German atrocities in France and Belgium

The First World War was barely six months old when a French doctor embarked on a speaking tour in Canada to describe crimes committed against civilians by German soldiers advancing through France and Belgium.

"Gladden the hearts of our heroes"

Soldiers overseas treasured mail from home, a fact that this Toronto company hoped would help sell its products during the First World War.

Sports on the Western Front

The Canadian Corps sports day, held in France on 1 July 1918, was one of the most memorable events of the First World War, drawing dignitaries and journalists from across the Western Front. It combined the usual events, such as baseball and athletics, with novelties like the pole pillow fight and a clown competition.

"Side by side with Britain we will go"

Another in a long line of patriotic songs that featured maternalism as a theme, Miller's piece was sung by some of the most popular vocalists of the First World War era.

Rallying around the flag

This song was dedicated to the Canadian overseas contingents, and was published at a time when no one knew exactly how many contingents Canada would eventually send to battle.

Best Old Flag.pdf (1.84 MB)

A Canadian March Song

This very early patriotic song began with a stirring reference to bugle calls "from Niagara Falls to the coast of Halifax."

Soldier Lad.pdf (36.78 MB)

Boxing in wartime Britain

Canada's entrants in the competition, three men from the Royal Canadian Artillery, did not have great success at the 1940 meet in Aldershot, but the event likely provided a welcome diversion from the rigours of training.

Soldier songs

This sheet, probably distributed to soldiers through YMCA recreation huts in Britain and France, contained a mix of old favourites, parody songs, and wartime hits.

"Our Canada the best of all"

Dedicated to the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, this song included a popular trick: the first letters of each line of the verses combined to spell "Briton" and "Canada."

Hats Off.pdf (34.34 MB)

"They come from the far dominions"

Imperial unity was the theme of this patriotic song, published near the beginning of the First World War. It also borrowed a line from the much more famous patriotic song "Rule Britannia."