Fighting

A nurse and her patients

British nurse Sarah Arnold kept a diary while she worked at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading during the First World War but instead of writing in it herself, she asked her patients (including some wounded Canadian soldiers) to write of their experiences. After the war, Arnold married John Bridgman of Aberdeen, Saskatchewan, one of the soldiers she had nursed.

Arnold diary.pdf (64.2 MB)

Infantry Training, Part VII, Section and Platoon Tactics

The UK War Office produced and issued a series of short training manuals used by both the British and Canadian armies. Collectively, these manuals established the doctrine, or tactical procedures, for both armies throughout the war. This 1944 manual on the tactics of small units reflected the experience gained in North Africa and Italy.

The Canadian War

This masthead of this First World War magazine told readers everything they needed to know about its editorial position: "Patriotism - Union - Victory ; Written and Edited Without Remuneration ; Devoted Entirely to Propaganda for the War."

Mackenzie King's manpower policy

The federal government of prime minister Mackenzie King used St Jean Baptiste Day, an important holiday in French Canada, as the occasion to clarify its manpower policy for the benefit of French Canadians.

At war with Japan

After the surprise Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Canada lost no time in declaring war on Japan.

Politics in wartime

In this radio broadcast, Union Nationale provincial cabinet minister Anatole Carignan criticized federal cabinet minister Ernest Lapointe for ignoring the wishes of Quebec. Carignan was defeated in the 1939 Quebec provincial election.

1 Canadian Corps leaves Italy

Early in 1945, Canadian units were withdrawn from the campaign in Italy so they could join the Canadian divisions fighting in north-west Europe. On their departure, the army commander thanked them for their work since the invasion of Sicily in July 1943.

The advance through Italy

The messages from Generals Alexander and Leese were sent to the troops at the end of a period of bitter fighting in Italy. In the weeks that followed, Allied troops (with the Canadians in reserve) would continue the advance, eventually capturing Rome in June 1944.

Widening the war

On 7 December 1941, the federal government announced that a state of war existed between Canada and Romania, Hungary, and Finland.

Certificate of Honour

First World War veteran Eli Spencer also served in uniform during the Second World War, and was given this certificate (along with a wallet-size version) by the city of Ottawa in recognition of his service.