"It would be easier to forget one's name than fail to remember the times without number when the Salvation Army was, in truth, our comforter and friend."
- 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 human beings.

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...

   Date created: December 8, 2000 | Last updated: October 7, 2009