Visit this blog for regular posts about records at the Archives of Manitoba that date from the time of the First World War. Visit the Archives of Manitoba to see the records in person.

May 2017 Posts:

8 May 2017

How to Live in Wartime

The Archives of Manitoba has several collections of diaries and letters of men who were serving in the First World War.  We have fewer records documenting the activities of women.

Gertrude C. Code was a Winnipeg woman involved in efforts to support the war at home.  We have written about her previously, on 2 July 2014 and 14 October 2014. Her file of records includes several items, mostly documenting efforts to promote food rationing and ‘responsible’ food cooking and consumption. These efforts were targeted at women.

The pamphlet shown here is one of the items included in Gertrude Code’s records. It is titled “How to Live in Wartime” and was produced by the National Service Board in 1917. It includes a message from Prime Minister Robert Borden, extracts from a speech by then Finance Minister, Sir Thomas White, entitled “Self-Sacrifice and Self-Denial”.  Finally, a message to Canadian women from the Food Controller, W.J. Hanna which encourages the women of Canada to do their part:

“…Each housewife can render this valuable National Service within her own home and in doing so, she helps not once, but thrice. She will “do her bit” in augmenting the food resources available for the boys overseas; with her savings she will be able to help Canada finance the war and, thus, incidentally, fortify the family position in meeting any after-the-war stress and, lastly, by restricting demand, she will automatically assist less fortunate families to buy food at lower prices. Surely no Canadian woman, however affluent her circumstances, can lightly dismiss responsibilities of so grave a nature.”

The booklet goes on to provide information about food economy including a chart for caloric requirements, examples of meal plans and information on “indespensible proteins”, “cheap foods” and “roughage”.

Search Tip: Search the Gertrude C. Code fonds in Keystone for more information about her records.

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1 May 2017

“On Active Service”: Frank Leathers – follow-up #1

When we created our 2015 hallway display, “On Active Service”, we looked for photographs in our holdings of each of the soldiers whose letters we were displaying. We were not able to locate photographs of two of the soldiers: Frank Leathers and Herbert Francis.

In the last few months we have located photographs of both of the men from within our holdings and have been really excited to see what these correspondents looked like! This blog post is about Frank Leathers and one later this month will be about Herb Francis.

During the 100th anniversary of the First World War, we are focusing our description work on First World War records. One item which we recently described in our online database, Keystone, is a souvenir booklet documenting the Second Contingent leaving from Military District No. 10 for the First World War Front in 1915. The complete title is "Second Contingent, Military District No. 10 1915: In commemoration of the Second Contingent going to the Front from Military District No. 10 Canada 1915".

The booklet contains photographs of senior officers as well as group photographs of many headquarters staff, batteries, sections, companies and platoons of battalions and brigades, including the 6th Infantry Brigade, the 5th Artillery Brigade, the 27th Battalion, the 28th Battalion, the Army Service Corps and the No. 4 Field Ambulance. All photographs are identified with individuals' names. The booklet also includes an introduction by Winnipeg Mayor R. D. Waugh and many advertisements for Winnipeg businesses of the time.

When we were preparing for our recent open house to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, we checked the souvenir booklet for some of the Manitoban soldiers documented in the Archives’ holdings. We were thrilled to find a photograph of Frank Leathers and we displayed the booklet, open to the page with Leathers pictured, alongside some of his letters at our open house.

Finally we could picture another of the many great First World War letter writers represented in our holdings!

Archives of Manitoba,
"Second Contingent, Military District No. 10 1915:
In commemoration of the Second Contingent going to the
Front from Military District No. 10 Canada 1915", P7913/1.

Search Tip: Search “Second Contingent” in Keystone to find out more about the souvenir booklet and “Frank Leathers” to find out more about Leathers and his First World War correspondence.

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