McGill involvement in the Second World War was characterized by a variety of contributions and implications in the war effort. From military training to providing a radio technician course, the McGill community provided several layers of service contributing directly or indirectly to the war effort. Military training, organized by the McGill Contingent of the Canadian Officers' Training Corps, proved to be a crucial aspect of McGill’s war effort. Moreover, the active forces in which McGillians were integrated varied: examples include service in the Women’s Division of the Royal Canadian Air Force, the United States’ Naval Reserve, or service in the Polish Armoured Division, to name only a few.
The civilian contribution to the Second World War was equally important. McGill University proved to be an institution where the resources and capacity of its members were tested and utilized to their utmost. Ranging from research undertaken in the laboratories of the Pulp and Paper Division of the Forest Products Laboratories of Canada to neurological research, McGill University was a leader in research and other civilian involvement. The end of the hostilities marked an era where a diversity of McGill resources were harnessed to maximize the institution’s contribution to the war effort. It also signaled a transformation related to the overall portrait of the university with returning veterans gaining access to university education.
- McGill University Archives, 0000-0481.04.127
McGill contingent of the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps on parade, lower campus, McGill University