Dan Steele

Photographic Colourist

AFPU Camera operator Sergeant Billy Greenhalgh Cowplain, Hampshire, May 1944.

AFPU (Army Film and Photographic Unit) Camera operator Sergeant Billy Greenhalgh of Blackburn, Lancashire during Exercise “Fabius”. A6 Camp, Cowplain, Hampshire. 6th May 1944.

Colour by Dan Steele

I thought I would be quite fitting to pay tribute to the few that, in many cases risked their lives, to capture the images that I love to colourise so much…

The Army Film and Photographic Unit were a subdivision of the Army created to record event that the military were involved in. Ten members of No. 5 AFPU were sent in with the troops during the invasion of Normandy, and many were wounded1.

Sergeant Greenhalgh was attached to 1st South Lancashire Regiment who landed on Sword beach on the 6th June 1944. Greenhalgh was able to capture the build up aboard vessels in the Solent and the aspects of the landing itself on his camera. You can see the footage found in the IWM digital archives.

At some point during the landing, Sergeant Greenhalgh, who in peace time was a Foreman Baker from Blackburn, was wounded by mortar fire. However, he returned to action with his camera as is seen elsewhere in the archives photographed in March 1945.

“Sergeant W A Greenhalgh, Army Film and Photographic Unit, with his jeep during Exercise ‘Fabius’, 6 May 1944.” © IWM H 38276

The caption on the back of the image gives the location as “Camp A.6. Cowplain, which corresponds to this location, as given by The D-Day Story museum, Portsmouth.

  1. https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/the-afpu-on-d-day

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