab" or "candid" action pictures, are what exposed Robert Capa's most celebrated photo, the Death of a Loyalist, as a contrived fake as a real combat photo.

Right is a close up of the above photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a close up of the first photo of the two which allows you to see the time lapse between the two.

Notice how the ammunition mule is not so patient at holding still, to the photographer's command as the men are.

The mule has changed hind leg positions.

Now note the first rifleman who is responsive to a fault about keeping still for the camera.

His pose is frozen in time over various exposures. His hand on his rifle is the same; the creases in his uniform - arms, tunic, and pants - are frozen in time.

And here we thought he was in constant motion, loading and shooting furiously at the attacking Boers...

 

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure The most famous photo of the Munster Fusiliers shows them supposedly fighting from behind the redoubt at Honey Nest Kloof.

A much more ambitious combat scenario is on view here. Note the numerous "wounded" lying about and the larger cast of characters employed to carry this off.

But this photographer is, like all the others doing spurious combat photos, firmly standing high above the cover from the hail of bullets that must be zinging in the air, without the slightest sign of fear, or concern about heading for cover.

Photographers love high angle shots as they show so much more.

The Army has clearly provided him with a wagon so he can get a good wide view, inside and outside the redoubt.

He gets a nice shot but in doing so he betrays an elaborate faked "combat photo."

Note how, in so many of these faked combat photos, the wounded are always displayed close to the camera.

And feature the most hackneyed action set up: giving a patient a drink from a canteen.

Fake #47 - Royal Munster Fusiliers fighting from behind the redoubt at Honey Nest Kloof (Feb 16)
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #8 Here is a virtually identical "combat" photo copy of the one above, and taken only moments apart. The near rifleman is hunched more forward...

Not only is this photographer highly exposed to danger, he has taken the time to take a second image, while the Boers are riding in to attack...

The date here is highly spurious as well.

Only five days before, on Feb. 11, 1900, Lord Roberts invaded the Boer republics at the head of a huge British army to begin his fabled March to Pretoria.

Everywhere, Boers were in flight, before this military juggernaut of scores of thousands of soldiers.

On Feb. 16, the main column of Boers under General Cronje, of some 5,000 people, was on the run, and busily entrenching at Paardeberg.

In fact it was only two days later, on Feb. 18, that the British army would attack on Bloody Sunday, and suffer, as a result its biggest casualty losses of the entire Boer War.

Then a week later, the British rebounded, and crushed Cronje and captured all his people.

There were certainly no Boers about to raise "the Alarm" at distant Honey Nest Kloof...

Hmmmh... wouldn't this be the ideal time to fake a few combat photos of men who weren't busy with the invading army...? At a time the home front was all abuzz about the fact that the invasion of the Boer republics had begun... And the appetite for buying "combat photos" was at a fever pitch...

Fake #48 - Royal Munster Fusiliers fighting from behind the redoubt at Honey Nest Kloof (Feb 16)
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #9 In fact we have found a third image. - clearly this photographer had nerves of steel - with the man in the foreground - his elbow way back - interminably working his bolt, and yet never shooting...

Just like the other men are always "shooting" but never loading...

Just as they were told to do by the photographer.

Not only is this photographer highly exposed to danger, he has taken the time to take a third image, while the Boers are riding in ever closer to attack...

He clearly deserves the Victoria Cross for gallantry under fire.

As for "fighting" the only thing they are fighting is boredom. Note how the second bareheaded man in maintains his "shooting" pose without change, while the man in front furiously works his bolt, in every picture...

Discovering multiple photos, showing passing time between exposures is extremely important in establishing validity for camera shots supposedly taken under battlefield conditions.

Consider Also: For 70 years no one had taken combat photos. Now suddenly, in the Boer War, we have lots...and doubles and triples with the photographer in "dangerous" places, taking pictures without consequences.

Consider Also: We know that when Canadian James Mason took the first real certifiable combat photo in world history, he only stuck his head up for a few seconds to grab ONE picture, and he had his helmet and badge both shot in that brief moment. He was no fool. He only did it ONCE, with a small pocket Kodak, not a big stereo camera which took time and was cumbersome to set up...

