Scene of a French soldier in uniform. Uniform has a blue tunic, with grey and red pants and a dark coloured cap with red band. On his back is a backpack and over his shoulder is a rifle. He is in a room full of gun power kegs and he is lighting a pipe. There is text in the smoke rising from the pipe saying [RUHR / VALLEY / OCCUPATION] and text on power kegs saying [GUN POWDER].
Ben Strange signature bottom right
The published cartoon in the Western Mail on 1 March 1923 included the caption:

Historical information

The cartoon shows a French soldier dressed for battle (he has the word ‘France’ on his collar), about to light a pipe in a room filled with barrels of Gunpowder. In the corner of the room, in the midst of the smoke from the pipe, are the words, ‘Ruhr Valley Occupation’. The title of the cartoon, ‘A Dangerous Occupation’ has 2 meanings. Not only is the soldier engaging in a dangerous act - lighting a pipe in the midst of explosive material, the image is a metaphor for the potentially dangerous situation in Europe at that time with the French occupation of the Ruhr Valley in Germany.



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Artist's signature bottom right [Ben Strange]

Statement of significance

The Ben Strange cartoons are historically significant as they depict many key figures linked to the history and development of both Western Australia and Australia. Political figures who regularly appeared in his cartoon’s included John ‘Happy Jack’ Scaddan, the Premier of Western Australia from 1911 until 1916, and William ‘Billy’ Hughes, the Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923.

Primary significance criteria
Artistic or aesthetic significance
Historic significance
Social or spiritual significance
Comparative significance criteria
Interpretive capacity
Object’s condition or completeness
Rare or representative
Well provenanced
City of Armadale - History House

City of Armadale - History House

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