If you have a pet, you know how important animals are in our lives. They keep us company, give us their love and trust, and keep us sane even during the most difficult periods. Tom Marshall of PhotograFix recognizes the importance of animals and their role in human lives. So, he has colorized photos of animals that accompanied or helped the soldiers in the First and the Second World War. The photos not only give these lesser-known heroes a new life, but also remind us of the importance of animals in the toughest of times.
Tom is a photo colorizer and restorer. He has worked with some of the world’s leading museums, photo archives, and publishers. However, he still enjoys taking private commissions and personal projects. Animals of War – In Color is Tom’s personal project that he made to pay a tribute to the furry and feathery war heroes.
“I have always been fascinated by the stories of animals in wartime, both those in service and those used as mascots and companions,” Tom writes on his website. “The photos I’ve colourised show a mixture of the two.” Tom notes that some of these animals are undoubtedly “heroes for the part they played.” However, we mustn’t forget that they are also victims of human war.
“I live very close to the base of the Defence Animal Training Regiment near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England which still to this day trains military working dogs and horses. Each year for Remembrance Sunday the Royal Army Veterinary Association will take part in a parade through the town, making sure the animal sacrifices of wars past and present are not forgotten.”
The photos Tom colorized for this series are from both the First and the Second World War, as I already mentioned. And this means that some of them are over 100 years old! There are different kinds of animals in the photos, all of which had different roles. Tom notes that some of them were later officially recognized and awarded by Dickin Medal.