This film is part of Free
More Canadians Coming!
Welcome help from the Empire! And Pathé's newsreel cameraman is on the spot.
A newsreel report on The Duke of Connaught inspecting Canadian draftees. Connaught was the King’s uncle, a son of Queen Victoria, and Canada’s Governor General. As a dominion, Canada was automatically entered into the war, which exacerbated divisions between Canada’s English- and French-speaking communities. Though this item, served up for British cinemagoers, declines to allude to such matters...
This was one of three WWI-themed stories issued as Pathe's Animated Gazette No. 323b. The men on screen are volunteers: conscription came the following year, partly because recruitment in Quebec, where this film was shot, was fairly unsuccessful. Though filmed in the predominantly French Catholic city of Montreal, it’s likely that most of the men filling the screen here are Protestant English speakers. The final shot of pipers emphasises Canada’s ancestral connections to Scotland - and, by extension, its loyalty to Britain.