Relaxing

O Valiant Hearts

"O Valiant Hearts" was one of the most popular hymns to emerge from the First World War. This printed copy was distributed to members of the congregation of Wellington Street Methodist Church in London, Ontario, on the occasion of the unveiling of their war memorial.

"Ma's got a job making munitions"

The demands of the war required many women to take jobs in munitions and aircraft factories. This postcard reflects humorously on their transition from the home to the workplace.

View PDF: Postcard Cake.pdf

189th Battalion

Members of the 189th Battalion, raised in Fraserville, Quebec, created this impressive garden to mark the entry to their encampment.

Three battalions, one cartoon

Different British publishers used the same cartoon to produce cards for the 32nd Battalion from Winnipeg, Manitoba, the 48th Battalion, from Toronto, Ontario, and the 59th Battalion, from Brockville, Ontario.

The 54th Battalion takes the field

This postcard, sent home by a soldier of British Columbia's 54th Battalion, is typical of the generic postcards that were printed with the names of dozens of different units.

A letter from captivity

Prisoners of war in Germany were permitted to send just two letter forms like this per month. This South African airmen used one of his to write to a friend who worked with the Canadian Red Cross Society.

A cartoonist goes to war

Arthur LeMay was better known for his comic strip "Aventures de Timothée," but during the Second World War he turned his hand to propaganda cartoons to support the war effort.

View PDF: LeMay.pdf

A soldier-poet looks towards peace

One of the most popular poems of the Second World War, "Prayer for Victory" was read to huge crowds by actors Greer Garson and Raymond Massey, and broadcast to millions of listeners on national radio networks. Diespecker asked that any profits generated by sales of his work go to the Canadian Red Cross Society.

A Black Watch Christmas card

Probably produced in the 1930s, this card used a First World War image, A. Sherriff Scott's drawing of men of the 42nd Battalion CEF in the trenches near Lens at Christmas 1917.

Christmas wishes from the Premier

Early in the First World War, Ontario Premier Sir William Hearst sent this card to the province's soldiers overseas.

Canadian cheese at war

One of the many humorous postcards of the First World War, this one provided a recipe for defeating Imperial Germany.

A Nova Scotia cartoonist on the Kaiser

Kenneth Browne of Windsor, Nova Scotia, served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps during the First World War, and published a collection of his own cartoons upon his return home.

The Presbyterians of Kirkwall celebrate

This concert featured the works of Scottish favourites such as Harry Lauder and Robbie Burns, as well as a toast to the men and women of Kirkwall parish, in southern Ontario, then serving in uniform.

View PDF: Scotch supper.pdf

Entertaining the troops ... and their hosts

One of the most lavish productions mounted by Canadian Army Shows during the Second World War, Rhythm Rodeo played to thousands of Canadian servicemen and servicewomen, and countless British civilians, in 1945-46.

View PDF: Rhythm Rodeo.pdf

The Royal Canadian Navy on watch

The stamp features grain elevators, but the special cover pays tribute to the navy.

"There'll Always Be An England"

This cover refers to the song popularized by Vera Lynn that became an immediate hit in September 1939.

Meet the Navy

This traveling musical revue was hosted by the Royal Canadian Navy to provide entertainment while boosting recruiting and morale.

WRENS dance card

This keepsake from a member of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (the Wrens) based in Deep Brooke, Nova Scotia, attests to the popular dances and music of the time.

War trophies at Christmas

Mixing images from two wars, Bernie's Christmas card featured spiked German field guns from the First World War and the V for Victory Morse code sign from the Second World War.

An RFC cadet at Christmas

James Meston, training with the Royal Flying Corps in England, sent this card to his family in London, Ontario, from his billet at Jesus College, Oxford.

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