AFPU in Camera is a personal retrophotojournalistic project, working within WWII historical re-enactment, paying tribute to the British Army Film & Photographic Unit in general, and in particular to AFPU Sergeant Bert Hardy, who in civilian life was best known as the chief photographer of Picture Post magazine, and was one of the finest English photographers of the 20th century. The project is primarily stills-based, but I am presently also looking into emulating motion picture work of the type also undertaken by cameramen of the AFPU.

Armed forces photographers and cameramen played an important and often dangerous role in recording all theatres of the Second World War - and in providing material for their nations' propaganda and press. All the British forces, for example, employed in-house photographers, either in special sections like the AFPU, assigned within general service or on attachment to other units. In Germany, photographers and war artists were assigned to the military as Kriegsberichters or war correspondents.

This project aims to raise the profile of AFPU photographers through educating the general public at events by re-enacting such photographers in an accurate, authentic and respectful manner. In addition, this website will become a growing informational resource available to all with an interest in the history of the AFPU.

I am in effect a RETROPHOTOJOURNALIST -

"Retro: Adjective imitative of a style from the recent past. Noun retro clothes, music, or style. ORIGIN French, from rétrograde ‘retrograde’. Photojournalism: Noun the communicating of news by photographs. DERIVATIVES photojournalist noun."

My retrophotojournalism

This work and website is respectfully dedicated to the officers and men of the Army Film & Photographic Unit, who risked their lives to record the war on behalf of the British Army and the people of Great Britain. And in particular to the memory of those unsung heroes who, while doing vital war work, laid down their lives in the service of their country.

This website is a 'work in progress'and a showcase for the resulting images as the work progresses. Watch out for:

  • A short history of the AFPU
  • Biographies of AFPU photographers and cameramen
  • In-depth studies of the equipment and techniques employed by the AFPU
  • A guide to AFPU resources at the Imperial War Museum

Stuart Williams

Updated April 2005

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