World War II

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.

Remembering the Merchant Marine

Merchant seamen were often forgotten in wartime, but this Christmas card drew attention to the vital role they played in supporting the war effort.

Learning a trade for peacetime

Part of the federal government's demobilization strategy was to make available to men and women in uniform job-training courses to prepare them for the postwar world. Corporal Nelson, of RCAF (Women's Division) Headquarters in Vancouver, opted to learn dressmaking.

What to wear in an air raid

Reminding women that the enemy "has no consideration for the safety of civilians," this booklet (sponsored by Orient Beauti-Skin Hosiery) provided instruction on how to keep the family and home safe against enemy air attack - including advice on what to wear when dealing with bomb damage in the neighbourhood.

Calisthenics for soldiers

The Second World War revealed an unexpectedly low level of physical fitness in Canadian men, leading military authorities to devote considerable effort to remedial action. Training brochures like this one were among the results of that effort.

View PDF: PT Tables.pdf

Living on a soldier's pay

Through menu suggestions, nutrition tips, and budget advice, this booklet aimed to help a soldier's wife make the best use of her husband's assigned pay and dependents' allowance.

View PDF: Budgetting.pdf

Civil defence in Toronto

Although Canada was in little danger of enemy air raids, there was a fully functional civil defence apparatus during the Second World War, with civilians deputized to perform various services in the event of an attack.

Notes on Military Law

First World War veteran and later cabinet minister Brooke Claxton originally prepared these notes in the form of lectures for the McGill University Contingent of the Canadian Officers' Training Corps. They cover everything from courts martial to morale and efficiency.

News from around the war

An Edmonton radio station compiled this almanac of events of the Second World War, beginning with British leaders attending talks in Rome on 11 January 1939 and ending with changes to the butter ration on 14 December 1946.

View PDF: CJCA War Diary.pdf

News for signallers

Printed after the end of the Second World War in Europe, this issue covered demobilization policy, sports news, entertainment, and an exhortation to vote in the 1945 federal election.

View PDF: Link.pdf

Chatham welcomes its veterans home

Banquets in honour of returning servicemen and servicewomen were common in Canada in 1946, just as they had been in 1919.

Driving in wartime

The federal government placed strict limits on the purchase of gasoline during the Second World War, but extra fuel could be made available under special circumstances.

Out of work

The Second World War brought full employment to Canada, but it also brought the Unemployment Insurance Act. This card indicated that Ethel Cooper had received an unemployment insurance book when she stopped working at a Toronto-area munitions factory.

Wartime cutbacks

During the Second World War, the demands of the wartime economy meant that non-essential tasks - like the issuance of certain financial statements - had to be curtailed.

Rides for soldiers

Hitch-hiking was very common in the 1940s and this sign, placed on the car's dashboard or glued to a window, indicated that the driver was happy to give a ride to anyone in uniform.

Christmas dinner in Champlain Barracks

To celebrate the holiday season in 1943, Number 26 Canadian Army (Basic) Training Centre in Orillia, Ontario, held a special dinner. This menu was saved by Trooper A.E. Stone.

Awaiting the end of the war

Even before the Second World War ended, the Canadian Council of Churches had prepared an order of service that could be used to celebrate the occasion, whenever it came.

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