Home fires burning: Civilian fundraising in the First World War

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As the men in small Canadian communities left to fight the war in Europe, those at home looked for ways to contribute to the war effort themselves. The civilian mobilization of the First World War, and after it the Second, was all encompassing and those on the Home Front found themselves collecting scrap materials, knitting socks and making parcels for the Red Cross, all to support the war effort. Continue reading “Home fires burning: Civilian fundraising in the First World War”

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Waiting behind: Canadian mothers, wives and families during World War I

[Canadian Service Flag], 1917. Collections CCGW/CCGG 2014.01.24.01
[Canadian Service Flag], 1917. Collections CCGW/CCGG 2014.01.24.01
The First World War produced an enormous amount of documentary evidence of the typical soldier’s experience at the front, in the form of letters, diaries, and after the war, the many memoirs that were published. An experience that is harder to pin down was that of the family members left behind, who had to continue their day to day lives with the knowledge that one of their own was in danger far away. Vera Brittain describes the agony of waiting for news and “the long, long weary months ahead, & wonder[ing] how I shall ever bear them…” (Berry and Bostridge, Vera Brittain: A life,74). For those waiting at home, the war would be many long, weary months.  Continue reading “Waiting behind: Canadian mothers, wives and families during World War I”