Visual Essay

Portraits of the War

Remembering the Canadians lost in the Afghanistan war

Painting by Joanne Tod
Photographed by Michael Cullen, Peterborough, Ontario Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
April 18, 2002

My uncle, Private James Tod, was killed in Sicily in 1944. It was such a painful loss that my family almost never spoke of Uncle Jim, who was a talented aspiring artist. I learned more about him only recently when I inherited photographs and letters he sent to the family during his time in the army. They gave me a fascinating glimpse into his life and character, and their discovery prompted my interest in both Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan and the individual soldiers who have died there.

For the past three years, I have been painting portraits of our fallen Canadians. Each is executed on a six-by-five-inch birch panel. The modular nature of the series is a significant aspect of the work; in addition to being practical, it subtly acknowledges the ubiquity of war: it can conform to any location. The notion of asymmetry complements the informality shown in some of the portraits, particularly those from early in the mission. Some of these images depict soldiers in the field, hatless and sunburned. This idiosyncratic informality might also be viewed as a kind of innocence, as if they had embarked without their official army photographs having been taken, since the conflict was not supposed to be such a protracted—or deadly—one. Presented here to mark the official end of the Afghanistan combat mission are portraits of the 157 Canadians who have died in the war.

After The Walrus’s July-August 2011 issue went to press, two more soldiers died in Afghanistan, bringing the total number of Canadians killed to 159. Bdr. Karl Manning of the 1er Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment was found dead on May 27, 2011, in Zangabad. Master Cpl. Francis Roy of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment was found dead on June 25, 2011, in Kandahar. Both soldiers’ portraits have been appended to this gallery.

Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Richard Green
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
April 18, 2002
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Marc D. Léger
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
April 18, 2002
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Nathan Smith
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
April 18, 2002
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Robbie Christopher Beerenfenger
3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
October 2, 2003
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Robert Alan Short
3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
October 2, 2003
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Jamie Brendan Murphy
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
January 27, 2004
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Braun Scott Woodfield
2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
November 24, 2005
Painting by Joanne Tod
Mr. Glyn Berry
Director, Foreign Affairs Canada
January 15, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Paul Davis
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
March 2, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Timothy Wilson
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
March 5, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Robert Costall
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
March 29, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Matthew David James Dinning
1 Military Police Unit
April 22, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Bdr. Myles Stanley John Mansell
5th (British Columbia), Field Artillery Regiment
April 22, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Randy Payne
1 Military Police Unit
April 22, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Lt. William Turner
20th Field Artillery Regiment
April 22, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Capt. Nichola Kathleen Sarah Goddard
1st Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
May 17, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Anthony Joseph Boneca
Lake Superior Scottish Regiment
July 9, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Francisco Gomez
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
July 22, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Jason Patrick Warren
The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada
July 22, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Kevin Dallaire
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
August 3, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Vaughan Ingram
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
August 3, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Bryce Jeffrey Keller
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
August 3, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Christopher Jonathan Reid
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
August 3, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Raymond Arndt
Loyal Edmonton Regiment
August 5, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Jeffrey Scott Walsh
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
August 9, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Andrew James Eykelenboom
1st Field Ambulance
August 11, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. David Braun
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
August 22, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. William Jonathan James Cushley
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
September 3, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
WO Frank Robert Mellish
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
September 3, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
WO Richard Francis Nolan
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
September 3, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Shane Stachnik
2 Combat Engineer Regiment
September 3, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Mark Anthony Graham
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
September 4, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Glen Arnold
2nd Field Ambulance
September 18, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. David Byers
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
September 18, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Shane Keating
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
September 18, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Keith Morley
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
September 18, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Josh Klukie
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
September 29, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Craig Paul Gillam
Royal Canadian Dragoons
October 3, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Robert Thomas James Mitchell
Royal Canadian Dragoons
October 3, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Tpr. Mark Andrew Wilson
Royal Canadian Dragoons
October 7, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Darcy Scott Tedford
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
October 14, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Blake Neil Williamson
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
October 14, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
CWO Robert Girouard
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
November 27, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Albert Storm
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
November 27, 2006
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Kevin Megeney
1st Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders (North)
March 6, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. David Robert Greenslade
2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
April 8, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Kevin Vincent Kennedy
2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
April 8, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Donald Lucas
2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
April 8, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Brent Donald Poland
2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
April 8, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Christopher Paul Stannix
Princess Louise Fusiliers
April 8, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Aaron Edward Williams
2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
April 8, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Tpr. Patrick James Pentland
Royal Canadian Dragoons
April 11, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Allan Stewart
Royal Canadian Dragoons
April 11, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Anthony Klumpenhouwer
Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
April 18, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Matthew McCully
2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters and Signals Squadron
May 25, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Darrell Jason Priede
Army News Team, 3 Area Support Group
May 30, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Tpr. Darryl Caswell
Royal Canadian Dragoons
June 11, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Stephen Frederick Bouzane
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
June 20, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Christos Karigiannis
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
June 20, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Joel Wiebe
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
June 20, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Jordan Anderson
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
July 4, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Cole D. Bartsch
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
July 4, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Colin Stuart Francis Bason
Royal Westminster Regiment
July 4, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Capt. Matthew Johnathan Dawe
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
July 4, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Capt. Jefferson Clifford Francis
1st Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
July 4, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Lane William Thomas Watkins
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
July 4, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Simon Longtin
3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
August 19, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Christian Duchesne
5th Field Ambulance
August 22, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
MWO Mario Mercier
2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
August 22, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Maj. Raymond Mark Ruckpaul
Armoured Corps, Royal Canadian Dragoons
August 29, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Nathan Hornburg
The King’s Own Calgary Regiment
September 24, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Frédéric Couture
2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
November 14, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Nicolas R. Beauchamp
5th Field Ambulance
November 17, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Michel Jr. Lévesque
3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
November 17, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Gunner Jonathan Dion
5e Régiment d’artillerie légère du Canada
December 30, 2007
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Éric Labbé
2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
January 6, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
WO Hani Massouh
2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
January 6, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Tpr. Richard Renaud
12e Régiment blindé du Canada
January 15, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Étienne Gonthier
5 Combat Engineer Regiment
January 23, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Tpr. Michael Y. Hayakaze
Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians)
March 2, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Bdr. Jérémie Ouellet
1st Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
March 11, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Jason Boyes
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
March 16, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Terry John Street
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
