World War I
This song was dedicated to Minister of Militia and Defence Sam Hughes, and suggested that Canadian men ask themselves a pointed question: "Is the bit I'm doing just the biggest bit I can?"
In this plea for volunteers, popular singer Will J. White issued a warning to the young men of Canada: "it's Voluntary Service Keeps Conscription from the door."
Not long after writing this song, Toronto bank clerk Gordon Dagger enlisted in the 257th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Inspired by the British song "It's a Long Way to Tipperary," this song had little Canadian content - except for the maple leaf on the cover.
This piece of music was composed and dedicated to Lieutenant G.E. Graven of the 22nd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force.
The 201st Battalion (Toronto Light Infantry) had its own tribute song, but music was not enough to encourage recruitment. The unit was disbanded in September 1916 when it failed to reach its authorized strength.
Saskatoon's war memorial might seem like a strange image to use on a Christmas card, but it represents the importance of the memory of the First World War to Canada in the 1930s.
A conscripted soldier was not necessarily a reluctant soldier. The fact that these French-Canadian men were willing to have portrait photographs taken in uniform suggests that they were not reluctant to celebrate serving under the Maple Leaf.
Certificates like these were given to schoolchildren as a way to recognize their contribution to the war effort, and to ensure that they felt included in the struggle.
Part historical account, part recruiting pamphlet, this folder described in glowing terms the Canadian defence of Ypres, to encourage other young men to follow in the footsteps of those who had already joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
A New Brunswick soldier sent this folder home to his family in 1916, to show them what his temporary home, a tented camp in southern England, looked like.
Winnie the Pooh was only the most famous of the black bears to be adopted by Canadian units as mascots during the First World War.
Regulations permitted the Canadian Expeditionary Force to enlist fourteen-year-old boys (and in some cases those even younger) to enlist as bandsmen, buglers, trumpeters, and drummers. They were not allowed to proceed to the front, but doubtless some wangled their way into fighting units.
During the First World War, as many as 35,000 Canadian soldiers married British women. Given the constraints of wartime, their weddings were often modest affairs.
During the First World War, most units had brass or pipe bands, which played for the troops or gave concerts for the townspeople near their encampments. These are the bands of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Canadian Convalescent Depot, 23rd (Reserve) Battalion, 37th Battalion, 43rd Battalion, 83rd Battalion, 85th Battalion, 92nd Battalion, 131st Battalion, 161st Battalion, and other units that cannot be identified.
Leonard Brooks enlisted in the 34th Battalion in Galt, Ontario; after he was wounded in the Ypres Salient in June 1916, his family produced this postcard to show their pride.
A large crowd was on hand to watch two Canadian soldiers contest the boxing championship at Seaford, a military camp in southern England, in April 1919.
Distributed with an illustrated magazine, this memorial scroll could accommodate various sizes of photographs, and had a space where the sailor's name and rank could be recorded.
After George Yates was killed in action while serving on the Western Front with the 20th Battalion, his grieving family in Toronto produced this booklet as a tribute to his life.