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The Great War was Canada’s first experience with total war. The Home Front became a blend of government and citizen-driven activities. There were a variety of ways that non-combatants were engaged in the war effort. It was a mix of practical contribution and a need of doing one's bit--what has been called, virtual soldiering.  Much of it was dressed up as doing one’s patriotic duty and became part of the propaganda machine. Communities rallied together to support troops overseas and give aid to war refugees. Volunteers knit socks, rolled bandages, and wrapped food parcels for the troops. Women put on variety shows and sold cookbooks to raise money to buy supplies that were needed overseas. Although some of the activity was locally driven and ad hoc, campaigns by the Canadian Red Cross and the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) were focused and national in nature.

Materials in this section come from the Shortt Library of Canadiana, the Pamphlet Collection, and the Jean Murray fonds.