World War I

A souvenir of Valcartier

The first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force came together at Valcartier, Quebec, in September 1914 - and enterprising entrepreneurs were quick to produce souvenirs to sell to a willing public.

Remembering in Pilot Mound

Veterans in Pilot Mound, Manitoba, organized this annual service to honour the dead of the First World War.

Building a postwar economy

An offshoot of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, the CRA (under its president Sir John Willison) changed its focus towards the end of the First World War and focusing on taking advantage of the transition to peacetime to advocate for stimulus in pursuit of economic development.

A children's book in wartime

First published in 1914 as a fund-raising venture in aid of refugee children in Belgium, it was later reprinted to aid the charitable work of the Comtesse de Suzannet.

View PDF: PDF icon Belgian Hare.pdf

Militia General Orders, 1917

General Orders, promulgated to Canada's Non-Permanent Active Militia by the Minister of Militia in Militia Council, addressed a range of administrative and functional matters. This one covered financial instructions and allowances, the Reserve of Officers, the Fort Garry Horse, and the disbanding of certain CEF battalions.

Militia General Orders, 1917

General Orders, promulgated to Canada's Non-Permanent Active Militia by the Minister of Militia in Militia Council, addressed a range of administrative and functional matters. This one covered military funerals, the Military Police, the Canadian Ordnance Corps, and decorations and medals.

Militia General Orders, 1917

General Orders, promulgated to Canada's Non-Permanent Active Militia by the Minister of Militia in Militia Council, addressed a range of administrative and functional matters. This one covered minor changes to regulations regarding pay, rations, depot battalions, medical services, and other organizational issues.

A journalist's impressions

Journalist Fernand Rinfret, later a member of parliament and mayor of Montreal, took part in a press junket to Britain and France in 1918, and wrote about his impressions of the war zones in an Ottawa newspaper, "Le Canada."

Henri Bourassa and the war

His opponents twice prevented newspaper editor Henri Bourassa from giving this speech, in which he argued that the duty of Canadians was to stay clear of involvement in the First World War, so he elected to publish it as a booklet instead.

View PDF: PDF icon Duty of Canada.pdf

The war according to Borden

This pamphlet collected some of Prime Minister Borden's statements on conscription, the Union Government, and what Canada must do to win the war.

The Union Government and the peace

In this address, Rowell surveyed the work of the Union Government in managing Canada's transition from war to peace, including the demobilization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and provisions for veterans.

Can Germany win the war?

Foster, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, addressed two critical questions in this talk: did Britain do everything possible to keep out of the war?; and, can Germany win the war?

View PDF: PDF icon Some Phases.pdf

The Union Government in power

A year after the 1917 election, Newton Rowell, president of the Privy Council in the Union Government, surveyed its achievements, including the institution of conscription, and applauded the Liberals (like himself) who went over to the Union side.

A war memorial altar

As part of the ceremonies marking the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation in 1927, the future King Edward VIII dedicated the altar in the Memorial Chamber, a national war memorial in the newly rebuilt Houses of Parliament. The altar would later be the resting place of the Books of Remembrance, listing all of Canada's war dead.

Freedom or despotism?

In this wide-ranging speech, Sifton, the chairman of Canada's Commission of Conservation, placed the First World War in the context of the long struggle for freedom that went back to Demosthenes, the Everlasting League, Magna Carta, and England's Glorious Revolution.

View PDF: PDF icon Sifton address.pdf

Profiteers and frauds

To embarrass the Conservative government, the Liberal Party released this pamphlet alleging profiteering, kickbacks, and fraud in the manufacture and supply of munitions for Canada's war effort.

View PDF: PDF icon Shell and Fuse.pdf

Serving the wartime economy

Charles McGrath was in charge of Canada's fuel supply during the First World War, and in this speech he discussed various ways in which Canadians could serve the war economy.

Vote against the Union Government

In this booklet published during the 1917 election campaign, Boyd called for Canadian voters to reject the Union Government and "shatter the trenches of deception, special privilege, political autocracy and narrow-minded fanaticism."

View PDF: PDF icon Fair Play.pdf

The war so far

In this speech, the former Ottawa Member of Parliament and member of the Senate gave a brief outline of the Allied war effort over the first two years of the war.

The removal of Sir Sam Hughes

After Minister of Militia and Defence Sam Hughes was ousted from the government of Sir Robert Borden in 1916, the federal Liberal Party published a series of letters that attempted to discredit the government's conduct in the episode.

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