British Prisoners of War celebrate their liberation from Stalag 11B at Fallingbostel, 16 April 1945. From left to right: Private Smyth of Downham, captured at Cherbourg in 1944; Private Ryan of Bradford, captured at Hertogenbosch, 1944; Corporal Beardmore of Cheadle, captured at Arnhem, 1944; Private Still of Manchester, captured at Arnhem, 1944 and Private Greare of Glasgow, captured at St. Valery, 1940. Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.com

By Mark McConville

SOME of war’s more light-hearted moments have been given a new lease of life after being expertly colourised.

The incredible images show Allied soldiers mocking Adolf Hitler from his famous balcony at the Chancellery in conquered Berlin, Sherman tank crews watching a boxing match between two soldiers in Sicily and Maoris of ‘C’ Company, 28th Maori Battalion of the 2nd New Zealand Division perform the ‘Haka’.

Maoris of ‘C’ Company, 28th Maori Battalion of the 2nd New Zealand Division perform the ‘Haka’ for the visit of King George II of Greece, his wife the Queen, his cousin Prince Peter and Major General Freyberg. The location was at an army training camp at Helwan in Egypt. Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.com

 

Other striking shots show animals during the war as an American corporal aims a Colt M1895 atop a Sri Lankan elephant, puppies greet Marine tanksman Private Bruce Rutherford as he returns from Okinawa and Unsinkable Sam, the only cat in WWII to have served in both the Kriegsmarine and the Royal Navy.

The black and white photographs were painstakingly colourised by design engineer Paul Reynolds (48) from Birmingham, UK.
“Often, I try to choose photos that show an unusual side to the war, or photos that make you want to know more about the image you’re looking at,” he said.

Unsinkable Sam, the only cat in WWII to have served in both the Kriegsmarine and the Royal Navy. Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.com

“I think photos of this kind always benefit from being colourised. I think had the photographers at the time had colour equipment more readily available they would have used it.

“My favourite photo there is probably the Sherman tank commander cleaning his Thompson Sub machine gun whilst surrounded by puppies; so cool.”

The British Army in Sicily 1943. Sherman tank crews watch a boxing match, 1 August 1943. Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.com

Paul first started colourising with a family photo of my great Grandmother and progressed from there. He explained his other favourites in this set.

“My favourite story there is about Unsinkable Sam the ships cat, the only cat in WWII to have served in both the Kriegsmarine and the Royal Navy,” he said.

WWII Thanksgiving. Paul Reynolds / mediadrumworld.com

“The Marine on an Elephant photo is an eye catcher. It gets people talking and debating on my Facebook page as to whether it’s a viable tactic or just Marines having fun.”

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