World War II

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: PDF icon 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: PDF icon 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.

Do what the warden tells you

Wartime offered considerable scope for tasteless humour - as this card, brought home from Britain by a Canadian soldier after the Second World War, affirms.

For your bank manager

To simplify the process of subscribing to the 4th Victory Loan, the federal government provided this template letter, which could be filled out and submitted to any bank.

Victoria welcomes its veterans

In preparation for the demobilization of Canadians in uniform after the Second World War, the city of Victoria established a Citizens Rehabilitation Council to help them with the practical problems of returning to civilian life.

While on leave in Brussels

Few Canadian soldiers had been to Brussels before the city was liberated in the fall of 1944; this card showed them how to find all of the facilities available to them when they visited the city while on leave.

Selective Service and the May Court Club

Ottawa's May Court Club is the oldest women's volunteer organization in Canada, established in 1898. During the Second World War, one of the club's meeting was devoted to a talk on the efficient utilization of human resources, through Selective Service.

Lessons in anti-tank warfare

Written in 1939, this training pamphlet was distributed before the British or Canadian army had much experience with modern anti-tank warfare.

View PDF: PDF icon AT Regiments.pdf

Boxing in wartime Britain

Canada's entrants in the competition, three men from the Royal Canadian Artillery, did not have great success at the 1940 meet in Aldershot, but the event likely provided a welcome diversion from the rigours of training.

War industries in Manitoba

This government publication featured success stories of Manitoba manufacturing, including Winnipeg's MacDonald Brothers Aircraft Limited, which assembled Avro Anson twin-engined aircraft to be used in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

View PDF: PDF icon MB Indl Topics.pdf

Games for POWs

Boredom was one of the greatest challenges facing Canadian prisoners of war in Germany during the Second World War, but charitable organization did what they could to send games and puzzles to the camps to help pass the time.

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