Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

General Andrew McNaughton

General Andrew McNaughton, 1939

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the First World War ended, with Germany signing an armistice agreement with the Allies.

McNaughton joined the Canadian militia in 1909. He took the 4th Battery of the Canadian Expeditionary Force overseas with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 and arrived in France in February 1915. The need to accurately pinpoint artillery targets, both stationary and moving, led to his invention of a target detection technique using an oscilloscope which was the forerunner of radar. He sold the rights to that invention to the Government of Canada for only $10.

In March 1916 he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and returned to England to take command of the newly arrived 11 (Howitzer) Brigade RCA, taking it to France in July. In early 1917 he was appointed the Counter Battery Staff Officer of the Canadian Corps. On the day before the armistice he was promoted to Brigadier-General and appointed General Officer Commanding Canadian Corps Heavy Artillery. (Wikipedia)

Wonderful portrait; wonderful story:

The founder of Canada’s modern army… (General Andrew McNaughton) came to my studio in Ottawa, during a short leave following a long and tedious tour of duty in Britain. He was so tense that it was difficult to find a good angle from which to take him. Thinking that it might prove relaxing, I suggested that he try walking up and down. Ever since, I’ve been accused of exhausting the General by putting him through a campaign route march. However, I was able to catch this picture during one of his halts, and, in certain ways, I consider it one of the most successful I have ever made. While it certainly doesn’t look as if I had succeeded in getting him relaxed, it does reflect the anxiety and seriousness of the moment, and was widely used for posters and recruiting purposes. McNaughton had interrupted important scientific work to don the uniform again, and create an army out of almost nothing. He was to know no rest or relaxation until his unwelcome task would be turned over to a younger man. I was glad to be able to show his absorption in the emergency of his job so clearly.

McNaughton was photographed by Karsh on three occasions.