World War II

Victoria in wartime

Bill Loopol had served in the CEF during the First World War - a generation later, he was working for a new group of soldiers on behalf of the Canadian Legion War Services.

View PDF: PDF icon Loopol.pdf

Christmas away from home

Thousands of Canadians in uniform spent Christmas 1939 in Britain - one sent home this card that is strongly reminscent of designs from the First World War.

The Proper Wearing of Decorations

With many Canadians wearing medals from two different wars, the Department of Veterans Affairs decided to issue these instructions on the proper way to wear them.

View PDF: PDF icon Medals.pdf

Industry, from war to peace

This 1946 cover marked Canada's transformation from a wartime to a peacetime economy after the Second World War.

A world at peace ...

This cover marked a return to peace, yet ironically bears the censor stamp of the War Disease Control Station, set up at Grosse Île, Quebec, to study measures that might be taken in the event of germ warfare.

"Paper is a Munition of War"

During the Second World War, the Wartime Prices and Trade Board printed and distributed labels that allowed envelopes to be reused, as a way to save paper.

War economy - save paper!

This government-issue envelope encouraged the user to slit the top carefully, so it could be reused as a way to save paper.

Patriotic stationery

There were countless varieties of specialty envelopes available during the Second World War, like this one bearing the famous Morse code V for Victory.

Tires rolling to victory

This Sarnia, Ontario, automobile dealership used in its advertising a painting by Ted McCormick "symbolizing unity between industry and war services."

Wartime vacation - business as usual

One way to help Canada's economy in the early years of the Second World War was to encourage American tourists to continue to come north and spend money - hence this pamphlet produced by the federal government.

Christmas wishes from the RCAMC

A member of 22 Canadian Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, sent this Christmas card from England to his wife in Canada in 1941.

View PDF: PDF icon Christmas 1941.pdf

The life of a soldier

The tribulations of life in the army were satirized in this Second World War postcard series.

Graduation dinner, Brandon, Manitoba

Course 122 of #12 Service Flying Training School held its graduation dinner in Brandon, Manitoba, in March 1945, when the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was winding down. It was the last class to graduate from the school.

View PDF: PDF icon Grad dinner.pdf

Entertainment for convalescents

Community groups near Canadian military facilities often provided entertainment for personnel, like this concert at a hospital near Birmingham.

Boston medium bomber

This image of a Douglas Boston medium bomber was probably distributed as a product premium during the Second World War.

Orders for machine gun units

An infantry officer from Winnipeg, Manitoba, used this British military manual during the Second World War.

Food rationing, 1944

This book of food ration coupons was issued to a Canadian soldier on leave in 1944.

View PDF: PDF icon Ration book.pdf

Remembering a fallen airman

Alan Pilcher was flying with 544 Squadron RAF when he was killed in a flying accident in Britain on 2 December 1943. A memorial service was held in his hometown of Fort Steele, British Columbia.

View PDF: PDF icon Pilcher.pdf

Knights of Columbus Hotel, London

The Knights of Columbus was one of the many organizations that offered accommodations to servicemen and women on leave during the Second World War. The note on the back reads: "Dear Mother: Got a nice room here for the week-end after arriving in London at 8 o'clock yesterday morning from Glasgow. Love, Bill."

Reconsecration Pledge 1941

Dated September 1941, this leaflet was probably intended to be given to church-goers as a pledge of their commitment to the war effort.