Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Wait for me, Daddy

with 18 comments


October 1, 1940. The image of a child breaking free of his mother’s hold to reach out to his father became one of the enduring images of WWII. It was taken by Claude Detloff at Columbia and 8th Street in New Westminster, Vancouver as the soldiers of the Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles marched off to fight in the Second World War.

The mother’s outstretched hand and the swirl of her coat, the boy’s shock of white hair and his own reaching hand, the father’s turning smile and the downward thrust of his own outreaching hand (he has shifted his rifle to his other hand to hold his son’s for a moment) and the long line of marching men in the background combine to make this an unforgettable image, a masterpiece of unplanned composition, a heart-grabbing moment frozen for all time.

The next day, the picture appeared in the Canadian Newspaper Province and the family, Jack, Bernice and their son Warren “Whitey” Bernard were suddenly famous. The picture was given a full page in Life, was portrayed in Liberty, Time, Newsweek, the Reader’s Digest and the Encyclopaedia Britannica Yearbook, not to mention dozens of newspapers. It was hung in many schools in Canada during the war. First grader Whitey became the face of ‘Bring My Daddy Home’ War Bond drives. He finally did in October 1945, and Detloff took a photograph of their reunion.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

June 25, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Posted in Society, War

Tagged with , ,

18 Responses

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  1. I’m in my late thirties, and I’ve never seen this photo. I have seen alot of wartime photos. This one shook me up today.
    A little boy of mine got on the school bus today for his first day of school. I came in the house, turned on the television watching Canada AM and they hosted this picture this morning and interviewed the young boy now much older.
    Brought a tear to my eye seeing this photo. What an amazing photo.

    Jeff Darrington

    September 11, 2009 at 1:36 pm

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  3. My Grandfather is the man right above the little boy’s head and two of my great uncles are in the same line. We were very lucky to see all three live to a very old age. I still tear up when I see this photo.


    November 11, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    • My Dad and two uncles are in this picture as well. It is amazing to me that all of the men in our family ended up in the same picture. And as it turns out – my cousins friend married the little boy.

      Ruth Davies

      April 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    • I just realized that we are talking about the same family! Too weird – never made the connection!

      Ruth Davies

      April 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm

  4. You need to source where you got this information from. As explained in the link I have included, this is an excerpt from The History of Metropolitan Vancouver, by Chuck Davis.

    I have no qualms about alerting the author/publisher about your plagiarism.

    Jessica Voigt

    December 9, 2009 at 6:43 am

    • GET A LIFE, LOSER!!!


      August 20, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    • I don’t know about you but in my country, where this photograph was taken, this photograph is almost seventy years old.
      Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m fairly certain thats public domain.


      May 31, 2012 at 6:28 am

  5. A beautiful photo, which has brought tears to my eyes. I’m glad to hear that Dad got home ok. My son is the exact same age.

    Neil Hunt

    July 14, 2010 at 11:34 am

  6. Good afternoon. I have a customer that is looking for a copy of this picture. Please advise if they are for sale and how much. His view currently looks at 8th street and he would like a before & after view

    Please advise I can be reached at 604 422-8483

    Thanks Denise


    August 6, 2010 at 8:35 pm

  7. Touching photograph, always makes me tear up.

    And – Thank you vets.


    August 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

  8. hey jess, I just screen captured the pic. better call the police.


    August 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm

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  11. We in New Westminster are very proud of this photo and we are in the process of making three statues and placing them at the foot of 8th Street. In order to celebrate the fact that this is an iconic photograph, we may place a mock camera approximately where the photographer was standing so that when you look into the camera, the photo will be etched on to the back glass. The little boy, “Whitey”, is still around and we plan to invite him to the unveiling which is targeted for Oct. 1, 2013. The BC Regiment hopes to re-enact the march down 8th Street. It is going to be a spectacular celebration!

    lorrie williams

    June 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm

  12. Actually, the celebration and unveilling will rake place on October 4, 2014. We needed more trime because this will be a big celebration and we want to do ot right. Lorrie Williams

    Lorrie Williams

    August 1, 2012 at 5:30 pm

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