“When will it end?”




Photo courtesy of the Banner & Press Archives

Pictured is a closeup of one of the soldiers depicted in the “When will it end?” Victory Loan artwork.

By Cassandra Wehrhahn

Neepawa Banner & Press

When will it end? That was a question likely hanging on many people’s lips throughout the duration of the wars.

During World War I (WWI), many a call to action were placed in the papers targeting Canadian civilians, be it urges to reduce table waste, for farmers to do their bit for the boys overseas, thriftier spending, or to invest in loans and Victory Bonds, every page- or almost every page- had something of the sort.

Large, sometimes full page ads were often laid out for the latter, issued by “Canada’s Victory Loan Committee in co-operation with the Minister of Finance of the Dominion of Canada”. One such ad depicted a gruesome battle and wounded soldiers partnered with a poem. The poem read:

“When will it end?

Thousands upon thousands, endless thousands, hold their lives cheap as the price of Victorious Peace.

And we– as we watch from afar their heroic efforts– may we be able to say, that the little we at home could do, we have done;

–that in so far as we could support them, lighten their burdens, bring them comfort, we have done it;

–that we have striven unceasingly to shorten their stay in the Hun-made Hell;

–that freely, fervently, unitedly, we have laid our humble offerings alongside their noble sacrifices on the altar of Victory– and Peace.”

Below it an inscription stated, “Another opportunity to lend your individual weight to the blow that will shorten the war comes with the offering of Victory Bonds about to be made. Let not the privilege to do your share find you unprepared.”