189th Battalion

Members of the 189th Battalion, raised in Fraserville, Quebec, created this impressive garden to mark the entry to their encampment.

A letter from captivity

Prisoners of war in Germany were permitted to send just two letter forms like this per month. This South African airmen used one of his to write to a friend who worked with the Canadian Red Cross Society.

Canadian cheese at war

One of the many humorous postcards of the First World War, this one provided a recipe for defeating Imperial Germany.

The Royal Canadian Navy on watch

The stamp features grain elevators, but the special cover pays tribute to the navy.

"There'll Always Be An England"

This cover refers to the song popularized by Vera Lynn that became an immediate hit in September 1939.

How the officers eat ...

George Parker, a barber who enlisted in the CEF in September 1915, writes to his wife about his work procuring food for the officers' mess of his unit.

View PDF: PDF icon Parker.pdf

The British lion triumphs

This postcard, showing the British lion mastering the German eagle, was a generic design - the word "Canadians" could be replaced with the name of another nationality or unit.

Canada's War Effort

One of the many commemorative covers honouring the Canadian effort during the Second World War.

The Navy's Here

This patriotic cover, with the warship and crossed ensigns, honoured the Royal Canadian navy.

A long training march

A soldier from Nova Scotia describes a brigade training march, involving 6000 men in a formation three miles long.

Fighting for France

A typical sentimental postcard of French manufacture, sent by a Canadian soldier to his sister in Ontario in 1915.

A tender moment ...

This image of a couple kissing, sent by a Canadian soldier to his wife, would have been considered slightly racy at the time of the First World War.

Badge of the 135th Battalion

This postcard was manufactured in England, probably not long before the 135th Battalion, raised in and around London, Ontario, was broken up for reinforcements.

The 1st Contingent at Valcartier

Postcards of Valcartier, where the first units of the CEF concentrated before sailing to England in 1914, were a popular souvenir during the First World War. This image shows units from Montreal.

Bombers for Victory

Another of the many special covers sold in wartime, this one with a V-shaped bomber formation and a V for Victory Morse code cancellation.

Churchill's V for Victory

When this cover was mailed in July 1942, the tide of the war had not actually turned yet - but at least the Allies had come to, as Winston Churchill would say, "the end of the beginning."

Tea with Princess Mary

In this card to his family, Andrew Brider of Hamilton, Ontario, described having tea with royalty at Windsor Castle in 1917.

The day of the Armistice

George Faatz enlisted in St Thomas, Ontario, in September 1915, and survived to send this card to a friend on the day the armistice came into effect. At any other time in the war, the card would have been destroyed by censors because of his hand-written note at the top.

Full speed ahead

The stamp and cachet on this first day cover honoured Canadian-made corvettes, which were vital as convoy escorts during the Second World War.

Flying for Freedom

This first day cover for a Canadian airmail stamp featured the ensign of the Royal Canadian Air Force.