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Salvation Army

Designated a War Auxiliary Service by the federal government in September 1939, the Salvation Army (“Sally Ann”) took on the responsibility of managing canteens for and showing films to the troops. For the first few years of the war, the Salvation Army operated on funds provided by private donors; direct government funding was not made available to the agency until the early 1940s.

The Salvation Army was a good friend to soldiers. It operated overseas and on the homefront. Its main goal and task was to maintain the morale of servicemen and women. Overseas, the agency provided service personnel with such comforts as films, cigarettes, knitted clothing, and reading materials, and it offered counselling and spiritual guidance to those in need of such help.

The Salvation Army Canadian Services CorpsOn the homefront, the Salvation Army ran Red Shield Huts and Service Centres and distributed similar comforts to enlistees, soldiers on leave, and struggling families. It operated auditoriums in which were offered an array of leisure activities such as movies, games, contests, sing-alongs, and sporting events. In urban centres, the organization operated War Services Hostels to accommodate Allied soldiers in need of a room while attending training sessions or while on leave.

The Second World War changed the public's image of the Salvation Army in Canada from a little-known and somewhat suspect fringe religious organization to a renowned and respected social service agency.

References

Durflinger, Serge. “A Touch of Home: The War Services of the Salvation Army.” Dispatches, Issue 12, May, 2000.

Moyles, R. G. “Not Just Another Church.”A History of the Salvation Army in Edmonton 1893–1993. Edmonton: The Salvation Army Edmonton Temple, 1992.

The Salvation Army. “Red Shield.” (accessed October, 2007)


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