Previously unseen Halifax Explosion photos surface in England

Several previously unseen photographs taken during the Halifax Explosion have surfaced at a home in Cornwall, England.

Lt. Victor Magnus was avid photographer in the Royal Navy

Lt. Victor Magnus had his camera at the ready during the Halifax Explosion. (Victor Magnus)

Several previously unseen photographs taken during the Halifax Explosion have surfaced at a home in Cornwall, England.

The photos were shot by Lt. Victor Magnus, an avid photographer in the Royal Navy during the First World War who was on board a ship in Halifax Harbour during the explosion on Dec. 6, 1917.
Lt. Victor Magnus with the Royal Navy took photos during the Halifax Explosion. (Victor Magnus)

“He was on board ship, he was on watch,” his daughter, Anne Foreman, tells CBC News.

“He would have been on the bridge doing his six hours, or whatever it was, on watch. On duty, with a camera around his neck. And it just happened that he got these pictures.”

Foreman, 89, says her father was hardly ever without his camera and he took about two dozen shots in the aftermath of the explosion.

“He always had a camera around his neck and usually a very good one,” Foreman says.

Foreman says some of the photos appeared in the 1962 book The Town That Died, written by Michael J. Bird. But many have not been seen by the public before.

She says she dug them out and showed them to a BBC reporter after the broadcaster put out a request for stories from the First World War.

“I’ve just lived with them all my life. I’m just amazed that they’ve caused such a stir,” Foreman says.

Foreman plans to turn the collection over to the Imperial War Museum for further study.