The Spirit of our Troops: Rum Rationing as an ‘Essential Service’ on the Western Front

comic of a soldier drinking from a jug with his gun leaning on sandbags

As all non-essential activities grind to a halt in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, one of the things carefully kept on the essential side of society has been liquor stores across the country. Officially, this limits alcoholism-related withdrawal and the resultant stresses that could cause to an already strained healthcare system. However, alcohol is also […]

“Doughboy Jack and Doughnut Jill”: A Love Story

"Doughboy Jack & Doughnut Jill" Sheet Music Cover

In the year 1919, three Canadian artists of some prominence came together to write and record a comedic love song titled “Doughboy Jack and Doughnut Jill”. The song describes an American soldier and a Salvation Army volunteer falling in love at the Western Front. Like any good love song, it contains a chance encounter and […]

Newfoundland & Labrador’s Forget-Me-Not

Archived image of the Beaumont-Hamel Danger Tree, an iconic Newfoundland landmark from the battle of the Somme

Before 1949, Newfoundland was an independent British Dominion, and proud of it. As “Britain’s Oldest Colony,” the people of Newfoundland and Labrador proudly showcased their distinctiveness. The Newfoundland experience of the Great War would exemplify that pride and distinction, as would the commemoration that followed. Newfoundland and Labrador were swept into the Great War, as […]

Listening to 1918: Popular Songs on Canada’s Home Front

As we commemorate the centenary of the First World War’s final year and attempt to better understand Canadian wartime views and experiences, music offers us a way of ‘hearing’ the past. The lyrics, music, and cover art of popular songs reflected the changing attitudes of Anglo-Canadians on the home front between 1914 and 1918. In […]

Fighting Words: Canadian War Poets

The First World War produced many war poets, particularly those writing in English; Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and Edmund Blunden all come to mind. In the Canadian context, there is a clear favourite for most well known – John McCrae, the author of “In Flanders Fields”. However, there were other less well known or less […]