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…

"Yours in Christian service"

Religion was extremely important in First World War Canada, and most families would have been delighted to receive a letter like this, indicating that Gunner Percy D. Wilson of Toronto had attended a church service convened by the YMCA and wanted "to become a more loyal follower of Christ."

Raising funds for Sunday School

The Sunday School Fund of the Methodist Church in Canada relied on the annual Rally Day service as its only source of funds. The program for 1916 referred to the difficulty of raising money for traditional causes when there was so much pressure to donate to the war effort.

"In Memory of Those Sons of the Empire"

Veterans in Morden, Manitoba, organized an annual service "In Memory of Those Sons of the Empire Who Gave Their Lives for Their King and Country in Great War and Other Campaigns."

Decoration Day in Manitoba

The Decoration Day service in Manitou, Manitoba, had been started by the local branch of the Great War Veterans Association, and was carried on by its successor, the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League.

The fallen of Ypres

This memorial service was held to honour the men of the 1st Brigade who were killed in Canada's first major battle of the Great War. In the coming years, the number of casualties would make it impossible to hold such formal services after every battle.

Ypres service.pdf (12.29 MB)

Address to the Catholic Women's League of Montreal

This booklet contains a speech by Charles Murphy, the Postmaster General of Canada, before the Catholic Women's League of Montreal. The focus of Murphy's speech is the importance of maintaining peace and spreading national goodwill.

For Catholics in uniform

Published by the Canadian Forces' Chaplain's Aid, this bilingual magazine featured secular as well as religious content: messages from Catholic clerics, news on the work of chaplains in various theatres of operations, a sports column, and, in this issue, an article on the problem of venereal disease.

CF Chaplain 1.pdf (54.76 MB)
CF Chaplain 2.pdf (53.84 MB)

The Pope and the War

This pamphlet examines the broader impact of the war since it began in 1914, particularly in the realm of religion. The author explores the meaning of conflict within the context of Catholic teachings. Such pamphlets were commonly distributed by the Catholic Church in Canada throughout the duration of the war.

"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.