Returning

A Home on Civvy Street

A 1945 guide to postwar employment, buying a home, and other aspects of reintegration into civilian society for returned servicemen.

Home Sweet Home

An idyllic image of home, the kind that sustained Canadians in uniform through the long years of war.

The War Service Gratuity, 1945

The war gratuity, paid to servicemen and women upon discharge, was based on length of service at home and overseas. On this worksheet, a Prince Edward Island soldier calculated his gratuity as $668.30, just over $9100 in current values.

Finding work for ex-soldiers

At the end of the First World War, the Canadian government faced an unprecedented problem with the return of tens of thousands of ex-soldiers who would be looking for work. It relied on local officials for appraisals of the job market in various areas.

Standardized houses for soldier-settlers

This pamphlet provided plans for four standardized houses, each of which cost under $800 and could be built within eight days. In drawing up the plans, the Soldier Settlement Board's architect consulted "a number of leading Pioneer Women in the West."

View PDF: Housing Plans.pdf

Preparing for the "Cease Fire"

In 1940, the Canadian Legion War Services launched a fund-raising drive to support the educational and social work it was doing with men in uniform, to help prepare them for the day when they would return to civilian jobs.

View PDF: Help Plan.pdf

Veterans in need

The Soldiers' Aid Commission of Ontario, like similar groups established in other provinces during the First World War, was established to provide vocational, financial, and medical assistance to ex-soldiers and their families. Barrie native John McCreight never returned this registration card, so presumably at the time he was not in need of assistance.

Peace Day in London

The signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 marked the end of the First World War, and people in many Allied countries celebrated the event by observing Peace Day in July 1919.

View PDF: Peace Holiday.pdf

"Our pride in the past, our hope for the future"

Despite its title, this book was all about government programs available to Canadians after they stopped being soldiers and returned to the peacetime economy.

Welcome home to Manitoba

Tokens like this card were common after the First World War, but less so after the Second. It is also unusual in mentioning returning prisoners of war and those who had fallen sick.

Legitimate veterans

Because of problem of unscrupulous individuals claiming veteran status, anyone wearing a War Service Badge after the Second World War also had to carry proof that they were entitled to wear it.

Welcome back to the lakehead

The city of Port Arthur, Ontario, distributed scrolls to returning soldiers in 1919, to thank them for their efforts in defence of "Truth, Freedom, Home, and Native Land."

Learning a trade for peacetime

Part of the federal government's demobilization strategy was to make available to men and women in uniform job-training courses to prepare them for the postwar world. Corporal Nelson, of RCAF (Women's Division) Headquarters in Vancouver, opted to learn dressmaking.

Chatham welcomes its veterans home

Banquets in honour of returning servicemen and servicewomen were common in Canada in 1946, just as they had been in 1919.

Canada's man at Versailles

Sir George Foster, the subject of this caricature by an Italian artist, was one of Canada's senior delegates to the Paris Peace Conference after the First World War.

Victoria welcomes its veterans

In preparation for the demobilization of Canadians in uniform after the Second World War, the city of Victoria established a Citizens Rehabilitation Council to help them with the practical problems of returning to civilian life.

Safe at home

This adaption of the popular song "Home, Sweet Home" was probably performed for soldiers returning to Canada in 1918 and 1919 through Quebec City.

The YMCA and ex-soldiers

This card, giving to a Canadian soldier returning home after the First World War, gave him a six-month membership at any YMCA in Canada.

Cash payments for veterans

To address one of the most pressing demands of Great War veterans, the Canadian government during the Second World War passed the War Service Grants Act, which gave all veterans a lump sum cash payment based on their length and place of service, rank, and family size.

View PDF: WSG 1944.pdf

Coming home to Winnipeg

As Canadians returned home from overseas after the Second World War, most communities devoted considerable effort to organizing homecoming ceremonies - including the distribution of cards of thanks such as this one.

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