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.

Victoria in wartime

Bill Loopol had served in the CEF during the First World War - a generation later, he was working for a new group of soldiers on behalf of the Canadian Legion War Services.

View PDF: PDF icon Loopol.pdf

Christmas away from home

Thousands of Canadians in uniform spent Christmas 1939 in Britain - one sent home this card that is strongly reminscent of designs from the First World War.

War economy - save paper!

This government-issue envelope encouraged the user to slit the top carefully, so it could be reused as a way to save paper.

Patriotic stationery

There were countless varieties of specialty envelopes available during the Second World War, like this one bearing the famous Morse code V for Victory.

The life of a conscript, 1918

Elroy Goudie of Petrolia, Ontario, described to a friend the military camp at Carling Heights, in London, just five days after he was conscripted in June 1918.

The Canadians at Seaford

During the First World War, it was customary for a unit to decorate the entrance to its encampment, like these at Seaford, on the south coast of England. One design, by Corporal Stenhouse of the Canadian Engineers, was forty feet long and ten feet wide. Another display marked the headquarters of the Canadian Army Service Corps.

Training at Vernon, British Columbia

During the First World War, it was customary for a unit to decorate the entrance to its training encampment, as these images from Vernon, British Columbia, show. The 158th Battalion was from Vancouver, the 172nd Battalion from Kamloops, and the 131st and 121st Battalions from New Westminster, British Columbia. The card showing the 172nd Battalion camp was mailed in August 1916 by Leonard Adams of Pentiction, who was killed in action at Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

The Boys of the 134th Battalion

This postcard was one of a series aimed at the families of Canadian soldiers during the First World War. The 134th Battalion was affiliated with Toronto's 48th Highlanders.

A Birmingham war bride, 1917

The wedding photo of a woman from Handsworth, near Birmingham, and a gunner of the Canadian Field Artillery in December 1917.

Christmas wishes from the RCAMC

A member of 22 Canadian Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, sent this Christmas card from England to his wife in Canada in 1941.

View PDF: PDF icon Christmas 1941.pdf

Soldier poetry

This little booklet was sold by ex-soldiers to raise money - it can be found in various versions, each carrying a different cover and "author."

View PDF: PDF icon Nixon - Verses.pdf

The life of a soldier

The tribulations of life in the army were satirized in this Second World War postcard series.

Graduation dinner, Brandon, Manitoba

Course 122 of #12 Service Flying Training School held its graduation dinner in Brandon, Manitoba, in March 1945, when the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was winding down. It was the last class to graduate from the school.

View PDF: PDF icon Grad dinner.pdf

Entertainment for convalescents

Community groups near Canadian military facilities often provided entertainment for personnel, like this concert at a hospital near Birmingham.