In the dark days of 1940, with France defeated and her own forces driven from the continent, it seemed that Britain stood alone before the onslaught of Nazi Germany. Yet there was one country that stood firmly by Britain’s side and contributed an ever increasing number of soldiers, pilots, and sailors to the defence of what many still regarded as the Mother Country. Canada had followed Britain’s lead in declaring war on Germany in September 1939 and within weeks, was sending troops overseas. Britons and Canadians affirmed the ties of their shared history and traditions, and forged new bonds of comradeship, friendship, and even marriage as they met and mixed over six long years of war.
The Juno Beach Centre is proud to present a temporary exhibit illustrating the many ways in which Britons and Canadians came to know each other and the record of effort and sacrifice common to both countries as they fought to preserve the heritage of liberty and democracy. “Allies: Canadians and British During the Second World War” highlights various aspects of the Anglo-Canadian experience. Dioramas illustrate how Canadians and Britons fought side-by-side during major events of the Second World War: at sea during the Battle of the Atlantic, in the skies during the Battle of Britain, on D-Day and throughout the Battle of Normandy. Upon entering the exhibit, visitors receive a passport/ID cardoutlining the story and fortunes of an individual man or woman, military or civilian, Canadian or British. At its heart, the exhibit tells a very human story, of men and women from two countries, allies yet strangers, familiar yet foreign, brought together by exceptional circumstances and united in a great cause.
Educational Activity for school groups: History on Wheels (from 11 years old)