Volunteering

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…

Twenty blood donations

During the Second World War, giving blood was a patriotic act, and twenty donations earned Mark Laversohn a special certificate.

Wartime work in Listowel

Founded in December 1941, the Listowel Wartime Men's Association was involved in a variety of charitable causes. In this case, it thanked a local businessman for donating to the war effort a week's receipts from the Capitol Theatre.

The need for blood

Thanks to advances in blood transfusion practice and technology during the First World War, blood could be stored and shipped more safely during the Second World War - and therefore there was a greater need for blood donors.

What to wear in an air raid

Reminding women that the enemy "has no consideration for the safety of civilians," this booklet (sponsored by Orient Beauti-Skin Hosiery) provided instruction on how to keep the family and home safe against enemy air attack - including advice on what to wear when dealing with bomb damage in the neighbourhood.

Civil defence in Toronto

Although Canada was in little danger of enemy air raids, there was a fully functional civil defence apparatus during the Second World War, with civilians deputized to perform various services in the event of an attack.

For Belgian refugees

In 1914, stories of Belgian civilians displaced by the German invasion spurred many Canadians to raise money for refugees. Albert, King of the Belgians, was a popular symbol in the fund-raising effort.

For your bank manager

To simplify the process of subscribing to the 4th Victory Loan, the federal government provided this template letter, which could be filled out and submitted to any bank.

Do what the warden tells you

Wartime offered considerable scope for tasteless humour - as this card, brought home from Britain by a Canadian soldier after the Second World War, affirms.

While on leave in Brussels

Few Canadian soldiers had been to Brussels before the city was liberated in the fall of 1944; this card showed them how to find all of the facilities available to them when they visited the city while on leave.

One last Victory Loan

The First World War was over, but this 1919 window decal offered a reminder that there were still bills to be paid - and a Victory Loan to support.