Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stories of War: Rural Saskatchewan

"On August 10, 1914, a seven o'clock in the evening King George formally declared war upon Germany.  'When England is at war, Canada is at war,' Sir Wilfrid had said when he was Prime Minister.  So Canada was at war."

"In 1914 bad news shook the world.  War broke out and all the terrible things connected with it kept up for four years and put so many mother's sons in early graves, besides the many wounded and crippled ones that were left to be taken care of."

"The use of sugar, wheat flour and some other commodities was regulated so that each person was only allowed a certain quantity."

"November 11, 1918, the war came to an end.  I will never forget that day.  We had moved into town a few day before.  On the 11th in the early morning hour the fire whistle blew loud and long.  We though there was a big fire in town, but soon found out it brought glad news.  The war was over."

"During 1918 the war had come to a victorious end.  Our boys would come home, but now we were confronted with another matter and that was unemployment."

"In 1939 the great calamity of a major war broke on this world again.  After 21 years of peace the futile, merciless slaughter of mankind must go on again because the appeals of peace and sanity had gone unheeded.  Canada answered the call and declared war on the German Reich on Sunday, Sept. 10, 1939."

"As a war measure tea and coffee had already been rationed in 1942.  The rations were one pound of tea and two ounces of coffee per person per week."

"There were 450 volunteer workers looking after the needs of 900,000 people in Saskatchewan.  A member of the Local Rations Board was just as important in one's life these days as a doctor, undertaker or minister.  Your local Ration Board received applications for a book for the new baby and kept him supplied as they were issued."

"When 1941 came our biggest and only concern was that of winning the conflict and bringing the war to a successful end.  While our boys were fighting, the men and women at home were doing their part to help by way of organizing such as the Red Cross, I.O.D.E. and others.  One of the most active was the Independent Order Daughters of the Empire.  These ladies were constantly knitting socks, fixing clothing, collecting magazines and arranging to have them shipped."

"The war with Germany and Japan had now been brought to a successful end.  Germany surrendered unconditionally on May 8, 1945; and Japan August 14, 1945.  Our boys were now able to come home, but too many had paid the supreme sacrifice.  This merciless slaughter of mankind was over.  We are justly proud of our men and women who answered the call of their country."

Source: A History of Canora and District by J.F. Paul Barschel
Photos: The Second World Wary by Richard Overy