So only ONE of his photos exists. While here there are at least FOUR! Just like several Robert Capa photos also exist showing several men falling in exactly the same place as his famous, but obviously faked, Death of a Loyalist.

Go to a Few Seconds in Hell

Consider Also: Three of Canada's most high profile deaths in the Boer War occurred when they (left to right: Capt. Henry Arnold, Lt. John Burch, Lt. Harold Borden) stuck up their heads, momentarily, on different battlefields, to use their binoculars, and were instantly shot through the head.

Is this photographer ever lucky...

Fake #49 - Royal Munster Fusiliers fighting from behind the redoubt at Honey Nest Kloof (Feb 16)
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Porkopolis, OH




What is also remarkable, for a supposed active battle sequence, is how the background men's heads and helmets - showing their body positions during at least FOUR separate exposures - are virtually unchanged from one photo to the next.

The foreground man, the loader, is the only actor; the others are all mere props.

Clearly, after carefully posing into their "make like you're shooting at Boers," they were expectantly waiting for the "all clear" from the photographer.

Note how far the distant horse has walked between the exposures, while the men hold still in this fake combat photo.

Notice another idiocy that escaped the photographer's attention. Incredibly, the #2 man has put his helmet on top of the sandbag wall... And it's there for the entire time it took to take all these photos.

How many times, in war movies have you seen someone lift a hat or helmet in the air above a barricade to attract rifle fire? And here the soldier stands behind it without moving for several exposures...

This helmet - and his head - would have been punctured instantly by any real Boer snipers that were about. Note Borden, Burch, and Arnold below. Clearly this soldier knew his helmet was quite safe sitting on top... And his head behind it...

Clearly the director of this "battle scene," of masses of men, cannot be expected to notice every spurious detail that undermines his photo's credibility, like a Roman soldier in the ranks battling the barbarian Gauls in a movie, while wearing a wristwatch...

Note how bullets are spitting up all around and ricocheting off the rocks from just lifting up the helmet briefly.

 

Double Idiocy - Did you ever wonder where the bare-headed front man's helmet is?

The one on the ground at his feet belongs to the wounded Tommy, lying behind, not to him.

In another stereo of the scene we believe we've found the answer as the cropping done in the darkroom has left evidence behind.

He too put his helmet on top of the parapet, creating another target for Boer sharpshooters... if there were any...

To the left of the yellow dot is an unusual shadow not found anywhere else along the top of the sandbags.

It looks very much like the brim of a helmet with the leather strap folded up over the edge.

A helmet sitting on top would make exactly that rounded shadow that you see.

That Horse Again... Note another new piece of information that comes from examining a series of fake photos (this from photo 4 below).

The horse that has been walking from left to right, across the back of the frame while all the fake set-ups have been staged in the foreground, has moved again - but this time in the opposite direction. By blowing up the photo you can see it is now facing left, and actually grazing peacefully in the midst of a supposed firefight....

In other words the men throughout this set-up, standing, dead, and wounded, have been posed into their frozen positions for the photographer, for an awfully long time... While the horse grazes leisurely, walking first to the right and then going back to the left.

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure Ooops... #10 Just in case you don't believe us yet, we have found a fourth different exposures of this famous - but completely faked - supposed candid battle scene. The most variations of any Boer War battle scene.

They all show almost everyone is holding still in their same positions throughout.

Only this time the chief actor - he is the only one moving about constantly - faces the camera.

Judging from the look on his face he's getting tired of endlessly working the bolt of his rifle for the cameraman. A look photographers working with amateurs who don't get paid and aren't used to endless repeats that cameramen demand, are quite used to seeing.

And the patient in the foreground must have drunk about four gallons of water by now...

This is offered by another ebay huckster aussiemate! in Australia, who promotes it with the usual hype...

With the FOUR photos we have uncovered, almost totally identical but separately shot, you basically have what can be looked at as a strip of "motion picture" film, in which sequential photos of actions are supposed to change from frame to frame, especially in a frenzied combat scenario.

