Beyond the ‘Taking of Vimy Ridge:’ The War Photographs of William Ivor Castle
Historians who study Canadian First World War photography often do so within the framework of commonwealth photographic programs, including the British and Australian wartime systems of information. Examples of this include Jane Carmichael's First World War Photographers (1989) and Hilary Roberts and Mark Holborn's The Great War: A Photographic Narrative (2014). One of the more frequently analyzed images of the First World War is William Ivor Castle's The Taking of Vimy Ridge. This paper proposes to contribute to that historiography by illustrating the larger implications of this manipulated image--that photography projects of the Canadian War Records Office must be analyzed separately from those of the British Ministry of Information. Additionally, this paper will examine some of Ivor Castle's other images made during the battle to argue that historians can move beyond The Taking of Vimy Ridge, to understand his photographic style as he attempted to visually capture the war.