Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Drummer Boy, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa

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Lionel Fosbery’s sculpture, Drummer Boy, is part of a display of small sculptures at the Canadian War Museum depicting WW1 jobs at home and in the field. The museum tag says: “This sculpture portrays a boy in full military uniform beating a drum. Military bands overseas employed boys as young as 10 or 12 years old as drummers, a role often performed by cadets in Canada.”

The figure is made of plaster and painted to look like bronze.

Use of young boys in the military fell into official disfavour in the late 19th century. However, WW1 recruiting rules to exclude those under 17 or 18 (depending on the country) were widely ignored by boys who lied about their age and by recruiters who turned a blind eye to the lies.

Author: greatwar100reads

Canadian crusader for equality and justice. Connoisseur and creator of the written word. Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books and monuments. Read more at

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