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Surreal colourized photos from the First World War ‘tell an old story in a new way’

Last Updated Nov 10, 2018 at 3:44 pm MST

Canadian soldiers returning from Vimy Ridge. (George Metcalf Archival Collection 19920085-295/Canadian War Museum/Vimy Foundation)

A soldier says goodbye to his family. A politician reviews the troops. A baseball game provides a distraction from the rigours of war. These are some of the images in the Vimy Foundation’s They Fought in Colour, a new book that collects 260 digitally colourized photographs showcasing Canada’s contribution to the First World War.

Jeremy Diamond, the foundation’s executive director, calls it “a way for us to tell an old story in a new way.”

RELATED: Margaret Atwood’s essay on the ‘two worlds’ before and after the Great War

“The faces of those individuals in many cases look like people that we know today,” says Diamond. “That made it a lot easier for people to relate to, which I think is so important when you’re talking about a story from so long ago.”

The colour was added by Mark Truelove, a B.C.-based artist who learned the process by working on his own family photos. Truelove conducted extensive research in order to get the colours as accurate as possible, from the colour of the patches on the uniforms to the weather on the day a given photo was taken.

Click here to buy the book.