Relaxing

Ring in the peace

The return of peace in 1918 was a momentous occasion - so momentous that special commemorative greeting cards were printed and sold.

"God save our men"

With some careful re-wording, the British national anthem "God Save the King" was turned into a tribute to men at war.

A railway journey

This simple poem captures a First World War soldier's thoughts as he travelled on a train bound for leave in Britain.

"Propaganda against Propaganda"

Lawrence Hunt was a New York lawyer who emerged as a critic of American isolationism in the Second World War. His writings were published widely in the British Empire and he was a popular speaker on the wartime lecture circuit.

Cross, rifle, and maple leaf

Military, religious, and national symbols mingled in this postcard produced during the Second World War for the Quebec market.

Graduating navigators and bomb aimers

The wings ceremony was an important milestone for airmen in training, a public acknowledgement that they had mastered their trade. This course, at a school operated by Canadian Pacific Air Lines, was unusual in having so many Polish airmen.

View PDF: 1AOS.pdf

An air force birthday card

To take advantage of a sales opportunity, this enterprising manufacturer may have simply taken a prewar birthday card and embossed on it the crest of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

A card for Mother

This hospital unit was established in Dundurn, Saskatchewan, in September 1940, and went overseas early in 1942. Glen's card to his mother was written a few days before the Canadian raid on Dieppe.

Christmas in the trenches

At Christmas 1917, this soldier wrote that he was "Still Going Strong." Did he survive the war?

Christmas greetings from a veteran

A Manitoba veterans' organization printed this card for its members to use at Christmas, and chose an appropriate quotation from Sir Arthur Currie for the occasion.

Christmas in uniform

Jim Taunton of Verdun, Quebec, was spending Christmas 1940 in uniform, after enlisting in the Black Watch in Montreal.

A gift from home

This Canadian soldier spent Christmas 1943 in North Africa, but even there he was able to enjoy Canadian cigarettes sent by the Ingersoll Cream Cheese Company.

Remembering the Merchant Marine

Merchant seamen were often forgotten in wartime, but this Christmas card drew attention to the vital role they played in supporting the war effort.

Greetings from Folkestone

Souvenirs like this one gave a rosy view of life in CEF camps during the First World War, with pictures of church parade, a battalion band, a visit from the King, and "a bachelor's supper party."

"The power of the military band"

Community bands enjoyed a high profile during the First World War, in part through their support of battalion and regimental bands, which provided musical entertainment throughout the war years. This magazine also included notes from musicians in uniform, details of the latest patriotic tunes, and reflections on the value of music in a democratic society.

View PDF: Cdn Bandsman.pdf

Ode to the Grilse

Originally a civilian yacht, HMCS Grilse was purchased by the Royal Canadian Navy and commissioned as a torpedo boat during the First World War. She was easily the fastest ship in the navy.

Selective Service and the May Court Club

Ottawa's May Court Club is the oldest women's volunteer organization in Canada, established in 1898. During the Second World War, one of the club's meeting was devoted to a talk on the efficient utilization of human resources, through Selective Service.

German atrocities in France and Belgium

The First World War was barely six months old when a French doctor embarked on a speaking tour in Canada to describe crimes committed against civilians by German soldiers advancing through France and Belgium.

"Gladden the hearts of our heroes"

Soldiers overseas treasured mail from home, a fact that this Toronto company hoped would help sell its products during the First World War.

Sports on the Western Front

The Canadian Corps sports day, held in France on 1 July 1918, was one of the most memorable events of the First World War, drawing dignitaries and journalists from across the Western Front. It combined the usual events, such as baseball and athletics, with novelties like the pole pillow fight and a clown competition.

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