Our Back Pages 1926-1938: The early years

First in a six-part series looking back at 90 years of The Legionary and Legion Magazine



The Legion—An Established Fact,” reads the headline in the first issue of The Legionary, published May 15, 1926. It is a front-page editorial, proudly proclaiming that the Legion was a growing entity with more than 200 branches and two provincial commands.

Notice: Carrying on from The Veteran, The Legionary continued all subscriptions and advertising contracts.

The Legionary was building on the former magazine of the Great War Veterans Association, The Veteran. A notice in that first issue confirms that it will continue all subscriptions and advertising contracts held by The Veteran for their duration.

Royal visit: Queen Elizabeth and King George VI unveiled the National War Memorial on their 1939 cross-Canada tour.

The magazine published twice a month, bringing a mix of association news, veterans’ issues being pursued by the Legion, and stories about the Great War and Canada’s military history.

The third issue features the Legion badge on its cover as accepted by the Dominion Executive Council and contains a profile of Torence Glazier of Brockville, Ont., who served in the American Civil War, fought against the Fenian raids and the Northwest Rebellion and, at the age of 70, served in the trenches of Europe during the Great War.

A frequent advertisement in the early issues is for land in Northern Ontario offering “millions of acres of virgin soil open for settlement to Returned Soldiers free, to others, 18 years and over, 50 cents per acre.”

The badge: A new badge, created for Legion members and business, was featured on the cover of the third issue.

The death of George V in 1936 starts off a hectic year in which the Legion completed its massive pilgrimage to France for the unveiling of the Vimy Memorial by Edward VIII. Photos from that trip and many others taken by pilgrims who then visited elsewhere in Europe dominate the magazine for the rest of the year. Royalty is front and centre again through 1938, as preparations began for the royal visit of George VI and Queen Elizabeth to, among other duties, unveil the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

Advertising promoted tobacco products and land in Northern Ontario for returned soldiers.


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