Introductory Essay

Volunteering was an integral part of the “total war” Canadians experienced during the First and Second World Wars, offering civilians a meaningful and practical way to contribute to the national war…

"Knitted articles for all branches of the service"

In successive editions of this pamphlet, it is possible to see changing understandings of what men and women in uniform needed in the way of knitted articles.

Tea from the Salvage Corps of BC

In this wonderful image (probably from 1943), women of the Canadian Red Cross Society serve snacks from a mobile canteen provided by the Salvage Corps of British Columbia. The occasion is not identified, but the patrons include Air Raid Precautions workers, policemen, and labourers.

Guarding Canada against aerial attack

The Aircraft Detection Corps was made up of volunteers, each armed with binoculars and a handbook of aircraft silhouettes to aid in identification. Upon spotting an enemy aircraft, they were specifically requested to telephone the details to the authorities, rather than sending them through the mail.

From the Princess of Wales Chapter, IODE

The gift is unknown - all that survives is the card that accompanied it, a token of thanks to a local soldier for his service.

For Victory Loan donors

The Victory Loan drive was a staple in wartime Canada, as were the receipts given to people who pledged support.