Home Front

Riot on Barrington Street

During the Second World War, Halifax quickly became overcrowded with tens of thousands of army, navy and air force personnel, as well as merchant seamen, civilian workers and their families. Newcomers competed with locals for goods, services and accommodation. All were in short supply through the war. Devious landlords overcharged for the smallest of...
  • They were prepared

    July 21, 2019 by June Coxon
    The mottos of all factions of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide movements include pledges to help others. Wartime records show that contributions of the young members more than lived up to their mottos “Lend a Hand,” “Do a Good Turn Daily” and “Be Prepared.”...
  • When Winnipeg erupted

    May 15, 2019 by Valerie Knowles
    In Germany I fed on grass and rats. I would prefer going back to eating grass than give up the freedom for which I fought so hard and suffered so much.”       This outburst, voiced by a First World War veteran in Western...
  • Coming Home

    January 26, 2019 by R.H. Thomson
    Meticulously colourized images kindle a renewed appreciation of the burdens carried by homecoming soldiers   Winning wars lets countries tidy up some national stories, but losing wars often worsens domestic divisions. Winning certainly makes history appear neater: in the First World War, Canadians fought against tyranny...
  • After the wildfire

    November 17, 2018 by Tom MacGregor
    Fort McMurray rebuilds after a devastating forest fire that caused the largest evacuation in Alberta history   Two years after the devastating wildfire that forced 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray, Alta., to flee their homes, the city has made great progress in its recovery. Along...
  • Our American airmen

    September 13, 2018 by Peter Silverman
    As Canada rushed to find instructors and aircrew for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, many Americans flocked north.   It was 1941 and Britain and the Allies were losing the war. German Panzers were sweeping across Russia and there seemed to be little to...
  • The great call-up

    August 7, 2018 by Graham Chandler
    What was it like to be conscripted during the First World War? In 1910, William Joseph Rowntree dropped out of school to work full time on his father’s mixed farm near Weston, Ont. So when Ottawa issued its Proclamation Calling Out Class 1 on Oct. 12,...
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