Introductory Essay

This short essay focuses on education within schools and universities during the Second World War in order to explore the relationship between war and learning. In elementary schools, high schools,…
Canada’s participation in the First World War has often been described as a coming-of-age – a trial by fire that transformed an immature colonial polity into an independent adult nation. Yet despite…

Fighting the war in schools

Like most children, the students of Lord Roberts School in London, Ontario, were deeply involved in supporting the war effort, through collecting scrap paper, raising money for the Canadian Red Cross Society, or donating money to buy airplanes.

Recognizing children's contributions

Certificates like these were given to schoolchildren as a way to recognize their contribution to the war effort, and to ensure that they felt included in the struggle.

War in Canada's high schools

Courses in defence training were mandatory for boys and girls in most Canadian high schools during the Second World War, although certain elements of the course for girls (such as "Healthful Living, Rhythmics, Dances, etc") were not covered in this textbook.

Fighting ships of the world

Like other sets in the Fighting Forces series (and the World in Arms series on which it was based), this one featured naval vessels from Allied as well as enemy fleets: US battleship "Mississippi"; French battleship "Dunkerque"; British torpedo boat "Hornet"; Japanese destroyer "Fubuki"; Italian cruiser "Zara"; German submarine; US heavy cruiser "Indianapolis"; Spanish cruiser "Canarias"; motor torpedo boat; Japanese aircraft carrier "Akagi"; British battleship "Rodney"; Italian M.A.S. boat.

Allied aircraft in action

Probably distributed as a product premium during the Second World War, these photographs show military aircraft that were in Canadian and British service: Bell Airacobra; Blackburn Skua; Boulton & Paul Defiant; Consolidated Liberator; Curtiss Kittyhawk; Douglas B19; Douglas DB7 Havoc; Hudson Bomber; Lockheed YP38; Spitfire; and Vultee Vanguard.

The "iron cavalry"

The manufacturers of the Fighting Forces gum card series, and the American World in Arms series on which it was based, applied the quaint term "iron cavalry" to the new mobile warfare.

Miscellaneous weapons

A separate section of the Fighting Forces gum card series (and the American World in Arms series on which it was based) was reserved for a hodge-podge of different weapons: Flame Throwers; British Death-dealing Balloon Barrage; Landing Russian "Air Infantry"; The New Garand Automatic Rifle; British Portable Steel Air Raid Shelter; Gas Raid Rescue Squad; Stream of Torpedoes; Devastating Martin-Barlow Aerial Bomb.

Allied ships of the line

Distributed by the Canada Starch Company as a product premium during the Second World War, this set depicted Allied naval vessels: aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, a Tribal-class destroyer, battleship HMS King George V, battle cruiser HMS Repulse, a Shark-class submarine, battleship HMS Warspite, a motor torpedo boat, and battle cruiser HMS Hood.

Allied aircraft gum cards

These gum cards probably went into production very early in the Second World War - many of the airplanes featured had been removed service as obsolete by 1940, while others would eventually go through many variants: Republic Guardsman; Vickers Wellesley; Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley; Northrop 8A; Vought V-143; Supermarine Seagull V; Bell VFM-1; Curtiss Hawk III; Short Singapore III; Caudron C-670; Supermarine Stranraer; Lockheed Electra 10E; Sikorsky S-43; Boeing Stratoliner; Curtiss Y1A-18; Hanrive 510; Fairey FC; Grumann Midwing; Douglas TBD-1; North American Harvard; Northrop N-3; Saunder

The fortifications of war

Issued in 1939 using artwork from the American World in Arms series, the bilingual Fighting Forces series offered young card collectors a wide range of subjects, including military fortifications.