Canadian History for Kids!

Canadian History for Kids: On the Homefront

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One and Canadian History for Kids have assembled 31 remarkable stories about incredible people, places and events which helped shape our amazing nation.

A grateful nation never forgets a hero.

During World War I over 3,000 women served with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, over 40 died, and almost 200 received medals.

Back at home, women also had a role to play.

In the early part of World War I men had to gain their wives’ written permission to enlist in the war effort. Many wives refused knowing they could lose their husbands. Propaganda in the form of posters were posted encouraging women to allow their husbands and sons to fight for their Country.

Rationing was in effect and many food items were needed to feed the men fighting overseas. Other items such as gas, metal and nylon were also needed for the war effort. Women learned to do without or stretch food items. Saying such as “use it up” and “wear it out” were posted everywhere.

Women also got together in groups and organizations knitting and sewing such items as pillows, sheets, socks and scarves to send to the men overseas.

It was also during the First World War that women were asked to enter the workforce, working in banks, offices and farms. Many more worked in factories making ammunition for the war, or were employed by the Royal Air Force to drive ambulances or do mechanical work.

While the women were proud to help Canada fight the war, many men were not happy with the change. Women felt it only fair that they be given equal pay for equal work. During this time the suffragist movement grew more in their fight for equality. Women such as Nellie McClung from Manitoba fought to gain women’s right to vote. In 1916, Manitoba was the first province to grant women the right to vote, followed by Saskatchewan and Alberta some months later, and Ontario and British Columbia one year later.

In 1992 the Government of Canada, proclaimed the month of October as Women’s History Month.

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Canadian History for Kids!