World War I
Great War veterans and militia soldiers shared the streets of Pembroke, Ontario, for the 1931 Armistice Day parade.
For many new soldiers, the introduction to army life included healthy doses of bending, stretching, and other exercises laid out in this First World War manual.
Soldiers were fond of altering the lyrics to hymns for comic effect - so, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" became "When This Lousy War is Over."
After an afternoon of competition, from running races to horseback wrestling, the men of the 1st Canadian Field Ambulance were treated to a concert put on by the comedy troupe of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.
The return of peace in 1918 was a momentous occasion - so momentous that special commemorative greeting cards were printed and sold.
Many young men attempted to evade conscription during the First World War, so the military authorities provided certificates to men who had observed the law and properly registered with the government, as proof against harassment by the police of potential employers.
With some careful re-wording, the British national anthem "God Save the King" was turned into a tribute to men at war.
Toronto physician Norman Harris joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1916, and in 1918 was with a Canadian hospital in Seaford, in southern England. This card permitted him to purchase rationed food from a local shop.
This pamphlet provided plans for four standardized houses, each of which cost under $800 and could be built within eight days. In drawing up the plans, the Soldier Settlement Board's architect consulted "a number of leading Pioneer Women in the West."
This simple poem captures a First World War soldier's thoughts as he travelled on a train bound for leave in Britain.
The Soldiers' Aid Commission of Ontario, like similar groups established in other provinces during the First World War, was established to provide vocational, financial, and medical assistance to ex-soldiers and their families. Barrie native John McCreight never returned this registration card, so presumably at the time he was not in need of assistance.
Although it traces its roots to the nineteenth century, the Army and Navy Veterans in Canada was not granted a federal charter until 1917. It was one of the few organizations that did not join the new Canadian Legion when it was created in 1926.
Using a verse by poet Frederick George Scott, an insurance company played on First World War patriotism as an advertising strategy.
Novelist Arnold Bennett was the first major writer to be invited to tour the Western Front during the First World War; his account was published in late 1915. This postcard invited book-buyers to experience "all the picturesque, moving figures of the front."
The signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 marked the end of the First World War, and people in many Allied countries celebrated the event by observing Peace Day in July 1919.
A service chevron (to be worn on the uniform sleeve) was awarded for each year of overseas service; the certificate was intended to combat the problem of the fraudulent veteran.
This ecumenical service, held at a large CEF training camp in the south of England, featured Rev. A. Logan Geggie of Parkdale Presbyterian Church in Toronto.
The Ross Rifle was superb for target shooting, but left much to be desired in combat conditions - as the Canadian 1st Division learned to its peril at Ypres in April 1915.
Despite its title, this book was all about government programs available to Canadians after they stopped being soldiers and returned to the peacetime economy.
Like most First World War unit publications, this magazine combined cartoons, jokes, amusing stories, and battery news. A regular feature was "Things We Would Like to Know", which included the question "Why is it we're always on the move? Can't we pay the rent?"