Copper Cliff MuseumSudbury, Ontario
Copper Cliff at War
World War II
World War II
This storyline elaborates upon Copper Cliff's role in the Second World War (1939-1945).
During the war, Inco provided support at the community level and increased support at the industrial level on the world stage, thanks to advances in mining technology. Citizens of Copper Cliff, many of whom had memories of the First World War, stepped into contributing to the war effort with ease. Also, the Town pledged to support the H.M.C.S Copper Cliff, a ship that had been named after the community, creating the opportunity to build a more personal connection with a group of sailors in the Canadian Navy.
Included as well are the stories of the following individuals (mostly soldiers), whose brushes with the war were closer and, more often than not, final: Kathleen Ferguson and family, Robert Keast, John W. Bennett, Robert Gegear, Mark Hanlan, Fred Gilpin, John H. Feldhams, and Justin Faulkner.
Lastly, women experienced a notable expansion of their rights during this war, being allowed for the first time ever to choose to work in mines and refineries or to serve in the military in the Canadian Women's Army Corps, like Vera Wulff - born and raised in Copper Cliff - whose story is also included.
"In the approximately twenty years that separated two World Wars, the character of Inco's business had changed. No longer was it a company depending largely upon armament, plating and coinage. It was a company whose activities were directed at supplying the commercial demand, and developing new demands, for nickel, copper and other metals.
It was a period in which it had strengthened its position of being the largest producer of nickel in the world as well as a period in which it had become one of the largest producers of copper, and of platinum metals..."
"Now, because of the superior qualities of these same metals in the production of the weapons of war, The International Nickel Company of Canada, Limited, was an important contributor to materials of war. It was a situation which brought unfamiliar problems in security measures, market restrictions, hazards of shipping, price controls; a situation that stressed the urgency of prompt action - at whatever immediate, or long-term cost - in supplying nickel, copper and platinum metals to the United Kingdom, and to its allies..."
"The International Nickel Company of Canada, Limited, is a large company, and it was a large company when World War II began. During the war it almost doubled its output of ore. Its net profits in 1939, the first year of the war, were $36,847,466; in 1945, the last year of the war, its net profits were $25,010,938 - a drop of $11,836,528..."
Ultimately, this shows that the Company's actions reflected the statement of their President, Robert C. Stanley, made early in the war: "The first obligation of every corporation, of every individual, is to give the utmost support to his Government in the prosecution of the war..."