Step back in time to 1918 when the museum hosted this pioneering exhibition of Canadian war photography, now partially recreated 100 years later.
In 1914, Canada was not yet a sovereign nation, rather a dominion of the vast British Empire. Max Aitken (later Lord Beaverbrook) realised that publicising the bravery and skill of the troops would further Canada’s case for full nationhood, and embedded photographers and artists in the thick of the fighting in France.
The resulting photographs, a mix of patriotic propaganda and shocking realism, were seen by thousands of Britons up and down the country, including in Exeter. In October 1914, many of the Canadian troops disembarking at Plymouth, en route to fight for the ‘Mother Country’, were in fact British emigrants who had only recently left to build new lives in another corner of the Empire.