World War II

Sunday School and Mother's Day

This donation card, directed at Ontario children, conflated Mother's Day, religion, and the need to defeat Nazi Germany

Useful gifts for soldier boys

It was up to Canadians at home to remember their loved ones overseas with the odd gift - bought, of course, from a local retailer.

Made in Canada

This multilingual decal was made in 1943, likely to affix to Canadian war materiel, perhaps vehicles, being exported.

Thanks from the Netherlands

A Canadian soldier brought this home to Canada in 1945, a keepsake from a grateful Dutch civilian.

"Thumbs Up! Beat Hitler"

Torontonians could support the Red Cross by attending this recital, and were also asked to patronize the businesses that supported the cause.

Remembering in Edmonton

Wreaths cover the base of the cenotaph in Edmonton, Alberta, during a service held after the Second World War.

Coming home to the lakehead

This image of the women's pipe band was given to veterans in Fort William, Ontario, as they returned from service during the Second World War.

Buy Canadian!

During the Second World War, the federal government aggressively promoted a "buy Canadian" strategy, to prevent an outflow of currency to pay for foreign-made goods.

Passing the torch

As Canada went to war for the second time in a generations, the Legion president reflected on the meaning of the Vimy memorial and observed that the words "Remembrance" and "Duty" now carried even great meaning and obligation.

Postcards from Camp Debert, Truro, Nova Scotia

Postcards were a routine way of corresponding quickly with family and friends in the age before e-mail. This rare collection shows Canadian infantry training and recreating at Camp Debert in Nova Scotia, ca. 1942.

Field Engineering (All Arms) Military Training Pamphlet No. 30 Part V Protective Works, 1941

This pamphlet instructs field engineers on constructing protective works including mortar emplacements, weapon slits, and shelter for troops. This version of the pamphlet dates from 1941. A somewhat different 1944 version is also available on Wartime Canada.

French Canadians in battle

At the end of the Second World War, a Canadian brewery published this collection of illustrations, as a tribute to French Canada's soldiers and the battles they fought: Beauvoir Farm, Casa Berardi, Bernières-sur-mer, Hill 195, Dieppe, Etavaux, Inchville, the Normandy landings, Nieuwvliet, San Martino, and Termoli.

The Gentleman in Battledress

This speech by Lt.Col. James Mess tried to recruit young men to the Canadian Army.

Canada at War, No. 42

First published in August of 1940, the Canada at War series aimed to provide Canadians with the most up-to-date information on the war effort, both at home and overseas. This is the 42nd issue in that series.

Canadian Affairs: Learning for Living

This last issue in the Canadian Affairs series describes the value of education for Canadians in the post-war world.

Looking Ahead: Canadian Hurdles

The Wartime Information Board released a series of pamphlets, as a supplement to Canadian Affairs, informing Canadians about post-war reconstruction and urging discussions of "the most positive approach to some of the outstanding problems of Canada's future."

New Advance, June 1942

This left-leaning pro-Soviet magazine for youth discussed Canada's war effort.

Province of Nova Scotia, Active Service Voters Act 1945

In preparation for a provincial election, Nova Scotia released these regulations to allow men and women serving in Canada's military, navy, and air forces to vote in their home districts.

Our Next Job

The Wartime Information Board released a series of pamphlets informing Canadians about post-war reconstruction. This booklet provides information about the job prospects for all Canadians after the war, and includes questions to spur discussion among readers about post-war issues.

To Civvy Street: The Common-Sense of Re-Establishment

Canada's Re-Establishment Program offered many programs to help returning soldiers reintegrate into civilian life, through grants, vocational training, education, and help starting a new job.

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