II-222454.0.2 | Canadian officers inspecting captured guns, near Vimy Ridge, France, 1917

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Canadian officers inspecting captured guns, near Vimy Ridge, France, 1917
Anonyme - Anonymous
1917, 20th century
Silver salts on paper - Gelatin silver process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  armament (105) , army (10) , copy (12) , event (101) , event (534) , group (644) , gun (4) , History (944) , history (162) , military (37) , Miss Pease (2) , Photograph (77678) , rider (16) , Transportation (2517) , transportation (338) , Vimy Ridge (2) , World War One (2)
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Keys to History

The war played a decisive role in the prohibitionist victory. Taking advantage of the sensitive socio-political climate, the prohibitionists adroitly claimed that it was anti-patriotic to oppose a measure that would save grain and put an end to waste. How could people go on drinking, they cried, when Canadian soldiers were risking their lives in mud-swamped trenches infested with rats and lice? Pressured by public opinion, which had rallied to the cause, the governments finally acted. Municipal authorities prohibited the retail sale of alcohol. In 1918 the federal government filled in the blanks with a series of orders in council banning the production, interprovincial sales and import of alcohol. Waste was avoided, claimed the prohibitionists, but poverty and want - the causes of which were more complex than then believed - were not eradicated. After the war, when patriotism waned abruptly, both provincial and federal governments abandoned prohibition.

  • What

    The Canadian Expeditionary Force, the name given to the Canadian divisions sent to the front in France, has just won a stunning victory over the German Imperial Army. Canadian officers are inspecting weapons seized from the enemy.

  • Where

    The battle took place along a six-kilometre stretch of front along Vimy ridge. Some months earlier the British and French armies had tried to penetrate this part of the front without success.

  • When

    The engagement lasted from the 9 to the 14 April 1917 and cost the Canadians 10,602 wounded and 3,598 dead. It was a huge human sacrifice, which the prohibitionists did not hesitate to exploit in order to combat the scourge of alcohol.

  • Who

    Equipping and maintaining the striking force of the four divisions that composed the Expeditionary Corps required a considerable effort on Canada's part. Prime Minister Borden would have to use conscription in 1917 to keep the force up to strength. .