April 4, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Michael Starker
15th Field Ambulance
May 6, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Capt. Richard Steven Leary
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
June 3, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Capt. Jonathan Sutherland Snyder
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
June 7, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Brendan Anthony Downey
Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg Military Police, Dundurn Detachment
July 4, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Colin William Wilmot
1st Field Ambulance
July 5, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. James Hayward Arnal
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
July 18, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Joshua Brian Roberts
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
August 9, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Erin Doyle
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
August 11, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Shawn Allen Eades
1 Combat Engineer Regiment
August 20, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Spr. Stephan John Stock
1 Combat Engineer Regiment
August 20, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Dustin Roy Robert Joseph Wasden
1 Combat Engineer Regiment
August 20, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Andrew Paul Grenon
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group
September 3, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Chadwick James Horn
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group
September 3, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Michael James Alexander Seggie
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group
September 3, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Prescott Shipway
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group
September 7, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Demetrios Diplaros
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
December 5, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Mark Robert McLaren
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
December 5, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
WO Robert Wilson
1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
December 5, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. John Michael Roy Curwin
2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
December 13, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Thomas James Hamilton
2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
December 13, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Justin Peter Jones
2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
December 13, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Michael Freeman
3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
December 26, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Gregory John Kruse, 2 Combat
Engineer Regiment, serving as a member of 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group
December 27, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
WO Gaétan Roberge
2nd Battalion, Irish Regiment of Canada
December 27, 2008
Painting by Joanne Tod
Tpr. Brian Richard Good
3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group
January 7, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Spr. Sean David Greenfield
24 Field Engineer Squadron, 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group
January 31, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
WO Dennis Raymond Brown
Lincoln and Welland Regiment
March 3, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Dany Olivier Fortin
425 Tactical Fighter Squadron, 3 Wing Bagotville
March 3, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Kenneth Chad O’Quinn
2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters and Signals Squadron
March 3, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Tpr. Marc Diab
Royal Canadian Dragoons, 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group
March 8, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Tpr. Jack Bouthillier
Royal Canadian Dragoons, 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group
March 20, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Tyler Crooks
3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group
March 20, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Tpr. Corey Joseph Hayes
Royal Canadian Dragoons, 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group
March 20, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Scott Francis Vernelli
3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group
March 20, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Karine Blais
12e Régiment blindé du Canada, Groupment tactique, 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
April 13, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Maj. Michelle Mendes
Chief of Defence Intelligence
April 23, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Alexandre Péloquin
3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
June 8, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Martin Dubé
5 Combat Engineer Regiment
June 14, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Nicholas Bulger
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
July 3, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Charles-Philippe Michaud
2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
July 4, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Patrice Audet
430e Escadron tactique d’hélicoptères
July 6, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Martin Joannette
3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
July 6, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Sébastien Courcy
2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
July 16, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Spr. Matthieu Allard
5e Régiment du génie de combat, Groupement tactique, 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
August 1, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Christian Bobbitt
5e Régiment du génie de combat, Groupement tactique, 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
August 1, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Jean-François Drouin
5e Régiment du génie de combat, Groupement tactique, 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment,
September 6, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Maj. Yannick Pépin
5e Régiment du génie de combat, Groupement tactique, 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
September 6, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Patrick Lormand
2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
September 13, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Jonathan Couturier
2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
September 17, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Lt. Justin Boyes
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
October 28, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Spr. Steven Marshall
1 Combat Engineer Regiment
October 30, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Lt. Andrew Richard Nuttall
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
December 23, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Garrett William Chidley
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
December 30, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Zachery McCormack
Loyal Edmonton Regiment, 4th Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
December 30, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. George Miok
41 Combat Engineer Regiment
December 30, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Kirk Taylor
84 Independent Field Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery
December 30, 2009
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. John Faught
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
January 16, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Capt. Frank Paul
28th Field Ambulance, Ottawa
February 10, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Joshua Caleb Baker
Loyal Edmonton Regiment, 4th Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
February 12, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Darren James Fitzpatrick
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
March 20, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Tyler William Todd
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
April 11, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
PO2 Second Class Craig Blake
Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic)
May 3, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Kevin Thomas McKay
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
May 13, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Col. Geoff Parker
Land Forces Central Area Headquarters
May 18, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Tpr. Larry Rudd
Royal Canadian Dragoons
May 24, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. Martin Goudreault
1 Combat Engineer Regiment
June 6, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Sgt. James Patrick MacNeil
2 Combat Engineer Regiment
June 21, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Kristal Giesebrecht
1st Field Ambulance
June 26, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Pte. Andrew Miller
2nd Field Ambulance
June 26, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Spr. Brian Collier
1 Combat Engineer Regiment
July 20, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Brian Pinksen
2nd Battalion, Royal Newfoundland Regiment
August 30, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Steve Martin
3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
December 18, 2010
Painting by Joanne Tod
Cpl. Yannick Scherrer
1er Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
March 27, 2011
Painting by Joanne Tod
Bdr. Karl Manning
1er Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
May 27, 2011
Painting by Joanne Tod
MCpl. Francis Roy
Canadian Special Operations Regiment
June 25, 2011

Correction: In the printed version of this visual essay, we misidentifed Spr. Matthieu Allard, Cpl. Glen Arnold, Cpl. Christian Bobbitt, Pte. David Byers, Pte. Sébeastien Courcy, Cpl. Jean-François Drouin, Cpl. Martin Joannette, Cpl. Shane Keating, and Cpl. Keith Morley. The Walrus deeply regrets these errors.

This special section honouring our fallen soldiers is sponsored by Bennett Jones.

This appeared in the July/August 2011 issue.

Joanne Tod is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.