World War II

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

Strategic minerals

The workers of HBM&S processed zinc, copper, and cadmium, and their company magazine not only kept them current on news around the company, but also reminded them that their work was essential to the war effort.

Cross, rifle, and maple leaf

Military, religious, and national symbols mingled in this postcard produced during the Second World War for the Quebec market.

Welcome home to Manitoba

Tokens like this card were common after the First World War, but less so after the Second. It is also unusual in mentioning returning prisoners of war and those who had fallen sick.

Graduating navigators and bomb aimers

The wings ceremony was an important milestone for airmen in training, a public acknowledgement that they had mastered their trade. This course, at a school operated by Canadian Pacific Air Lines, was unusual in having so many Polish airmen.

View PDF: 1AOS.pdf

Fighting the war by feeding the family

Everything was militarized during the Second World War, including the household economy. Women became "housoldiers" whose job was to prepare "appetizing and nourishing meals that protect and preserve the health of their families."

View PDF: Housoldiers.pdf

Preparing for war

Issued at the beginning of the Second World War, this British manual (reprinted for Canada) covered only the most basic elements of training for war, including a series of games that could provide instruction in field-craft.

View PDF: ATM 24 War.pdf

Legitimate veterans

Because of problem of unscrupulous individuals claiming veteran status, anyone wearing a War Service Badge after the Second World War also had to carry proof that they were entitled to wear it.

An air force birthday card

To take advantage of a sales opportunity, this enterprising manufacturer may have simply taken a prewar birthday card and embossed on it the crest of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

A card for Mother

This hospital unit was established in Dundurn, Saskatchewan, in September 1940, and went overseas early in 1942. Glen's card to his mother was written a few days before the Canadian raid on Dieppe.

Christmas greetings from a veteran

A Manitoba veterans' organization printed this card for its members to use at Christmas, and chose an appropriate quotation from Sir Arthur Currie for the occasion.

Christmas in uniform

Jim Taunton of Verdun, Quebec, was spending Christmas 1940 in uniform, after enlisting in the Black Watch in Montreal.

A gift from home

This Canadian soldier spent Christmas 1943 in North Africa, but even there he was able to enjoy Canadian cigarettes sent by the Ingersoll Cream Cheese Company.

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