The present drawing is one of a series executed in 1917. John volunteered to help the Canadian War Memorial Fund, a scheme started by Lord Beaverbrook, to assemble a picture collection that would give a record of Canada's part in the War. He was then given an honorary commission in the Overseas Military Forces of Canada in return for which he undertook to produce a picture of forty feet in length The Pageant of War. This commission was never finished and forty years on Beaverbrook and John were still in correspondance about it. (see M. Holroyd, Augustus John II The Years of Experience, London, 1975. p. 68).