That 98% of the actors do not change their positions between frames betrays this as a staged set-up, not at all photos of men feverishly "fighting" and shooting at charging Boers. And don't forget, during all this time the cameraman and his large rig are totally exposed to deadly Boer fire, high above the protective parapet...

And we offer, once again, the rare, very seldom found, detailed explanation on the back of this one that conclusively claims that none of these four cards are faked, but are all, genuine candid battlefield action photos.

Fake #50 - Royal Munster Fusiliers fighting from behind the redoubt at Honey Nest Kloof (Feb 16)

Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Fallbrook, CA

Remember Arnold, Burch, Borden, and Mason, and ask yourself how this photographer is still standing after taking at least four different photos from above the ramparts during a firefight.

"Royal Munster Fusiliers fighting from behind
the redoubt at Honey Nest Kloof (Feb 16)"

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

Most stereoviews have only the title on the back, usually in five or six languages, like those at the bottom of the card on the right.

This back is unusual, with a much more informative message on the back, seeking to place the event in its proper context for folks back home.

It shows that all these fake stereo photos were designed to help fight the propaganda war, not document the reality.

It's clear the publisher wanted people to see this as a photo taken of real combat, with real wounded and dead lying about.

Though it's hard to see how the authors could not know it was a fake. Because they would have rifled through all the various shots the photographer produced, and quickly concluded that they were all staged.

Like motion picture footage would be faked, later, of men supposedly "going over the top" and falling, in World War I. To propagandize the masses back home, to keep the anger alive, and streaming to the recruiting offices.

Here no jingoistic embellishments are spared to accompany the photo for maximum impact on impressionable minds on the home front.

It demonizes the Boers as barbaric, and slavering, just outside the redoubt, to deliberately target and finish off, the hapless wounded and their care-givers.

It paints a picture of "a horrible fierce fire that is raining on this little group from off there at the right, and - such are Boer practices - the wounded and those caring for them are likely to be taken as marks by the enemy's rifles.

"Ordinary rules of warfare spare the Red Cross, but the Afrikanders, with their strange mixture of civilized and barbaric ideas, use it as a strategic shield for their own concealed guns and disregard its distinction of non-combatants among the foe."

Far from Boers being in violation of Human Rights or targetting civilians, it was the British who rounded up untold thousands of civilian women, children, and old men, and locked them up in concentration camps, where some 28,000 died - compared to only some 4,000 Boer men combatants who died in the war.

In fact the Boer civilians who died, as a result of British military policy, outnumbered the dead male combatants of Boer and Briton combined.

It was a great introduction to how civilized European Christian nations would conduct war throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Nothing much has changed in the 21st century, with the Israelis having deliberately massacred thousands of mostly civilian Muslim women and children under the pretext that they were a threat to the defence of Israel.

And warfare by Canada and her CWILLKILL partners has resulted in a fearsome body count of Muslim civilian women, children, and men over the years in Afghanistan.

But apparently they are only collateral damage, you know, as a result of pursuing a worthy cause.

Go to the World's First Real Combat Photo
The staging of dozens of high profile fake combat photos - which we've exposed in these pages - underlines the extreme difficulty in getting genuine photos of men in action on the front lines. It testifies, big time, to the extraordinary courage and accomplishment of Canadian Lt. James Cooper Mason DSO, who, at Paardeberg, took the world's first genuine combat photo on the front line of an active battlefield, and almost paid with his life to get it.
Brothers in Arms; Brothers in Death: Aboard the Milwaukee, with Harold Borden, was John Burch, another lieutenant.

Right, holding the binoculars that would kill him, is the last picture taken of Lt. Burch, 2 CMR.

On July 16, 1900, while leading their men to go to the aid of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, these companions in a great "adventure," went ahead to reconnoitre the enemy positions. Still green at war after only a few months, they stood up, perhaps a bit too eagerly and unwisely, to get a better look. Both were shot at close range by snipers. Borden died instantly, the first member of his regiment to be killed; Burch died shortly afterwards.

Wrote Lord Roberts, "Killed with Borden, while gallantly leading their men in counter attack on enemy's flank at critical juncture of assault upon our position."

