Introductory Essay

Between 1939 and 1945, Canada was engaged in a total war. Across all sectors of society, people mobilized. Many men, and women too, enlisted to fight overseas. Those people unable to enlist fought…

"The Nation and The War"

Although it was printed in 1942, this evangelical pamphlet relied heavily on the First World War in its discussion of the role of the British nation in wartime.

Good Tidings.pdf (20.11 MB)

"Action Catholique" and the War

Olivar Asselin, an associate of Henri Bourassa, details his opposition to Canada's participation in the war in this pamphlet.

A Chaplain's Christmas message

Montreal clergyman Allan Shatford enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1915 and eventually ministered to Canadian soldiers overseas. He usually prepared a special Christmas message to the troops and distributed it in booklet form.

Words of wisdom for soldiers

This collection of prayers, poems, thoughts, and messages (by people such as Winston Churchill, Robbie Burns, Walter Lippmann, and John Oxenham) was produced by the YMCA to be distributed to Canadians overseas and in uniform.

Everyman.pdf (1.74 MB)

Pastoral Letter

Written by the Archibishops and Bishops of Quebec, Montreal, and Ottawa, this pastoral letter was issued in the fall of 1914. The letter aimed to solicit contributions from parishioners to the war effort; half of each contribution would go to the national Patriotic Fund and the other half would be directed to assisting local families who would be reduced to poverty during the impending winter, whether due to the wartime or other circumstances.

Decorating graves in Nova Scotia

Even small towns felt the effects of the world wars. The Canadian Legion branch in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, held its annual memorial ceremony on 24 June 1951 to place wreaths on veterans' graves and on the Memorial Cross.

Marking the beginning of the Great War

Just a few months after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles that ended the First World War, the citizens of Hamilton, Ontario, assembled to give thanks on the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the war.

Hamilton 1919.pdf (19.27 MB)

An infantry battalion remembers

The 34th Battalion had been raised in Guelph, Ontario, and in 1933 brought its wartime chaplain back to officiate at a memorial service.

Chalmers.pdf (21.55 MB)

Giving thanks for peace

Sold at $1 per hundred, this leaflet provided a standard service that could be used by any of the Protestant denominations to mark the end of the Second World War.

A Toc H anniversary

Toc H was a non-denominational organization, established during the First World War by a British chaplain, that spread to Canada in the 1920s and 1930s.

Toc H 50th.pdf (9.08 MB)