Volunteering

Wartime work in Listowel

Founded in December 1941, the Listowel Wartime Men's Association was involved in a variety of charitable causes. In this case, it thanked a local businessman for donating to the war effort a week's receipts from the Capitol Theatre.

What to wear in an air raid

Reminding women that the enemy "has no consideration for the safety of civilians," this booklet (sponsored by Orient Beauti-Skin Hosiery) provided instruction on how to keep the family and home safe against enemy air attack - including advice on what to wear when dealing with bomb damage in the neighbourhood.

Civil defence in Toronto

Although Canada was in little danger of enemy air raids, there was a fully functional civil defence apparatus during the Second World War, with civilians deputized to perform various services in the event of an attack.

For Belgian refugees

In 1914, stories of Belgian civilians displaced by the German invasion spurred many Canadians to raise money for refugees. Albert, King of the Belgians, was a popular symbol in the fund-raising effort.

Do what the warden tells you

Wartime offered considerable scope for tasteless humour - as this card, brought home from Britain by a Canadian soldier after the Second World War, affirms.

For your bank manager

To simplify the process of subscribing to the 4th Victory Loan, the federal government provided this template letter, which could be filled out and submitted to any bank.

While on leave in Brussels

Few Canadian soldiers had been to Brussels before the city was liberated in the fall of 1944; this card showed them how to find all of the facilities available to them when they visited the city while on leave.

One last Victory Loan

The First World War was over, but this 1919 window decal offered a reminder that there were still bills to be paid - and a Victory Loan to support.

Funds for Belgian relief

Typical of fund-raising concerts held during the First World War, this one promised "patriotic songs and instrumental music" by local performers.

The Canadian Patriotic Fund at Christmas

The Franco-Belgian Committee of the Canadian Patriotic Fund advertised its work in Montreal with images of French soldiers from decades past.

Games for POWs

Boredom was one of the greatest challenges facing Canadian prisoners of war in Germany during the Second World War, but charitable organization did what they could to send games and puzzles to the camps to help pass the time.

Come to Canada Corner

The Knights of Columbus operated a hospitality bureau in Paris for Canadians on leave. Staffed by English-speaking volunteers, "Canada Corner" could arrange sightseeing trips, golf games, theatre nights - one soldier even got to have dinner with a French countess.

The YMCA at war

Using a fictional soldier from Yourtown, Canada, this booklet offered a summary of the breadth of YMCA activities during the Second World War.

View PDF: Arthur Jones.pdf

The Red Cross Corps at work

This postcard, sold to raise funds for the Canadian Red Cross Society, illustrates the work of the Red Cross Corps on behalf of prisoners of war.

Peace - and another Victory Loan

Although an armistice ended the First World War in November 1918, war spending continued - for the demobilization of soldiers, for food to send to the devastated areas of Europe, and for veterans' programs. In 1919, Canadians were again asked to support the Victory Loan.

Maple sugar for soldiers

Noting that Canada's cities had given generously to war charities, the IODE asked rural groups to donate quantities of maple sugar to be sent overseas, to give soldiers a Canadian treat that could not be found in Europe.

Safeguarding your home from fire bombs

Because the German Luftwaffe had used incendiary bombs with such devastating effect on Warsaw, Rotterdam, and London, Canadians were advised to be prepared for such attacks on their homes and businesses.

Save while supporting the war

During the Second World War, even children were asked to support the war effort. A child could buy War Savings Stamps for 25 cents each; after saving $4 worth of stamps and sending this form to the federal government, the child would receive a War Savings Certificate worth $5.

Clothes for the fashionable soldier ...

Knitting was an enormously popular activity for volunteers, with books such as this one providing patterns for everything from steel helmet caps to amputation covers.

The Red Cross in war and peace

In this appeal for support, the Manitoba Red Cross reminded veterans that, as ex-soldiers, they "have knowledge of what the Red Cross Emblem means in the fullest sense of the word." For that reason, they should support the organization's continuing work for injured and disabled soldiers.

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