Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists - AN EXHIBITION

Saskatchewan in Two World Wars

If indeed Canada were to aid Britain in the European conflict, the country's armed forces would have to be expanded immediately. In addition to a general recruitment of services personnel, the universities in western Canada launched a vigorous campaign that witnessed the enlistment of students, faculty, and staff alike. Of the four presidents, W. C. Murray of Saskatchewan was probably the most active in recruiting the 196th Western Universities Battalion.

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The men charged with organizing the Battalion, 1916. [7]
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Recruiting notice for the 196th, 1916. [8]
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Citizens' resolution requesting the Saskatoon Recruiting League to petition the federal government to undertake certain war measures, 1916. [9]
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The first Western Universities platoon raised in Saskatchewan, 1916. [10]

The 196th even inspired poetry, 1917. [11]

The casualties experienced by the Canadian forces in World War I prompted a reassessment of the knowledge and training necessary for future armed services personnel. Although few anticipated a sequel to "the war to end all wars", the Canadian Officers' Training Corps nevertheless was established not only to recruit soldiers but also to ensure they were well educated and trained in military affairs.

A COTC brochure, c. 1939. [12]
Click for inside pages of this brochure: pages 1-2 | page 3

The Second World War featured a wide variety of billboards, posters, and signs designed to attract men and women to the various branches of the Canadian armed services. Recruiting offices were established in towns and cities throughout the country where those of legal age - and sometimes less - could enlist in the service branch of their choice.

A billboard in Saskatoon, c. 1942. [13]

An illustration from a book about war posters, c. 1940. [14]

The sign in this Saskatoon restaurant indicates "women are urgently needed" for the war effort, c. 1941. [15]

A Saskatoon recruiting office, 1942. [16]

The Royal Canadian Air Force established a recruiting station in the Birks Building in Saskatoon, 1942. [17]


Saskatchewan in Two World WarsVirtual Displays

This site has been made possible by financial support from the federal government
through the National Archives of Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives.

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