World War I

$300 million for the war effort

The First World War was over when this Victory Loan campaign was launched, but there were still bills to be paid.

An evening of music

This smoker was one of the many social events held by the 109th Battalion, based in Lindsay, Ontario, to generate interest in the unit and stimulate recruiting.

Canada's Great Marching Song

This patriotic tune, available in arrangements for orchestra, military band, and male or mixed voice choir, lauded the British heritage of justice and peace.

Cheering Johnny Canuck

Perhaps the most successful of Canada's early war songs, Manley's lyrics paid tribute to all Allied soldiers but had special praise for Johnny Canuck.

View PDF: PDF icon Good Luck.pdf

"Step into Khaki and defeat German hate"

Described as "the most catchy and prettiest of all war songs," Foley's lyrics asked Canadians to remember the fate of Belgium as they thought about the war.

View PDF: PDF icon Strike.pdf

"No cruel Hun could make them run"

Imperial unity in a common cause was the theme of this patriotic song, which mixed animal metaphors and referred to "the bulldog breed" hearing "the lion's roar."

A melody from the trenches

Perhaps the most famous of Canada's soldier songwriters, Rice claimed to have come up with this tune while on guard duty at Ypres. A sales manager from Montreal, Rice had enlisted in the Canadian Field Artillery at the beginning of the war.

View PDF: PDF icon Dear Old Pal.pdf

Reuniting the family

This conventional welcome-home song is most remarkable for the cover illustration - the terrible strain of war is clearly visible on the faces of the soldier and his wife.

"God bless our noble womenfolk"

This song looking back at the war from 1921 was unusual in giving equal attention to its impact on women as well as men.

A Canadian nurse looks homeward

Only the illustration of the nurse set this composition, billed as "one of the biggest Hits on the market," apart as a war song.

View PDF: PDF icon Take Me Back.pdf

Singing of Canada

Another piece sung by Mildred Manley, "Canada's greatest child vocalist," this was a typical patriotic song that contained only a hint of the reality of war.

View PDF: PDF icon I Love You.pdf

The only colour that matters

According to this song, khaki (the colour of Canadian soldiers' uniforms) was the most stylish colour in the fashion season of 1915.

View PDF: PDF icon Khaki.pdf

"Stalwart sons of khaki"

One of Canada's most prolific songwriters and music publishers, Thompson wrote this song in anticipation of the parades that would be held to welcome Canada's soldiers home.

Welcoming war brides to Canada

A British woman who married a Canadian soldier during the First World War faced a host of complications in relocating to a new country. This pamphlet was intended to answer some of the most basic questions.

Taking care of soldiers' families

The Canadian Patriotic Fund was established to provide for the families of men in uniform who had been left destitute by the enlistment of the breadwinner. Thomas Murray, a native of Newfoundland, had enlisted in the 212th Battalion in August 1915, and later served with the 61st Battalion.

Pulling the Kaiser's moustache

The composer dedicated this piece to his "life long chum" Frederic Langstone, who joined the 5th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery at the beginning of the war. A graduate of Harbord Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Langstone was killed in action in April 1918.

View PDF: PDF icon When Jack.pdf

The Navy League in Alberta

Founded in 1895, the Navy League of Canada was created to instill in youngsters the importance of maritime defence.

Mennonites and conscription

Under Canadian law, exemption from conscription during the First World War depended on membership in a faith group that had been recognized as pacifist. These cards verified that Jacob and Johann Wiebe were baptized members of the Sommerfeld Mennonite Church in Manitoba and were therefore not subject to conscription.

A Petawawa camp song

Dennis Bryan was a mechanic in Medford, Massachusetts, who came to Canada to enlist in the Canadian Field Artillery in May 1917. A month later, he wrote this song, to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," in honour of the camp at Petawawa, Ontario. Bryan survived the First World War, but his son Roland was killed at Dieppe during the Second World War.

Discounted travel for veterans

Through the Soldier Settlement Board, veterans could receive discounted rail tickets for travel in connection with taking up farming work.

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