One photographer's heartbreaking first-person account of WWI's Western Front

Oct. 1, 1917

Our Authorities here will not permit me to pose any pictures or indulge in any original means to secure them. They will not allow composite printing of any description, even though such be accurately titled nor will they permit clouds to be inserted in a picture. As this absolutely takes all possibilities of producing pictures from me, I have decided to tender my resignation at once. I conscientiously consider it but right to illustrate to the public the things our fellows do and how war is conducted. These can only be got by printing a result from a number of negatives or reenactment.

Oct. 2, 1917

I sent in my resignation this morning and await the result of igniting the fuse. It is disheartening, after striving to secure the impossible and running all hazards to meet with little encouragement.

Oct. 6, 1917

I am sending in 150 negatives this week. Headquarters have given me permission to make six combination enlargements in the exhibition! So I withdrew my resignation. They must at least appreciate my efforts, as they were dead against this being done. However, it will be no delusion on the public as they will be distinctly titled, setting forth the number of negatives used, etc….

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