Relaxing

The suspension of horse-racing in Canada

This booklet, published by the Connaught Park Jockey Club in Aylmer, Quebec, argues against the wartime suspension of horse-racing in Canada.

Stories and Poems of the Great War

Following the close of the greatest conflict the world had ever seen, many Canadians sought to commemorate their experiences. Booklets like this one contained poems and stories reflecting on wartime experiences and contemplating the meaning of what had transpired during the four-year conflict.

The Girl of the Golden West

A Canadian soldier serving in Italy saved this theatre program as a souvenir of a leave spent in Naples, where he saw a production of Puccini's "The Girl of the Golden West" - performed with the permission of Allied military authorities.

View PDF: Teatro.pdf

"Who are these boys in Navy Blue?"

James Mitchell of Waterdown, Ontario, who served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War, carried around this poem in honour of Canada's seamen. It is believed to have been written by Leading Seaman Arthur Currie Stewart of Glen William, Prince Edward Island.

In praise of the "Buctouche"

This poem in honour of corvette K179, also known as HMCS Buctouche, was found in the papers of Canadian seaman James Mitchell of Waterdown, Ontario. It is believed to have been written by Leading Seaman Arthur Currie Stewart of Glen William, Prince Edward Island.

An evening of music

This smoker was one of the many social events held by the 109th Battalion, based in Lindsay, Ontario, to generate interest in the unit and stimulate recruiting.

Canada's Great Marching Song

This patriotic tune, available in arrangements for orchestra, military band, and male or mixed voice choir, lauded the British heritage of justice and peace.

Cheering Johnny Canuck

Perhaps the most successful of Canada's early war songs, Manley's lyrics paid tribute to all Allied soldiers but had special praise for Johnny Canuck.

View PDF: Good Luck.pdf

"Step into Khaki and defeat German hate"

Described as "the most catchy and prettiest of all war songs," Foley's lyrics asked Canadians to remember the fate of Belgium as they thought about the war.

View PDF: Strike.pdf

"No cruel Hun could make them run"

Imperial unity in a common cause was the theme of this patriotic song, which mixed animal metaphors and referred to "the bulldog breed" hearing "the lion's roar."

A melody from the trenches

Perhaps the most famous of Canada's soldier songwriters, Rice claimed to have come up with this tune while on guard duty at Ypres. A sales manager from Montreal, Rice had enlisted in the Canadian Field Artillery at the beginning of the war.

View PDF: Dear Old Pal.pdf

A Canadian nurse looks homeward

Only the illustration of the nurse set this composition, billed as "one of the biggest Hits on the market," apart as a war song.

View PDF: Take Me Back.pdf

Singing of Canada

Another piece sung by Mildred Manley, "Canada's greatest child vocalist," this was a typical patriotic song that contained only a hint of the reality of war.

View PDF: I Love You.pdf

The only colour that matters

According to this song, khaki (the colour of Canadian soldiers' uniforms) was the most stylish colour in the fashion season of 1915.

View PDF: Khaki.pdf

Missing home at Christmas

This unidentified gunner could have been spending his fourth Christmas away from his family, and might have had another three Christmases apart still to endure.

An air letter from overseas

Air letters such as this one were distributed to servicemen and women in Britain, and were given priority in cargo space. Each person was allowed to send four air letters per month.

Pulling the Kaiser's moustache

The composer dedicated this piece to his "life long chum" Frederic Langstone, who joined the 5th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery at the beginning of the war. A graduate of Harbord Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Langstone was killed in action in April 1918.

View PDF: When Jack.pdf

A Petawawa camp song

Dennis Bryan was a mechanic in Medford, Massachusetts, who came to Canada to enlist in the Canadian Field Artillery in May 1917. A month later, he wrote this song, to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," in honour of the camp at Petawawa, Ontario. Bryan survived the First World War, but his son Roland was killed at Dieppe during the Second World War.

A Christmas wish from Italy

This Christmas greeting, sent by a member of the Royal Canadian Dragoons serving in Italy, was sent by V-Mail, a system of microfilming letters so they took up less shipping space.

Graduation dance, Edmonton

Number 4 ITS of the British Commonwealth Training Pan was located at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

View PDF: Course 81.pdf

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