It’s October 1, 1940 and photographer Claude P. Dettloff is standing on Columbia Street at 8th Street in New Westminster, his press camera up to his eye, preparing to take a shot. He’s focusing on a line of hundreds of men of the B.C. Regiment marching down 8th to a waiting train. Soldiers of the Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles are marching past. Suddenly, in the view-finder, Detloff sees a little white-haired boy tugging away from his mother’s grasp and rushing up to his father in the marching line.
“Wait For Me, Daddy” becomes the most famous Canadian picture of the Second World War, and one of the most famous of all war pictures. And it was a fluke, a one-in-a-million shot.
Photo by Claude P. Dettloff (1940)