Explore History

Second World War
The Navy Ashore  - The Navy and the Home Front

The Royal Canadian Navy became a strong presence on Canada's home front during the Second World War. Naval imagery appeared in fundraising and propaganda materials, while Canadians built equipment for the navy, or were encouraged to support it through volunteer work.

Ditty Bags for Sailors
Ditty Bags for Sailors

In this posed wartime photograph, two sailors unpack "ditty bags" containing a variety of comforts like knitted socks, books, and chewing gum.

Volunteers made or purchased items to fill these bags, following a list of suggested items useful for daily life aboard ship. Organizations like the Navy League and the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire then arranged for the distribution of these bags to members of the navy and merchant navy.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 19810649-091

$90 Killed this U-Boat!
Fifth Victory Loan, 1943
Seventh Victory Loan, Halifax, 1944
Careless Words may cause Disaster!
Censored Photograph, HMCS Wentworth
What would you do if I quit?
Manufacturing Naval Guns and Mountings
Torpedo Depth and Roll Recorder
Send the boys good Books and magazines
Knit for the Navy and Merchant Navy
Ditty Bags for Sailors
Sailor's Fur Vest
"Meet the Navy" Program
"Meet the Navy" Program
Royal Canadian Navy Certificate of Acknowledgement
Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve Pillow Cover
Cut-Out Allied Naval Units
The Canadian Navy Paint Book
V-E Day, St. John's, Newfoundland
Bedford Magazine Explosion, 1945