Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook realized
early in the war that even the best films and photographs could not capture
the full truth about the war. He wrote that "only paintings could provide
the most permanent and vital form in which the great deeds of the Canadian
Nation in the war could be enshrined for posterity." In the autumn
of 1916, he established the Canadian War Memorial Fund - a system of
patronage that was far ahead of its time. Artists that participated were
deemed to be 'The King's Guests' and were given honorary commissions in
the Canadian Corps and salaries from the Canadian government. Their
other expenses - for travel, materials and studio rental - were covered by
the War Records Office. The subjects were Canadian, and although Aitken
first assumed that the artists would all be British, he soon
realized that Canada was producing exceptional artists, and A.Y. Jackson,
Maurice Cullen, F.H. Varley and Arthur Lismer all became 'King's Guests.'
Many poems, songs and works of literature were inspired by the Great War.
If you go to the Culture section of the Bibliography, you will find many books devoted to this subject.
To see some of the paintings, and send a postcard to a friend,
To listen to songs from the Great War,