Feature

'A real face of war': Colourized photos offer new way to look at WW I

In an effort to convey the horror and humanity of the First World War to a younger generation, the Vimy Foundation undertook a project to colourize hundreds of photographs of Canadian soldiers.

Vimy Foundation retouched century-old photos of Canadian soldiers

In an effort to convey the horror and humanity of the First World War to a younger generation, the Vimy Foundation undertook a project to colourize hundreds of photographs from the 1914-1918 conflict.

"We wanted to develop a different way of looking at the First World War," said Jeremy Diamond, executive director of the Vimy Foundation, a charity that aims to promote and preserve Canada's First World War legacy.

"Colourizing these images put a real face on war and makes these events feel more recent."


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The Vimy Foundation worked with a professional colourist who researched everything from the precise hue of the uniforms to the weather conditions on the day each photo was shot. 

The images are part of the exhibition Great War in Colour, which is on display at the Fort York Visitors Centre in Toronto and will move to other Canadian cities in 2017 and 2018. A commemorative book will be published next fall.

Here's a small sampling of the photos in the collection.