Series MS-3351 - The Great War album

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The Great War album

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.

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  • 1914-1919 (Creation)

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Physical description

1 album: 32 x 42 x 10 cm. 1437 photographs.

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The series consists of a photo album with 267 pages and 1437 b&w photographs that cover the period 1914 to 1919. The album measures approximately 32 cm x 42 cm x 10 cm and the average photograph measures 9 cm x 14 cm. The album has been annotated in pen, presumably by the photographer.

The pictures in the album are from a variety of military-related events that took place in or near Victoria, B.C. There are also a couple of photographs that were taken in England. It is not known who took these photographs in England or how they were acquired as it does not seem that Crocker went to England at any time during the Great War. It is also not known if these prints were sent to Crocker or if he developed his own copies of the original negatives, as the paper, quality and size of these photos are consistent with the other ones in the album.

Topics range from departures and arrivals of soldiers in downtown Victoria, to pictures taken at camps of soldiers, political dignitaries, and nurses, pictures of parades, recruitment offices, a military funeral and other events in which the military was present such as the opening of parliament, tag days, provincial holidays, royal visits and the anti-German riot.

Photographs are mainly of crowds at public events, soldiers marching in the street, soldiers drilling or being inspected at camp, soldiers posing with family and friends, and ships leaving the harbour. Photographs are primarily taken in Victoria (particularly Government and Belleville streets), Willows Camp, Beacon Hill, and Work Point Barracks, Esquimalt.

The following events and subjects are represented in the album. They are listed here in order of appearance and are transcribed directly from annotations that appear in the album:

