Returning

Canada's man at Versailles

Sir George Foster, the subject of this caricature by an Italian artist, was one of Canada's senior delegates to the Paris Peace Conference after the First World War.

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.

The YMCA and ex-soldiers

This card, giving to a Canadian soldier returning home after the First World War, gave him a six-month membership at any YMCA in Canada.

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.

Cash payments for veterans

To address one of the most pressing demands of Great War veterans, the Canadian government during the Second World War passed the War Service Grants Act, which gave all veterans a lump sum cash payment based on their length and place of service, rank, and family size.

WSG 1944.pdf (54.7 MB)

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.

Building a postwar economy

An offshoot of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, the CRA (under its president Sir John Willison) changed its focus towards the end of the First World War and focusing on taking advantage of the transition to peacetime to advocate for stimulus in pursuit of economic development.

The Union Government and the peace

In this address, Rowell surveyed the work of the Union Government in managing Canada's transition from war to peace, including the demobilization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and provisions for veterans.

"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)

Welcoming the Westies home

British Columbia's Westminster Regiment fought in Italy and north-west Europe during the Second World War. It returned home to New Westminster in January 1946, having lost 134 men to enemy action.