At home, Frederick Borden, Canada's main booster of the war, and the Minister of Militia, was inconsolable; his worst nightmare had come true. He had tried to prevent his son from going to the wars.

Like Frederick Borden, Canada's modern war-mongering politicians and jingoistic media honchos wanted others to do the dying; none of the rich and super-rich sent any of their own kids to be exposed to danger in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. Like in the US, where no Bush, Cheney, or Clinton kids served in the war zone, but chose to stay home where they were safe, along with all the other rich kids, from the effects of the wars against the Muslims that their dads had promoted.

Canada's 155 plus Afghan war dead are all, overwhelmingly, unfortunate, uneducated, or undereducated, poor kids mostly from small towns and rural areas across Canada.

Give Harold Borden credit for what you no longer see in our day. He was a privileged rich kid, with a powerful father, who chose to put his life on the line, and paid the price, in a war his own father had boosted... Canada's rich and super-rich - clones of Bush and Cheney - did not make the same mistake, in Afghanistan.

Go to Harold Borden
Go to Boys at War

The Westons, Aspers, and Frums didn't want the names of their relatives on some piker's war memorial wall in Afghanistan, shared with scores of other "poo folks" far beyond the national eye view.

Canada's rich and super-rich opted instead for fat cat Senate sinecures, and huge museum monoliths to memorialize themselves in places were millions of Canadians are forced to walk by, gaze in awe, and genuflect. Like Hilary Weston's Royal Ontario Museum and Gail Asper's Canadian Human Rights Museum.

Go to Hilary's Shameless Memorial Wall

"... for the sake of the millionaires of England..."

A modern article makes the usual mistake of saying this fake photo shows real dead men etc. instead of the show business we say it all is.

The letter from the soldier makes clear that the (Irish) Munsters had lots of time on their hands at Honey Nest Kloof, and that little fighting was going on there, in spite of all the photos of alarms, and shooting etc., that these many stereo cards seem to show.

The letter writer says neither he, nor his mates have even fired a single shot at anyone yet...

Which is why the cameraman was able to shoot such long sequences with so many men who were no doubt eager to escape the months of boredom by at least being able to act as if they were at war.

Inadvertently the writer also points out strong support for our position on all the photo fakes. These Boers were phenomenal shots and lethal for anyone including photographers who would stick their heads up.

The soldier also makes clear that there was nothing available to read for the entire regiment...

Which makes the many newspapers in the Field Hospital stereo views on the Tugela (Fakes #44-48) so suspect and tell us they're fake.

This letter was clearly written at the time these photos were made in February 1900, just after Britain's fourth disastrous battle defeat at Spion Kop at the end of January 1900.

It's also interesting to note that the soldiers on the front line were clever enough, a hundred years ago, to see that they were laying their lives on the line
"for the sake of the millionaires of England."


Exactly like in Canada's Afghan War of 2001-2011, where over 155 poor privates, corporals, and sergeants died in the dust of a far off land, while the rich and super-rich who sent them there, for corporate and tribal goals, sent not a single rep to lay down his life for his country.

Plus ça change...

Actually, from a democratic point of view, things are badly deteriorating...

During the Boer War many sons of the rich and super-rich laid their lives on the line and died, on the battlefield, leading their men in the face of danger.


In those days men of principal were often also, men of principle, which has long ceased to be the case, in Canada, the UK, France, and the US, at any rate.

Note how, even in the highest academic circles - here at the University of Minnesota Law Library - these fake combat images of the Boer War are, a hundred years later, still treated as if they were "real," in any sense, instead of what they really are, pure "Hollywood."

The webmaster, like so many picture editors for books, magazines, and television documentaries, is completely taken in by these bogus pictures.

No the Fusiliers are not "fighting," the medics are not "treating wounded" as the author claims.

In fact, everyone is acting for the camera during what is actually "downtime" far behind the front.

Remember, this was the age of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show that toured the big cities staging phony Indian attacks.

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure A very rare stereo view taken inside the compound, supposedly during the battle shown above.

Wow! six people looking after one wounded guy on a stretcher... Must be some kind of record for most care-givers per patient ratio in any war.

Also a well-placed - for photo prominence by the photographer - first aid bag.

