World War II

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.

Giving the gift of life

Donating blood was even more important in wartime than peacetime, because of the need for "emergency transfusions to those of His Majesty's Forces or civilians who are war casualties."

A Victory Loan donor

The Second World War ended in August 1945, but the 9th Victory Loan continued to attract support from Canadians in October and November.

Window shopping in wartime

These photographs, possibly taken in Vancouver, show a store window given over to advertising in support of War Savings Stamps.

Carry on, Canada!

The imagery on the postcard might seem more suited to the First World War than the Second, but it indicates the strength of imperial sentiment through the 1940s.

Twenty blood donations

During the Second World War, giving blood was a patriotic act, and twenty donations earned Mark Laversohn a special certificate.

The need for blood

Thanks to advances in blood transfusion practice and technology during the First World War, blood could be stored and shipped more safely during the Second World War - and therefore there was a greater need for blood donors.

Wartime work in Listowel

Founded in December 1941, the Listowel Wartime Men's Association was involved in a variety of charitable causes. In this case, it thanked a local businessman for donating to the war effort a week's receipts from the Capitol Theatre.

Preparing for the "Cease Fire"

In 1940, the Canadian Legion War Services launched a fund-raising drive to support the educational and social work it was doing with men in uniform, to help prepare them for the day when they would return to civilian jobs.

View PDF: Help Plan.pdf

"Propaganda against Propaganda"

Lawrence Hunt was a New York lawyer who emerged as a critic of American isolationism in the Second World War. His writings were published widely in the British Empire and he was a popular speaker on the wartime lecture circuit.

Being a careful shopper

This modest pamphlet, published in Saint John, New Brunswick, was one of many that combined advertising with tips for women on how to cope with wartime shortages.

View PDF: Homemaker.pdf

Helping out on the farm

With so many labourers in uniform during the Second World War, Ontario's farmers desperately needed workers to help bring in the harvest - hence this appeal to "store keepers, professional men, retired folk, industrial workers, housewives and young men at home."

View PDF: Farm Commando.pdf

An Amish Mennonite at war

In December 1941 Earlus Gascho of Kirkland Lake, Ontario, declared himself a conscientious objector on the basis of his membership in the Baden-Wilmot Congregation of the Amish Mennonite Church. This correspondence deals with his arrangements for alternative service.

View PDF: Gascho.pdf

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