| images by john ecker, pantheon photography

Posts tagged “battle

Remembrance: Vimy Canadian Cemetery, France, photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography

REMEMBRANCE: VIMY CANADIAN CEMETERY, FRANCE:  Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor 18-200 lens at 127mm, f22, 1/125 sec. ISO 1000.  Photo by John Ecker    |     pantheon photography

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Lest we forget: Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland memorial, France, photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography

LEST WE FORGET: BEAUMONT-HAMEL NEWFOUNDLAND MEMORIAL, FRANCE:  July 1st, 2011 is the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel.  It was a defining moment for Newfoundland and one of the bloodiest battles of World War I.  Now celebrated across the nation as Canada Day, July 1st is remembered each year in Newfoundland as the day so many sons of the colony died on the killing field of Beaumont-Hamel, France.  Click here for more information about the battle of Beaumont Hamel.    Image by John Ecker     |     pantheon photography


“Four score and seven….” Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography

GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, LINCOLN MEMORIAL, WASHINGTON, D.C.  Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is inscribed in the limestone walls of the giant memorial to the great President.  Whereas most people, particularly children, readily rush up to the statue of the seated Lincoln in the central part of the memorial, fewer people approach the powerful words carved into the southern wall.  They are best read from a distance.  Every so often, a child will make the mad dash to stand below the text while parents snap photos of their son or daughter below the famous text.  As we all know, the speech begins with “Four score and seven years ago…”  What does that mean anyhow?  A score is twenty years.  Four score is 80.  Add seven and you have 87.  America’s 16th President gave the speech on Thursday, November 19th, 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (site of the battle of Gettysburg in early July of that same year).  87 years before President Lincoln’s remarks was the year 1776.

Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 10-24mm at 22mm,  f4.5, 1/15 sec., ISO 640, Photo by John Ecker     |     Pantheon Photography


Thiepval British Memorial, Picardie, France

THIEPVAL BRITISH MEMORIAL, THIEPVAL, PICARDIE, FRANCE: Britain’s largest World War I memorial is found in northern France near Thiepval in Picardie.  The structure was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.  Started in 1928, it was completed in four years and inaugurated by the Prince of Wales on July 31st 1932.  The battlefield monument required extensive reinforcement to its foundations due to war-time tunneling.  The memorial is reserved for missing or unidentified soldiers with no known grave.  The Portland Stone piers bear the names of over 72,000 men lost in the Somme battles.  Visitors may wonder why there are gaps in the stone between some names.  This is because the names of soldiers whose graves were subsequently found are removed from the memorial. 

April 17th is an important date in World War I history, so the date of this post is no coincidence.  April 17, 1915 was the date of the British assault on Hill 60 when the Brits blew up several mines under German positions.  It served as a turning point and was the prelude to the Second Battle of Ypres.  This is also the date of the arrival of the 1st Canadian Division in France.  On French soil for just five days, the Canadians were moved to the front lines where they found themselves in the biggest defensive fight to that point by Canadian troops.  April 17, 1917 is also a momentous if not ignominious date for the French.  After France’s disastrous Nivelle Offensive, French infantry started to mutiny in protest of the military leadership and trench conditions.  By the time the mutinies subsided several months later, over 35,000 soldiers were found to be involved with 68 out of 112 French divisions affected. Fewer than 3,000 men were punished.

Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, with a Nikkor AF-S 16-85mm lens at 20mm, f25, 1/400th second, ISO 2000. Photo by John Ecker     |     Pantheon Photography


Juno Beach, Normandy, France, photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography

JUNO BEACH, NORMANDY, FRANCE:  On Tuesday, June 6th, 1944, soldiers from the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2nd Armoured Brigade stormed the Normandy beach codenamed “Juno” as part of Operation Overlord, the audacious attack on the Nazi occupied and  heavily-fortified French Coast.  Juno was an eight-kilometre stretch of beach near the town of Courseulles-sur-Mer.  That day, 574 men of the 3rd Canadian Division were wounded and 340 were killed.  Today, remnants of the German fortifications remain along the Normandy beaches, including Juno.  The story of Canada’s role in the Allied invasion is well-told at the Juno Beach Centre.  This photo was taken at low tide.  The camera position gives a stone’s-view perspective near the Juno Beach Centre, looking out across the English Channel.  Shot with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 16-85 mm lens at 16mm, 1/60 sec, f22, ISO 800. Photo by John Ecker      |     pantheon photography


Remembrance Day, November 11, 2010, photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography

REMEMBRANCE DAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2010:  It’s Remembrance Day.  The poppy is the enduring symbol that reminds us of those who gave their lives in battle.  Like so many Canadians, I cannot look at a poppy without thinking of the poem by John McCrae.  McCrae joined up in August 1914 and was appointed brigade surgeon with the First Brigade of the Canadian Field Artillery.   He served in Belgium and witnessed the bloody Second Battle of Ypres, in Flanders.  McCrae wrote his famous poem the day after the death of a close friend in battle.   McCrae died of pneumonia and meningitis on January 28, 1918. He was buried with full military honours in Wimereaux Cemetery.  His grave is simply marked, but always adorned with poppies and poppy wreaths.  Click here to read  In Flanders FieldsShot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor 16-85 VR lens at 75mm, f32, 1/160 sec., ISO 800. 

Photo by John Ecker     |     pantheon photography


Remembrance: Vimy Canadian Cemetery, France,photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography

REMEMBRANCE: VIMY CANADIAN CEMETERY, FRANCE:  Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor 18-200 lens at 127mm, f22, 1/125 sec. ISO 1000.  Photo by John Ecker    |     pantheon photography


Beaumont-Hamel, France, Battle of the Somme, 1916, photo by John Ecker, Pantheon Photography

BEAUMONT-HAMEL, FRANCE, BATTLE OF THE SOMME, 1916.  Click here for my story about Beaumont-HamelPhoto by John Ecker         pantheon photography