Lesson Plan: The War Bride's Journey
On the board, write the terms "Operation Daddy" and "Diaper Special." Explain that these were nicknames created by the media to describe the task of transporting war brides from Britain to Canada during and after the Second World War. Ask:
- What do you think the nicknames mean?
- Why do you think they were coined?
- What challenges would there have been to existing transportation systems in moving thousands of war brides and children across the ocean?
- What systems might help them?
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Love and War: Canadian War Brides on the CBC Digital Archives website. Working alone, students listen to and view the clips "Welcome to the Canadian Wives' Bureau," "'A way to a new life," "To Canada in style," "Escort officers smooth the journey" and "Kay Ruddick, escort officer," and read the accompanying Did You Know? sections. Students look for, and record in point form, information that describes the challenges endured by war brides and their children while en route from Great Britain to Canada. Students use their information to write a letter to a family member about their voyage. They can write from the perspective of either a war bride or an escort officer.
Revisit and Reflect
Invite students to read their letters aloud. Discuss the challenges and hardships faced by war brides and their children, and explain any assistance they would have received.
ExtensionMake a bulletin board display of students' letters. Students can supplement the display with newspaper headlines about war brides as they might have been written in the 1940s.