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March 15, 2010

Is This My Father?

My father died Christmas Day many years ago. I had just turned 14 one month before his death. Over time my memory of his face has faded.

There are very few photographs of my dad. Those few (a handful) that exist are grainy badly taken images. Except for one. I have a studio portrait of my father taken during WW2, long before I was born.

At an auction recently I bid on and won a group photo of soldiers who were in training in Guelph Ontario in 1942. My dad lived in Guelph and was in training there when he joined the Army. This is a cropped portion of that group photo.

As soon as I saw the photo, I thought that the soldier seated to the right of the officer with the swagger stick (front row) could be my dad! It looks so much like him to my eyes. He is the 5th man counting from the right side.

I scanned and enlarged that soldier and have placed it below beside the WW2 studio portrait of my father. What do you think? Is it him?

I did notice differences as soon as I enlarged the photo. But my husband pointed out that the unknown man (left) has the sun in his eyes so he has shadows on his face that distort his features. He is also squinting a bit, further causing distortion. His face is turned slightly further to the side than the one I know is my father.

Please take a look and give your opinion. I want this to be a photo of my father so much that I am not sure I can judge objectively! Perhaps someone knows who the men were in No. 1 Platoon Basic Training in Guelph in July 1942. Even if no one knows for sure, your opinions and thoughts would be appreciated.


Harriet said...

I'm not an expert but to me it does look like the same man. Hope you can find out for sure.

Michelle Goodrum said...

I do see a number of similarities. This sounds a bit odd but can you zoom in on his ears? That might help.

Sanjay Maharaj said...

I am no expert but at first glance they look the same and at closer inspection they look the same even more. If I were to go soley by this picture to draw a conclusion I would say yes they are the same person.
Good luck in your search for answers.

Les said...

Note that the hairline is the same and that they are both officers.

JNaught said...

While they do look a lot alike at first glance.They both have the receeding hairline,they both seem to have the same posture but,after looking at the photos closer,the ears are different.The eyes of the man in the group photo,if you look at the bottom of the eyes they are different from the other photo.And the mouth is different(not his lips) but the area under the bottom lip. This area might chage if he were to gain a lot of weight but they both appear to weigh about the same. Although if the man in the single photo were to be facing the same as the group photo and different lighting you would be able to campare better. Have you tried flipping one of the photos and then compare them?

Charleen said...

Don't think so, Lorine. Ears seem really wrong and I just can't imagine dad slouching like the man in the photo. Also, mouth doesn't seem right, photo man's lips appear too full. I could be wrong.