Photography of Graves, ca. 1919


G.R.S. .004.5


1. PHOTOGRAPHY OF GRAVES is entirely controlled by the Chief of the Graves Registration Service, American Expeditionary Forces, France. No photographs of graves should be taken except by the special photographers of this Service, who, under the operation of military orders, are assigned to the Staff of its Chief, by the American Red Cross.

2. An officer of the American Red Cross, designated as Director of Photography, is assigned to the Staff of the Chief, Graves Registration Service, for this work, under his direction, and funds are provided through the War Chest contributed by the American people. No funds should be sent to the Graves Registration Service, the Red Cross, or individual officers for this purpose from any private source.

3. Operators are now photographing graves in France, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain and Ireland, and it is expected that within a very few months the finished photographs will be transmitted to the relatives of our dead.

4. Owing to the difficulties of obtaining the necessary technical staff, and the inadvisability of setting up a large photographic laboratory in France, it has been decided to distribute these photographs through the Bureau of Communication, American Red Cross National Headquarters, Washington, D.C., and all applications for pictures should be filed there, as soon as notification of the location of grave has been received by a relative from the Chief, Graves Registration Service.

5. The photographers work under route instructions issued by the Chief, Graves Registration Service, and in the interest of economy and labor-saving, it has been decided that these operators will not be able to make special trips to distant points to take individual photographs in response to urgent requests received from the United States or elsewhere. The time so consumed would prolong the period of waiting on the part of many others.

6. It is the desire to furnish the best possible service to sorrowing friends at home, and with this end in view, it is earnestly requested that relatives of our dead will be as patient as possible in awaiting these photographs. It will be appreciated that if requests are forwarded directly to the Graves Registration Service of the Army in France, it will only add to the burden of the work, without achieving the end in view; as, for reasons given above, appeals for priority, precedence or favoritism in the listing of claims cannot be considered, and photographs can only be forwarded from Washington.

By direction of Lieutenant Colonel CHARLES C. PIERCE
Chief, Graves Registration Service:
Maurice B. Dix.
Captain, American Red Cross,
Director of Photography,
Graves Registration Service.

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