World War I

Souvenir of an overseas voyage

Early in the war, soldiers going overseas might be given a souvenir like this. As the war dragged on and sailings became increasingly more frequent, they disappeared from the scene.

For Victory Loan donors

The Victory Loan drive was a staple in wartime Canada, as were the receipts given to people who pledged support.

Payments from a soldier-settler

British immigrant Percy Thomas enlisted in Toronto in 1916 and, after he was demobilized, received land from the government's Soldier Settlement Board. Receipts show him repaying the debt into the early 1930s.

Conscription comes to Canada, 1917

This handbill, intended to be widely distributed and posted in public buildings, provided instructions for unmarried men between the ages of 20 and 34 to report for service or lodge a claim for exemption.

Six Bits

The 75th Battalion drew from the Toronto area, and its association newspaper celebrated its war exploits and the postwar achievements of its members.

View PDF: Six Bits.pdf

Militia Orders 1917

Promulgated in Ottawa, the Militia Orders covered a wide range of subjects, including appointments and postings, stores and clothing, certificates gained by militia officers, administrative staffs, and cadet services.

Militia Orders 1914

Promulgated in Ottawa, the Militia Orders covered a wide range of subjects, including appointments and postings, stores and clothing, certificates gained by militia officers, administrative staffs, and cadet services.

"Overseas in 1914"

This reunion was organized by the Originals Club, founded in 1918 to bring together men who had gone overseas with the original 1st Division. There is an unmistakeable note of nostalgia in its description of the war years and the legacies of service.

Dedicated to fellow stretcher-bearers

Albert Drummond was a nurse in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when he joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps in December 1916. He eventually served overseas with the 15th Canadian Field Ambulance. Judging by the titles of the poems, this volume was probably published in 1917.

"Tonight is the Canada night"

The Canadian 1st Division had its baptism of fire at the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915, and its stout defense against the German gas attacks drew praise throughout the Allied world, including in a special memorial service in St Paul's Cathedral, with a sermon delivered by Arthur Winnington-Ingram, the Bishop of London.

View PDF: Life for Ever.pdf

Getting them back to work

The First World War left in its wake an unprecedented number of disabled ex-soldiers, and the Canadian government struggled to provide meaningful job training for them. Later renamed the Invalided Soldiers Commission, the Vocational Branch published a circular with book reviews, reports on training initiatives in different cities, and lists of jobs that might be suitable for a retrained veteran.

The Canadian Corps in Port Colborne

The Canadian Corps Association was founded after the Corps reunion in Toronto in 1934, and a few branches still exist in Canada, the membership rolls bolstered by descendants of originals of the Canadian Corps and veterans of later wars.

Lost in the mail

Everything had to be accounted for in wartime - even chamois vests bought by Canadian soldiers that were lost in transit.

A camera at the front

One of the many publications of Lord Beaverbrook's Canadian War Records Office, this magazine featured the work of Canada's official photographers, and was billed as both propaganda and history.

The war so far ...

Smart-Woods was one of Canada's biggest manufacturers of bags, cloth, canvas, and clothing, but its products were barely mentioned in this advertising magazine, which offered a statistical compendium of the nations involved in the First World War.

View PDF: Sacklopedia.pdf

From Ypres to victory

These souvenirs cards, with original art by Lewis E. Smith, were produced in 1919 to mark significant events of the First World War, using the poems they inspired.

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons

By May 1916, Regina's Wascana Lodge had already seen twenty-six of its members enlist for active service.

View PDF: Wascana Lodge.pdf

Music of the Cape Breton Highlanders

This collection of specialty pieces and old favourites includes songs in two languages - English and Gaelic.

Entertainment, dancing and bridge

The Great War Veterans Association was the largest of Canada's ex-soldier groups that decided to remain independent when most others amalgamated into the Canadian Legion in 1926.

Singing on the road to war

This songbook, donated to soldiers by a Hamilton, Ontario, businessman, including selections ranging from "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" to "Stop Yer Tickling, Jock."

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