World War II

Home Sweet Home

An idyllic image of home, the kind that sustained Canadians in uniform through the long years of war.

The war so far ...

Because so much of the fighting took place in regions that were unfamiliar to Canadians, war maps were enormously popular, for they simplified complicated events and allowed civilians to make sense of news coming from the war fronts.

The War Service Gratuity, 1945

The war gratuity, paid to servicemen and women upon discharge, was based on length of service at home and overseas. On this worksheet, a Prince Edward Island soldier calculated his gratuity as $668.30, just over $9100 in current values.

Calling all veterans

With the Second World War creating hundreds of thousands of potential members, the Canadian Legion took every opportunity to inform men and women in uniform of its goals and projects.

The cost of war

With the realization that Canada would face unprecedented spending demands, greater even than those faced in the First World War, one bank provided a sober analysis of the problem of growing war debt as it looked early in the Second World War.

View PDF: BNS War Debt.pdf

Modern war in school

A Prince Edward Island schoolboy used these exercise books during the Second World War for mathematics and writing; there were six different books in the "Branches of the Service" series.

Certificate of Medical Unfitness

The National Resources Mobilization Act of 1940 called up men for examination for possible military service; this New Brunswicker was found medically unfit.

Go To It!

This Second World War advertising premium invoked British cabinet minister Herbert Morrison in urging Canadians to buy War Savings Certificates.

What's wrong with Canada's tax policy?

This address by G.S. Thorvaldson contrasted wartime, when taxation was a "patriotic duty," and peacetime, when it became "an economic and social problem." He made the case that big corporations stood to gain the most in both contexts.

View PDF: ITPA.pdf

"Efficient first aid may be a life-saving knowledge"

Compiled in 1942, this manual covered everything from splinting a broken limb to recognizing and dealing with gas attacks.

View PDF: First Aid RCN.pdf

Women of the Anglican Missionary Society

Like virtually every organization in Canada, the Woman's Auxiliary added war work to its charitable activities during the Second World War, and reported on its initiatives in this monthly magazine.

Knitting for Victory

This craft book included a long list of women's war charities in Canada, and patterns for every conceivable garment for men and women in uniform, as well as "practical styles for war victims."

View PDF: Monarch.pdf

Training airmen in BC

Patricia Bay was the wartime home of the Royal Air Force's 32 Operational Training Unit, which trained airmen from Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, an RCAF training unit, and a seaplane base. "The Patrician" was the publication of the RAF community.

View PDF: Patrician.pdf

The printing business in wartime

This souvenir publication by a Winnipeg printing and lithographing business honoured employees who had volunteered for military service and detailed the company's wartime work.

"Brightening up the drabbest corners of your home"

Wartime restrictions meant making do with what was available - and this booklet provided many ways to breathe new life into old products by using Tintex tints and dyes.

Welcome to Carberry

During the Second World War, Carberry, Manitoba, hosted a Service Flying Training School of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. This book was published to introduce incoming students to the town and its people, and to recognize their contribution to the Allied war effort.

To the RCAF

The romance of flying was the central theme of this 1940 composition that was billed as "Canada's Air Song."

View PDF: Climbin' High.pdf

"Pull Together, Canada"

Canada's second Victory Loan campaign ran in 1941 and to generate public interest, the Ontario Public Relations Committee mounted a splashy stage show, complete with its own theme song.

Having a fund-raiser?

During the Second World War, the federal government took control of all fund-raising activities and the organizers of any event were required to secure the appropriate permission from the Department of National War Services.

Sports and dancing for Vimy

Recreation was essential to the smooth running of a military base, so the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, stationed at Vimy Barracks in Kingston, Ontario, organized a sports day and dance every year.

Pages