Arrival of 7th Scottish Battalion Party, April 26th 1919
Arrival of 2nd CMR [Canadian Mounted Rifles], April 2nd 1919
Arrival of Troopship Empress of Asia at Outer Deck, January 24th 1919
Battalion Parade, Siberian Forces, December 7th 1918
November 7th 1918 [“The False Armistice”]
Arrival of Draft for Siberian CEF, October 12th 1918
Arrival of Draft for Siberian Unit, October 3rd 1918
Departure of Infantry Draft, September 21st 1918
Departure of Infantry Draft S/S Princess Patricia, August 26th 1918
Artillery at Work Point, June 15th 1918
Artillery, June 17th 1918
Infantry Draft 2nd Depot Battalion June 9th 1918
Departure of B.C. Special Services Company
Departure of Infantry Draft S/S Princess Alice, April 19th 1918
Departure of Infantry Draft, April 8th 1918
Departure of Infantry and Artillery Draft, March 31st 1918
Opening of Parliament Guard of Honour 1918
Departure of Draft S/S Princess Charlotte, January 15th 1918
Departure of Draft S/S Princess Charlotte, January 9th 1918
Departure of Willows Base Company, November 15th 1918
Departure of Drafts from Army Medical Corps and Artillery
Royal Flying Corps Draft, September 22nd 1917
Military Funeral, Lieutenant Walker R.F.C, August 17th 1917
Army Medical Corps Draft “Presentation to Sergeant May”, August 12th 1917
Departure of Army Medical Draft S/S Princess Victoria, August 12th 1917
Departure of Army Medical Draft S/S Princess Adelaide, July 5th 1917
Departure of Artillery Draft S/S Princess Charlotte, July 4th 1917
Confederation Day Celebration, July 2nd 1917
Departure of Army Medical Draft, June 13th 1917
Aviation Draft, June 2nd 1917
Royal Athlete Park, Red Cross Sports etc., May 24th 1917
Returned Soldiers at Beacon Hill, May 1917
Departure of Overseas Draft, 50th Gordon Highlanders S/S Princess Adelaide, May 18th 1917
Church Parade, April 23rd 1917
Army Medical Corps and Artillery Drafts S/S Princess Victoria, April 20th 1917
Departure of Foresters Draft, March 22nd 1917
Forestry Draft at Willows Camp, March 21st 1917
Recruiting Office, Forestry Battalion, March 6th 1917
Guard of Honour, 88th Regiment, Opening of Parliament, March 1st 1917
Departure of 143rd B.C. Bantams, July 9th 1917
Departure of Army Medical Corps Draft, January 17th 1917
Departure of Yukon Company on S/S Princess Victoria, January 16th 1917
Battalion Parade – Bantams, January 12th 1917
Group of returned soldiers at Military Hospital Esquimalt, October 1916
Parade of Ammunition Column, 5th Regiment Band, January 5th 1917
143rd Battalion “Bantams” Parade, November 15th 1916
5th Regiment Church Parade, October 8th 1916
15th Brigade
Mechanical Transport Parade, July 26th 1916
Guard of Honour R.C.R. [Royal Canadian Regiment], Arrival of Duke and Duchess of Connaught, July 20th 1916
Departure of 103rd Battalion “Timber Workers”, July 15th 1916
103rd Battalion Parade, June 28th 1916
Review at Willows by H.R.H. Duke of Connaught, September 17 1915
B.C. Pioneers Departure, September 23rd 1915
Parade of Western Scots (67th Battalion), September 25th 1915
Mascots of the 67th Battalion “Romeo and Juliette”
Western Scots 67th Battalion, October 14th 1915
Garrison Parade for Drum Head Service at Beacon Hill Park, October 31st 1915
Girl Guides, October 21st 1915
Trafalgar Day Parade and Tag Day for Canadian Red Cross Society, October 21st 1915
Departure of 5th Regiment Draft for St. Lucia
Battalion Parade, 88th Fusiliers, December 2nd 1915
5th Regiment Draft December 11th 1915
Departure of Staff for B.C. Base Hospital, August 21st 1915
B.C. Horse, 88th Fusiliers, 50th Gordons
Detachment of B.C Horse from Vernon
B.C. Horse off to Vernon, August 20th 1915
Detachment from 88th Fusiliers and 50th Highlanders en route to Vernon Camo, July 24th 1915
Princess Patricia Reserves and Army Medical Corps, January 10th 1915
Review by Major-General Hughes, January 23rd 1915
Naval Reserve Draft en route to Halifax, July 26th 1915
“Some Victoria Boys in England”
First Contingent, August 26th 1914
Departure of 30th Battalion, February 14th 1915
Nurses from Victoria and Vancouver for duty in France, taken at Work Point, August 4th 1915
Patriotic Demonstration Parade (1 year of war), August 4th 1915
B.C. Base Hospital, August 21st 1915
Part of Camp at Willows, January 1915
Inspection by Major General Steele, February 27th 1915
Victoria Boys in Salisbury, England
Officers of 2nd CMR (B.C. Horse)
Anti-German Riot, May 8th 1915
Garrison Parade, May 24th 1915
Victoria Day Parade, May 24th 1915
Inspection of 48th Battalion by Lieutenant-Governor, June 15th 1915
Souvenirs from HMS Kent, December 8th 1914
Church Parade 48th Battalion
103rd Battalion, June 28th 1916
143rd Battalion, June 28th 1916
Untitled [artillery]
Departure of 11th CMR, June 20th 1916
No. 11 Company, Army Medical Corps off to Vernon, June 7th 1916
Departure of 15th Brigade CFA [Canadian Field Artillery], May 28th 1916
Departure of 88th Battalion CEF [Canadian Expeditionary Force], May 23rd 1916
15th Brigade CFA Parade, May 15th 1916
Farewell Parade, 88th Battalion, May 12th 1916
15th Brigade CFA, May 6th 1916
Church Parade, 88th Battalion, April 30th 1916
No. 1 Company, 88th Battalion, Belmont House
11th CMR [Canadian Mounted Rifles], April 7th 1916
143rd Battalion B.C. Bantams, April 2nd 1916
Departure of 67th Battalion Western Scots, May 24th 1916
103rd Battalion Parade, March 4th 1916
Opening of Parliament, 88th Battalion Guard of Honour, March 2nd 1916
11th CMR Parade, March 15th 1916
67th Battalion Western Scots Final Parade, March 14th 1916
67th Battalion Western Scots Farewell Parade through the City, February 21st 1916
103rd Battalion Parade, December 1915
Garrison Battalion Parade and Tag Day, December 21st 1915
Departure of Mechanical Transport Draft and “Pioneers”, December 25th 1915
Departure of First Contingent, August 28th 1914
Church Parade 48th Battalion, June 20th 1915
HMS Kent, June 1915
Untitled [Red Cross Bull Dog Mascot]

The album was originally arranged in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent photographs, though there are instances when this order is not followed. Additionally, it appears that the album’s original order may have been altered due to deterioration and handling. The album is currently broken into two separate pieces. The first piece which includes the front cover is entirely separate from the rest of the album and currently sits on top of it. It is unmodified and the last pages are exposed to handling and are therefore quite damaged and deteriorated.

The second piece of the album has been retrofitted with a cardboard cover to protect the first pages while the back of the album is protected with the original hard cover. It also appears that at some point in time another bulk of pages were wedged in between the last page of the album and the back cover. Most of the photographs, if not all, do not have original glass plate negatives within our collections. However, many of the events represented in the album are also represented in MS-3356, albeit from different angles. It is possible that the photographs in this album were taken by an assistant working with Ernest Crocker.

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The album is in poor condition and is broken in two parts. A few photos are torn.

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