Capt Paul J. Tomelin, BEM, CD (Ret'd)

    • Captain Paul J. Tomelin, BEM, CD (Ret'd)
    • "The Face of War"
    • Captain Paul J. Tomelin, BEM, CD (Ret'd)

    We regret to advise of the death of Captain Paul J. Tomelin, BEM, CD (Ret'd) on 5 March 2016 at age 90 years.

    Paul served a varied 29-year career in the Canadian Forces in different Corps but photography was a common thread and his specialization. He will be remembered for his Korean War iconic photograph, “ The Face of War” and his poem "A Veteran's Prayer" that is recited annually at the Retired Sappers' Reunion service at the All Sappers Memorial Park in Vedder Crossing, BC.  Paul served Canada in WW II, during the Korean War, with NATO in Germany and was also a proud peacekeeper.

    Paul enlisted when WW II broke out in Europe and volunteered to serve overseas. He trained in the Infantry but transferred to serve as a stretcher-bearer in Northwest Europe. Here he also gained some early expertise in photography. After the war, Paul was stationed in Dawson Creek, BC for a couple of years and continued to develop his photography skills. When the Dawson Creek installation was closed down, he was posted to Edmonton as a switchboard operator.

    When the Korean war broke out, Paul volunteered and was assigned to the 25 Public Relations Unit of 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade.  He deployed overseas following the first contingent of troops, as a Public Relations Photographer, and spent 18 months in Korea as a Sergeant cameraman. Some of Paul's photographs from the Korean War continue to be printed to this day in newspapers and magazines across Canada and around  the world. One of his most famous shots, titled “The Face of War,” depicts the young and bloodied face of Private Heath Mathews of C Company, the Royal Canadian Regiment.

    Upon his return to Canada in 1953, the Army announced that Sergeant Tomelin had been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for distinguished service in Korea. Soon after, he was posted to the Prairie Command Public Relations as a photographer. Later that year Paul was selected as one of only two photographers to be sent to England to photograph Canadian activities during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

    Paul was commissioned and Captain Tomelin served as Transportation Officer with the Canadian Contingent of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in the Middle East.

    Paul retired after 29 years in the service but continued in his public life taking photographs. He was a member of the Central Okanagan Photographic Society in Kelowna, BC for many years.

    A Veterans Party will be held at the Legion in Kelowna, BC and a get-together of  family and close friends will be held on Friday, 11 March 2016.{khMay2016}