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Library and Archives Canada's New Exhibition Written by War: Canadian Family Stories Looks at the Lives of Canadians during the Second World War

Ottawa, June 6, 2005 - Memories of the Second World War are vivid for the Canadian men and women who served in uniform and for the families whose lives were profoundly affected by the conflict. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the Year of the Veteran, Library and Archives Canada is proud to present Written by War-Canadian Family Stories, 1939-1945 an exhibition opening on June 6, 2005 and running until March 4, 2006 at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.

Showcasing material from the Library and Archives Canada collection, Written by War highlights various themes, all inspired by the experiences of Canadian families during the war. These include war brides and their adjustment to a new country, methods of communication between the home and battle fronts, contributions to the war effort at home and overseas, loss of loved ones, and return to civilian life.

"Written by War explores the private lives of Canadians who took on new roles and responsibilities for the war effort," said Mr. Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "They grieved for the loss of loved ones, they created new families, and through their solidarity and courage, they secured a future for generations to come."

Visitors will find elements of this exhibition both tragic and inspiring. They will learn about the S.S. Caribou, a ferry torpedoed in 1942 by a German U-boat off the coast of Newfoundland, which claimed the lives of 137 people, most of them civilians. They will read the letters and telegrams that informed mothers of their sons'deaths, such as the one sent to Mrs. Katharine Tulloch of Craik, Saskatchewan, about the loss of her twin sons. They will be reminded of a father's love for his family in viewing the small ring that Warrant Officer William Caldwell of Kingston, Ontario, wore with his identification discs. And they will understand the hope expressed by painter Jean Paul Lemieux in his diary in 1945 about the birth of his daughter and Germany's impending collapse. These stories and many others are told in the correspondence, personal records, photographs, telegrams, news clippings, artistic works and audiovisual components that make up the exhibition.

Written by War-Canadian Family Stories, 1939-1945 will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Exhibition Room C at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa. Admission is free.

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Pauline M. Portelance
Media Relations Officer
Library and Archives Canada

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