The Canadian War Museum’s (CWM’s) Photographic Archives contains over 600 photograph collections or fonds. These include over 17,000 individual photographs, some with their original negatives, and more than 250 photo albums. This collection has been acquired from private sources, with the photographs for the most part representing the personal documentation of Canada’s military history by the participants. These have been brought together as part of the CWM’s mandate to collect, preserve and make available for research and exhibition the artifacts of the Canadian military experience. The collection of Frederick Charles Cantrill who served in the South African Constabulary from 1901 to 1903 is one of these.1 Larger than some, much smaller than others, this collection is typical of the personal photography undertaken by soldiers throughout the century. It is discussed here both as part of the CWM’s ongoing commemoration of Canadian participation in the South African War, and as an illustration of the interesting informal nature of many of the CWM’s photographic holdings. The article will examine Cantrill’s own story, the developments in photography that made his collection possible and, in the captions, assess what the photographs add to our understanding of Canadians in the South African War.
McCoy, Brendan "Snapshots from the South African War: The F.C. Cantrill Photograph Collection at the Canadian War Museum." Canadian Military History 9, 2 (2000)