Veterans Guard of Canada

1939 – 1945

When the Second World War broke out in 1939, thousands of Canadians appeared at enlistment stations to enlist in the upcoming conflict. Among these Canadians were veterans of the First World War, the majority now in their forties, who once again wanted to serve their country. They were first told that they were too old for active service and turned away. The veterans persisted, and the Canadian government established the Veteran’s Home Guard, later renamed the Veterans Guard of Canada (May, 1940).

Organized into numbered companies of approximately 250 men, the Veterans Guard included both Active and Reserve companies. In addition to serving as a defence force and guarding military installations, the Veterans Guard were also responsible for guarding Canadian internment camps.

While the vast majority of this unit remained on Canadian soil for the duration of the war, a small number were dispatched around the globe.

In the later years of the war, the Reserve companies were disbanded. As Prisoners of War were moved back to Great Britain between 1945 and 1947, Active companies disbanded as well.

Source: “Veterans Guard of Canada”. Written by Michael O’Hagan, historian researching German POWs in Canada,, accessed July 3, 2020.