World War II

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.

Vocational Training on Civvy Street

The Canadian government provided grants, training classes, and apprenticeships to help returning soldiers get a job in civilian life. Pamphlets like this one told veterans of all of the opportunities available.

What is Democratic Socialism?

This booklet provides a general introduction to the Democratic Socialism endorsed in the nations of the British Commonwealth. It was written specifically for the Co-operative Commonwealth Youth Movement, Saskatchewan Section.

Your Journey through the Canadian Rockies: Westbound

During the war, Canada marketed itself to American tourists to try to attract American money to Canada. Come experience the rugged wilderness of Canada's Rockies, serviced by Canadian Pacific Rail, including stops at hotels, resorts, and attractions along the way!

Physical Standards and Instructions for Medical Examination

This manual instructs medical staff how to assess the health of recruits and service men, and recommends the type of military service appropriate to each physical condition.

Vote Meighen

Arthur Meighen, briefly Prime Minister during the 1920s, tried to return to office in 1942. Meighen had been chosen as leader of the opposition, but he lost the bi-election needed to get him a seat in the House of Commons. His campaign was based on a pro-conscription platform.