An extraordinary propaganda activity
Date: November 10, 1942
Credit: Royal Canadian Air Force; Verdun Borough Archives Fund
The ceremony paying tribute to Verdun pilot George Frederick Beurling at the Auditorium was hailed as the “Event of 1942 in Verdun” in The Guardian newspaper. It was one of the Canadian government’s biggest propaganda events during World War II. The Minister of National Defence toured Beurling all over Canada, including in the City of Verdun, and introduced him to Canadians as an outstanding example of patriotism. His story made the front page of many Canadian newspapers. This propaganda campaign aimed at increasing enlistments in the Canadian Army proved successful. Indeed, when the war broke out, 1,300 Verdunites were in the army reserve. In December 1943, 4,942 were in active service.