Collection Acc4585 - Elmer Phillips fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Elmer Phillips fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

Parallel title

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Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the collection

Level of description


Reference code

CA PCA Acc4585

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1986-1993 (Creation)
    Phillips, Elmer

Physical description area

Physical description

.01 m of textual records
ca. 400 col. photographs
ca. 800 negatives

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Phillips, Elmer

Biographical history

Elmer Phillips, a resident of Wilmot, Prince Edward Island, is a World War II veteran who served both in the war-time merchant marine and the Royal Canadian Navy (HMCS Alberni and HMCS Port Colborne). Following a trip to visit some World War II cemeteries with his friend Tanton McNeill, also a veteran of the war who served with the West Nova Scotia Regiment in Italy and northwestern Europe, the two men became interested in systematically locating and photographing the grave sites of Island soldiers killed in Europe. They returned to Europe in September 1986 to make an extensive tour of Canadian war cemeteries in Italy and northern Europe. On their return, snapshots of Island soldiers' gravestones were forwarded to surviving relatives. This generated new requests for photographs of Island headstones, many of them located in non-military or non-Canadian cemeteries, thus necessitating several more trips to war cemeteries in Europe. (SEE "That mark our place: Island war dead in Europe. Part one: The Second World War"/ compiled by Elmer Phillips and Tanton McNeill. In The Island magazine , #24, Fall/Winter 1988, p. 34-43)

Custodial history

Scope and content

The collection consists of two large binders of colour photographs (ca. 400) of the cemeteries and the individual headstones of Islanders who died overseas in the second world war. One binder is dedicated to the cemeteries in Italy while the other contains images from cemeteries in Belgium, France, Germany, and Holland. They are arranged by cemetery and are often preceded by a ground plan of the cemetery and the names of the Islanders who are buried there. The list occasionally contains a place of residence in PEI and/or the unit the soldier served with. There are also ca 800 identified negatives of the cemeteries and headstones which appear in the binders as well as many other cemeteries, including some in Great Britain. A few are of graves of soldiers in World War I and some are for graves of non-Islanders. Not all images which appear in the binders have corresponding negatives. Negative numbers appear on the verso of photos for which there are corresponding negatives. Similarly, negatives for which imagines appear in the binders are identified in the index to the graves. The fonds also contains a few textual items concerning errors in the "Island magazine" article, casualties, cemeteries in Normandy and the graves of war dead in Prince Edward Island.

Notes area


As it was important not to cut negative strips, it was impossible to group negatives by name, cemetery or even by country. Consequently sheets were numbered in sequence by date taken, i.e. October 1986 (Sheet 1-8), Jume 1987(Sheets 9-15), and June 1988 (Sheets 15-26). Some sheets have numbers missing from the film. Where possible these were kept in order by a poradic numbering system given to envelopes by the photographer. In several envelopes there were images extraneous to the numbering of the roll of film which did not fit the gaps in Sheets 1-25. These were removed and placed in separate sheets. Identifications were made where possible. A listing of images by sheet has been compiled and an alphabetical index printed by the name of the soldier which gives the country and name of the cemetery as well as the sheet and negative number if a negative exists. It also indicates whether the image appears in the binders. Only the images of the graves of individuals have been indexed.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

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Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication


Associated materials

Additional information concerning war cemeteries and individual casualties can be found on the Virtual Memorial website of Veterans Affairs Canada

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Description record identifier

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Language of description

  • English

Script of description

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