"A woman gave an officer a quarter. 'It is all I can afford', she said with tears in her eyes. 'I wish it were a thousand times more. My husband is overseas; he tells me in his letters of the kindness of the Salvation Army. I can never forget that.'"
- Quoted in The War Cry, January 1, 1919


During the First World War (1914-18), the Canadian Salvation Army's overseas activities were undertaken as part of the much larger effort organized by British Salvationists. The affectionate nickname 'Sally Ann' and the familiar Red Shield logo also date from this period.

In November 1939, Ottawa accorded the Salvation Army official status as a military Auxiliary Service, a distinction also awarded the Canadian Legion, the Young Men's Christian Association, and the Knights of Columbus. The Salvation Army's war services were known collectively as the Red Shield.

During the war the Salvation Army established in Canada a coast-to-coast network of 165 Red Shield centres, huts, hostels, canteens and other facilities to provide basic amenities and inexpensive accomodation for military personnel.

Overseas, the Sally Ann's welfare officers and their staffs operated dozens of fixed and mobile canteens to provide refreshments for tired troops and help maintain their morale. In Britain, Italy, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, these energetic welfare officers established rest and recreation centres where more comprehensive facilities were available for the entertainment or relaxation of Canadian troops on leave.