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Undiscovered 1917 Halifax Explosion photos surface in UK

J

jollyjacktar

Guest
I listened to the daughter being interviewed on radio the other day.  Very interesting to hear of her father and his experiences on the day and afterwards.  These photos are previously unknown and were taken from one of the ships in harbour that day.  Photos and a video at story link below.

Unique photographs taken by WWI sailor show the biggest manmade explosion in history when two warships crashed into each other
Photos, which emerged nearly 100 years after the event, show the moment two ships collided, killing 2,000 people
They were taken by Royal Navy Lt Victor Magnus who was based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in December 1917
During 'The Halifax Explosion', SS Mont-Blanc from France, loaded with wartime explosives, collided with SS Imo
Experts believe the huge blast was the largest manmade explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons
The photos, now at Imperial War Museum, were found by sailor's daughter Ann Foreman, 89, from Hayle, Cornwall

By Steph Cockroft for MailOnline

Published: 15:38 GMT, 19 November 2014  | Updated: 17:42 GMT, 19 November 2014

These unique photographs taken during the First World War by a British sailor show the biggest manmade explosion in history, when two warships crashed into one another, killing 2,000 people.

The photos, taken by Royal Navy Lt Victor Magnus, have emerged nearly 100 years after they were taken and show the moment a French and Norwegian ship dramatically collided in what has become known as 'The Halifax Explosion'.

During the incident, the SS Mont-Blanc - a ship from France fully loaded with wartime explosives - collided with SS Imo from Norway. The French ship then blew up, nearly wiping out an entire district.  Experts say the blast was the largest manmade explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons - with an equivalent force of roughly 2.9 kilotons of TNT.

Amateur photographer Victor, who was based in Halifax in the Canadian state of Nova Scotia, was said to 'always had a camera around his neck' and was able to grab a series of shots of the original 'big bang'.

The photos have now been found by his daughter Ann Foreman, 89, who discovered them among photo albums in a drawer.  She had no idea a slice of history had been gathering dust in her home for nearly 100 years.

Mrs Foreman, from Hayle in Cornwall, who served in the land army, has now taken them to the Imperial War Museum, London.

She said: 'My father was a great photographer. He always had a camera around his neck. He would take photos all the time. He never asked anyone to pose or anything. He just snapped away.  'It was just a coincidence that he was at the Halifax disaster. The actual explosion was a a massive amount of smoke.  'He was very lucky to survive, especially as it destroyed the town. He took some photos on the shore and it looked like the London Blitz.  'The whole situation of finding the photos has made it very real. I'm just so proud of him. He never talked about this and this is the first time seeing them. It's extraordinary.'

After the war, Victor went back to his job as a Marine Underwriter in Essex, before serving in the home guard during the Second World War.
Although later leaving the role to become an apple farmer, he always loved the sea and was the Commodore of Essex Yacht Club.  He was married for his whole life, had three children and six grandchildren, and died in 1969.

'He was very lucky to survive, especially as it destroyed the town. He took some photos on the shore and it looked like the London Blitz.  'The whole situation of finding the photos has made it very real. I'm just so proud of him. He never talked about this and this is the first time seeing them. It's extraordinary.'

After the war, Victor went back to his job as a Marine Underwriter in Essex, before serving in the home guard during the Second World War.
Although later leaving the role to become an apple farmer, he always loved the sea and was the Commodore of Essex Yacht Club.  He was married for his whole life, had three children and six grandchildren, and died in 1969.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2841066/Unique-photographs-taken-WWI-sailor-biggest-manmade-explosion-history-two-warships-crashed-other.html#ixzz3JYLRJs00
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