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To Willie with Compliments

The Film


Running Time
05 min 37 s

The Canadians were part of the British armies on the Western Front, and Britain’s own soldiers constituted the great bulk of the force. British filmmakers, like Canadian, covered their troops’ activities, preparing films for home consumption. Such films, of course, also were viewed in Canada. This was one such production, notable for its showing an early tank, for presenting a close-up view of General Sir Douglas Haig, the British commander-in-chief, and his senior officers, and for offering scenes of military life both in the trenches and in the rear areas. For 1916, when it was likely shot, the film was frank in showing the dead and the very difficult conditions at the front. Canadians who watched the film in 1916 would likely have been shocked by such footage.


Battle-scarred But Victorious The Tank Makes Its Appearance at the Somme Tank Near Artillery Crater Filled with Water After the Explosion of a Mine Under a German Position

Other Materials

From a Stretcher Handle:

Letter from Geoff Redman, Sept. 25, 1916

Canadians at the Somme

Letter from Robert Hainsworth, June 15, 1916

Teaching Materials

The Battles: In the Trenches

Wartime Dilemmas