Canadian Wartime Propaganda

First World War Propaganda Poster

Canadians, Follow Dollard des Ormeaux's example, CWM 19920142-002

Canadians, Follow Dollard des Ormeaux's example

Volunteers flocked to the recruiting centres in early months of the war, but a quickly growing army and heavy casualties at the front soon ate into the pool of eager recruits. By 1917, after a bruising, fiercely divisive national election on the subject, the government legislated conscription to force the reluctant to "do their bit." In Quebec, mostly French-speaking with few ties of sentiment or lineage to Britain, the war had been a tough sell from the beginning; the bitter pill of conscription made the effort even more difficult.

Because of Quebec's particular political and social climate, recruitment posters there sometimes used unique forms of appeal not seen in the rest of Canada. Some of French-Canada's greatest historical heroes and heroines appeared on enlistment posters, for example. And because homeland defence (as opposed to overseas war) was a cause on which most French Quebeckers appeared to agree, recruitment posters there also highlighted the possibility that the war, if not won in Europe, might soon come to Canadian shores. In this image, Dollard des Ormeaux's courageous stand against the Iroquois at Long-Sault in 1660 exhorts French Canadians not to wait for the enemy to come to them, but to enlist now.

Designer and printer unknown
Published on behalf of the Comité de recrutement canadien-français
Commercial colour print, 1915-1918 Canada
CWM 19920142-002

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