Demobilization

A smooth transition

These instructions, for military personnel from the Hamilton and Niagara regions, dealt with practical matters such as pay, clothing, and transportation, but also warned returning soldiers, "Don't take V.D. home."

Coming home to the lakehead

This image of the women's pipe band was given to veterans in Fort William, Ontario, as they returned from service during the Second World War.

Home Sweet Home

An idyllic image of home, the kind that sustained Canadians in uniform through the long years of war.

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.

Welcome back to the lakehead

The city of Port Arthur, Ontario, distributed scrolls to returning soldiers in 1919, to thank them for their efforts in defence of "Truth, Freedom, Home, and Native Land."

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.

Chatham banquet.pdf (13.83 MB)

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.

Safe at home

This adaption of the popular song "Home, Sweet Home" was probably performed for soldiers returning to Canada in 1918 and 1919 through Quebec City.

Coming home to Winnipeg

As Canadians returned home from overseas after the Second World War, most communities devoted considerable effort to organizing homecoming ceremonies - including the distribution of cards of thanks such as this one.

"Are you coming back clean in Body?"

This YMCA pamphlet offered Canadian soldiers a lesson, albeit a belated one, on the dangers of prostitutes and sexually-transmitted diseases, and offered a warning to soldiers who might be returning to Canada "bearing the dishonorable marks of Venereal Disease."

Coming Back.pdf (26.49 MB)