- General Harry Crerar
Former Commander of the First Canadian Army, Second World War
The Salvation Army (SA), an evangelical, socially-minded Christian
religion organized in London, England in 1865 has existed in Canada
since 1882. Despite its martial-sounding name, military organization,
and rank structure - all reflecting its 'war' on social evils and
faithlessness - the SA does not advocate taking up arms against fellow
Nevertheless, Salvationists recognize that the scourge
of war can, under certain conditions, be preferable to the greater
evil of continued persecution and oppression. Following the
outbreak of war in 1914 and again in 1939, the SA`s humanitarian
concerns formed the basis of its support for Canada's war efforts.
During both world wars and throughout the Cold War, the Salvation Army provided Canadians serving in the military with comforts such as hot drinks and snacks and assisted them to maintain their morale by establishing leave centres where they could enjoy activities or simply relax.
War and training for war are draining physical, psychological, and emotional experiences. For those Canadians serving overseas or in Canada, the Salvation Army tried to establish a degree of civility - a 'touch of home', perhaps - amidst the loneliness and dehumanizing conditions of war. To a remarkable degree, the Salvation Army formed an integral part of Canadians' military experiences during two world wars.Continued...