Like hundreds of soldiers, Edward took a Vest Pocket Kodak camera overseas.
Cantabrians at home relied on these soldier snapshots for images of the War until 1917 when New Zealand appointed an official photographer. Edward spent 4 years in the Middle East and was discharged 6 weeks after the War ended.
During World War Two, he re-enlisted and served at home with the No 8 Ellesmere Squadron. He started his military career as a private and ended it nearly 30 years later as a full lieutenant.
The Vest Pocket Kodak camera, commonly known as the ‘Soldier’s Kodak’, was small, lightweight and easy to carry.
Through an opening on the back of the camera, notes could be written onto the film with a metal stylus. Over 1.75 million were sold worldwide.
With their cameras, ordinary soldiers produced thousands of snapshots of their lives at war, recording the chaos of battle as well as time spent sightseeing. The first image of Gallipoli that New Zealanders saw was taken by Auckland soldier Private Robert Blackwell Steele. His photograph of soldiers under fire was published on the front cover of the Auckland Weekly News on 24 June 1915.
An enthusiastic amateur photographer, Albert Edward Hough of Linwood, Christchurch, compiled an album filled with snapshots he took of his wartime experiences as well as professional photographs he bought.
It wasn’t until March 1917 that the New Zealand High Commissioner in London appointed Henry Armytage Sanders as official photographer of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on the Western Front.
Unlike earlier soldier snaps, the Government heavily censored official photographs. Particularly horrendous scenes, such as images of Passchendaele where more than 800 men died on a single day were not published at the time.