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Communities Go To War

Once the speeches were delivered and the policies were drafted, communities across Alberta began grappling with the reality of war. The growing needs of the military drove the nation’s agenda and communities did what they could to contribute.

Citizens were expected to be proactive; volunteering with agencies such as the Salvation Army and the Red Cross was one way citizens could directly aid soldiers overseas.

Such formal commitments were not necessary to aid the war effort; many activities aimed at helping out could be undertaken in the home. Rubber gloves and bathing caps were collected and sent off to be recycled to produce tires and other components for military vehicles. Animal fat and bones collected after meals proved useful in the making of explosives. Sugar and tea were rationed to ensure soldiers received their fair share. Socks and scarves were knitted and boots and jackets donated.

Home life was affected by the war in other ways as well. A woman's place was no longer limited to the home. Sometimes it was in the factory, in the cockpit of an airplane, at the wheel of a tractor, or under the hood of a car.

All of these changes affected families, as well as the social fabric of communities—big and small, urban and rural—and the province as a whole.

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††††††††††† For more on Alberta during World War II, visit Peelís Prairie Provinces.
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