Volunteering

Buy war savings certificates

Encouragement to invest in support of the war was everywhere in wartime Canada, like on this ink blotter from an insurance company in Guelph, Ontario.

Rehearsing for a blackout

Air raid drills and blackouts were a common feature of life in Canada during the Second World War - as this sign posted in a British Columbia hotel indicates.

Aid for war widows

These Christmas cards were sold to raise money for the Wings for Britain Benevolent Fund, which supported the widows and families of airmen who had been killed in action.

Blackout for smaller shops and businesses

Part of a larger series, this booklet detailed the necessary steps in protecting small businesses from a potential air raid. Of particular importance was the various ways in which windows could be protected - either through improvised shades or the use of blackout paint.

Total war, total effort: an appeal for war savings

This pamphlet presents an appeal by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King for increased fundraising efforts on behalf of the people of Canada. Anticipating an increase in wartime demands in the following months, King explains the importance of "total war" and the critical role played by people on the home front.

The Safest Investment in the World

The Better Business Bureau encouraged patrons to consult professionals before spending their war savings and victory bonds. This "Before you invest - investigate" motto was especially meant to protect from racketeers and swindle schemes.

Blackout for the home

Communities often relied on blackout techniques to conceal residential areas from enemy airmen. This booklet educated civilians on the regulations and procedures associated with preparing one's house both inside and out.

A Victory Bond buyer lives here

These cards were intended to be placed in a home or business window, as proof that the individual had supported the war effort by purchasing Victory Bonds.

"The girls in the Red Cross tea shop"

These women, all of whom are identified on the back of the photograph, served snacks to soldiers at a tea shop run by the Canadian Red Cross Society in Hamilton, Ontario.

Crafts from the front

Silk postcards were very popular souvenirs for soldiers during the First World War, and provided an important source of income for French and Belgian handicraft workers.

Thanks for the cigarettes ...

Many groups in Canada, including the Vancouver Kiwanis Club through the British Columbia Overseas Tobacco Fund, the Overseas League (Canada) Tobacco and Hamper Fund of Toronto, Ontario, employers, and relatives, sent cigarettes to soldiers, and received postcards of acknowledgement and thanks in return.

The Legion's war work

The Canadian Legion funded and staffed welcome rooms at major railway stations across Canada, where servicemen and women could relax while waiting for a train.

The YMCA at War

Postcards produced by the YMCA, such as this one showing members of the RCAF going into a YMCA hut at an airfield in England, were distributed free of charge to Canadians overseas.

Knitting socks for soldiers

The label confirmed that "There is sufficient yarn in this ball to knit one pair of service socks."

"Buy me a Victory Bond, Daddy"

Fund-raising advertisements often used images of children to encourage their parents to donate generously.

Collecting from students

Every member of society was expected to donate to patriotic causes - this envelope was distributed in schools so children could donate in support of Canadian seaman.

A welcome for doughboys in Windsor

Women from the Border Cities Welfare League of Windsor, Ontario, provided cigarettes and writing to materials to American soldiers who passed through the city on their way to Europe.

Selling flowers for the war effort

In 1940, the Canadian Red Cross Society sold flowers at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, to raise money for its war work.

Supporting the Victory Loan

This card was designed to be placed in a home or business window, to indicate that the owner had supported the Victory Loan campaign.

Saving for the war effort

Like countless Canadians, Annette Waterman of St Thomas, Ontario, invested heavily in Canada's war effort by purchasing War Savings Certificates and Victory Bonds.

View PDF: War Savings.pdf

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