Relaxing

Field Day

A program for a Field Day held "somewhere in France", containing competitors and events, held on the 30th of June 1917.

Making use of available materials

A letter home to Canada written on birch bark.

View PDF: Birch Letter.pdf

Musical Propaganda

A pamphlet sold on the home front for 25 cents with sheet music and lyrics for the song "Hitler on the Run!" by Neil MacDonald.

The war in Africa

This kind of exhibition was important in raising awareness of, and support for, military campaigns that drew little attention.

Souvenir of an overseas voyage

Early in the war, soldiers going overseas might be given a souvenir like this. As the war dragged on and sailings became increasingly more frequent, they disappeared from the scene.

The grandest war song ever written

The fortunes of Britain's war effort were low when this song was published in 1941, and they would get lower the following year - no matter how proud the world was of England.

"They fly, they sing, as they rise on the wing"

This song probably reached Canadian stores during the Battle of Britain in 1940, when the defence of the British Isles from German bombing attacks fell to fighter pilots from Britain and the Empire.

V for Victory

"Dot dot dot dash" became one of the most recognizable identifiers of the Allied war effort, and could be found on countless kinds of consumer goods - including sheet music.

From a mother to her son

In its sentiment and language, this sheet music could easily have come from the First World War - only the faint image of the tank on the cover places it in the Second World War.

Dedicated to fellow stretcher-bearers

Albert Drummond was a nurse in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when he joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps in December 1916. He eventually served overseas with the 15th Canadian Field Ambulance. Judging by the titles of the poems, this volume was probably published in 1917.

"Hitler - you'll feel much littler"

This song version of the famous military march "Colonel Bogey" was recorded by the Happy Gang, one of the most popular entertainment acts in Second World War Canada.

View PDF: Good Luck.pdf

"We're off to finish Hitler"

Although it was probably written in 1939, this song, with its professed joy at the coming of war, sounds more like 1914.

View PDF: For Freedom.pdf

From Ypres to victory

These souvenirs cards, with original art by Lewis E. Smith, were produced in 1919 to mark significant events of the First World War, using the poems they inspired.

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons

By May 1916, Regina's Wascana Lodge had already seen twenty-six of its members enlist for active service.

View PDF: Wascana Lodge.pdf

"Poems tragic, poems nostalgic"

The Second World War was a less poetic war than the First had been, but there were enough amateur poets in the Canadian army in Italy to fill this collection of poems, all of which had originally been published in the military newspaper "The Maple Leaf."

View PDF: Rhyme & Reason.pdf

Music of the Cape Breton Highlanders

This collection of specialty pieces and old favourites includes songs in two languages - English and Gaelic.

Singing on the road to war

This songbook, donated to soldiers by a Hamilton, Ontario, businessman, including selections ranging from "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" to "Stop Yer Tickling, Jock."

Music of the New World

Broadcast on the CBC from 17 August to 5 October 1944, this weekly program highlighted the work of Canadian composers such as Healey Willan, J.J. Weinzweig, J.J. Gagnier, and Alexander Brott.

To our heroes, the boys in khaki

This concert, typical of wartime patriotic events, featured musical selections from local artists and one of the city's military bands and a lecture entitled "On land and sea, with our veterans."

America's Answer to "In Flanders Fields"

John McCrae's famous poem inspired countless responses, including this one by R.W. Lillard, reprinted in a leaflet distributed at an exhibition of captured war trophies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Pages