The military at home, which was taking a shellacking in the press over its poor treatment of the wounded during the early parts of the war, was surely pleased it gave this photographer access to its troops. Even if it had to create a hokey battle display with its men.

Note the "firing squad" position of the shooters again, clearly not in the midst of a hectic firefight were all would have different body and firing positions, but responding, obviously, to a photographer ordering them to make like they're firing at Boers.

While he is busy orchestrating the foreground actors.

Finally notice this battle supposedly took place on Feb. 13...

That's the third different day, over a period over five days that the Munsters supposedly were in combat against the Boers...

Fake #51- First aid to a wounded Fusilier - Honey Nest Kloof Battle (Feb. 13)
Orig. Stereoview - Size - 9 x 18 cm
Found - Fallbrook, CA
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure A fabulous insight into the mind set of the people of the Victorian and Edwardian periods, who slavered to "relive" the war experience for themselves. And were glad to pay for the privilege or enjoying, vicariously, war adventures which writers and editors universally called "thrilling."

After the Boer War - we kid you not - there were Boer War exhibitions - here called historical librettos - staged in arenas in the US, with real Boer generals and Afrikaners fighting it out again against British officers and Tommies - all finding new employment as actors because they were put out of business, of course, because the war was over - in mock battles before thousands of people.

This was the popular mind set that made people not only hunger for phony battle photos, but eagerly swallow them as the "real thing."

War was still treated, and largely seen, as honourable combat by professional armed men in the field, meeting to settle their differences like "gentlemen."

For the Boers, who lost some 28,000 mostly women and children in the conflict, the Boer War, and for everyone else, World War I, definitively put an end to the fantasy of war as entertainment. Some 16 million died, including millions of innocent civilians.

70 million more, including tens of millions of civilians, died in World War II.

No one was inclined to recruit retired Nazis to stage "Hitler's Last Stand" extravaganzas in Madison Square Gardens to make a buck.

In fact it was the Hollywood show business moguls, who did exactly that, using more modern technology, who found a way to wring money out of the wars, with movies, and television series. Mostly they managed to promote divisiveness and hate to ensure that there would be an appetite for future wars that would benefit their cronies in the war industries. Today, like never before, interlocking corporations have one leg in media companies and another in the war industries. Muslims, look out; hate-promoting, war mongering, "killing Bin Laden movies" are on the way... They are necessary tools to keep alive the public's taste for more wars. It's all needed to boost the corporate bottom line.

George Bush's CWILLKILL (Coalition of the Willing to do the Killing,) made up entirely of white European Christian shooting soldiers - including Canadians - have killed untold hundreds of thousands of civilians - thankfully only Muslims - as a result of their military invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Civilized behaviour in the world has clearly not improved, demonstrated by these clearly disastrous Christian wars against the Muslims - which will be, forever, the predominant defining feature of the 21st century - where the main casualties have been women, children, and men.

And you believed them when they said they were trying to save the women for education instead of killing them. You forget, there is a certain "liberating" aspect to the grave...

The Worst Blight in Human Civilization Bar None - It is just another low point in the history of the white Christian European civilization, which, as the culmination of 10,000 years of historical evolution, brought you World War I and World War II and the deaths of 100,000,000 people, all within 20 years. And all of course, carried out with wonderfully inventive engines and tools of war - tanks, planes, guns, and gas chambers - that have poured billions into the hands of the rich and super-rich who have orchestrated these disasters in human evolution in the first place.

The Racism Goes On... And this is the same cocktail party crowd who sneer at Blacks in Rwanda - who, in comparison to their handiwork, polished off a mere 800 thousand - as barbarous and savages...

Program, St. Louis World's Fair, Boer War Historical Libretto
Orig. program - Image Size - 18 x 24 cm
Found - Chicago, IL


The fully illustrated booklet of some 25 pages has photographs of General Cronje - late of the famous Battle of Paardeberg - and other participants, and describes the battles that will be shown presented in dramatic story form.

It includes a "Grand Procession of Boer prisoners," men, women, children. It ends with a dramatic 35 foot "jump from a kopje" by a former member of the South African Constabulary.



 
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