by Matt Poole, Chris Johnson, Paul Kadwill and Rajeshwor Yumnam
The Imperial War Museum website has incorrect captions to two still photos in its collection – CF 175 and CF 176 (seen above) – which were erroneously updated in 2017.
In order to set the historical record straight, a group of researchers consisting of Matt Poole, Chris Johnson, Paul Kadwill and Rajeshwor Yumnam have published the enclosed report. The reader of the attached pdf report will be presented with evidence which is robust in support of their impeccable research. The recommended captions are presented at the end of the attached pdf document. The GIF file seen below referenced on page 16 the pdf document.
This report has been sent to IWM by Matt and on behalf of his colleagues, Christopher Johnson, Paul Kadwill, and Rajeshwor Yumnam. A bit about these four individuals and their interest in the subject matter is not out of place here. Matt Poole is a retired US Government geospatial analyst and an expert in satellite imagery and aerial photography. He co-authored the recent Fonthill Media book ‘RAF Liberators over Burma’. Christopher Johnson is an experienced researcher of Second World War actions in the north-east of India, specifically Manipur and its capital, Imphal. His book, ‘The Forgotten Army’s Box of Lions’, can be found within IWM archives (catalogue number LBY K. 00/2428). Paul Kadwill is a keen amateur researcher who comes from a background of scientific research. Rajeshwor Yumnam is the Founder and Chairperson of the 2nd World War Imphal Campaign Foundation. Living in Manipur, India, he is the group’s ‘investigator on the ground’.
Last summer the captions of two photographs within the archives of the IWM – CF 175 and CF 176 – were updated with incorrect information. In response to Enquiry ENQ018897 from Christopher Johnson regarding one of the photos, IWM Assistant Photograph Curator Geoff Spender wrote the following to him on 7 July 2017:
This image is part of our CF series of Air Ministry Second World War official photographs. It came to us via the Ministry of Information in 1947 as part of a mass transfer of official Second World War photography. The caption I sent you is the one provided to us by the Ministry. I edited it recently based on new information sent in by a member of the public who had identified the precise location the photograph was taken.
This ‘precise location’ is a major error. The accompanying pdf report provides irrefutable evidence to support the research group’s identification of the correct location. They have also found other caption errors and changes. At the end of the report they offer suggestions for updated captions.
The individual who requested the last caption changes is believed to have claimed 18 May 1944 as the date when the photographs were taken. Even though the research team may be wrong in associating said person with this date, the pdf will nevertheless disprove 18 May 1944 and offer evidence to support the contention that the correct date is 13 July 1944, nearly two months later.