This collection consists of photographs and diaries that belonged to Clarence Tucker Beckett, a Presidio soldier, and help
to document the immense changes that occurred in the machinery of war at a nascent era of American military power.
Clarence Tucker Beckett was born in West Point, Mississippi in 1878 and died in California in 1969. He attended the Davis
Military Academy, Georgetown University (Kentucky), and the University of Mississippi. Educated as an attorney, he worked
for the secretary of the San Francisco Bar Association from 1919-1924. Through his long military career he saw vast changes,
witnessing the last time a United States Army’s Cavalry would play a significant role in warfare; while at the same time seeing
the First Aero Squadron engage in military action. He was involved in the Spanish-American War, the Philippines during the
Moro uprising, Pershing’s expedition into Mexico in 1916, and the First World War (although he was stationed in Texas).
One of Beckett’s lifetime interests was photography and during his service in the military, Beckett spent hours on this hobby.
“First and foremost a soldier,” he was nevertheless dedicated to getting the perfect shot and with his Kodak 3A slung over
his shoulder, he captured Army life in intimate and momentous ways. He endured remote outposts and deserts, managing to produce
pictures which provide insight into Army life at a pivotal time, where the United States’ military might was just beginning
Bonnett, Wayne. Presidio Soldiers: San Francisco and Beyond: The Photography of C. Tucker Beckett 1912-1917. Sausalito, CA:
Windgate Press, 2012. P.