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‘Ten men for every girl’: women fend off men in WWII Halifax

The Story

Halifax, N.S. is just about the most exciting place in Canada for a young woman during the Second World War. The city suddenly doubles in size as the port becomes a key hub for Allied naval forces and merchant shipping. Halifax pulses with activity under the influx of soldiers and sailors, war babies and orphans, prostitutes and crooks. And everywhere you look, young men from a dozen nations are desperate for a dance with a Canadian girl.

Medium: Radio
Program: Between Ourselves
Broadcast Date: April 18, 1975
Narrator: Marjorie Whitelaw
Duration: 4:35
Photo: Richard G. Arless / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / National Archives of Canada / PA-157021

Did You know?

• Halifax was Canada's main east coast port during the Second World War. It was a gathering point for ship convoys heading across the Atlantic. Canadian warships and aircraft protected over 25,000 shiploads of vehicles, munitions, weapons and food headed to Britain. (Source: Canadian War Museum.)

• From the 1920s to the 1970s Pier 21 was the entry point to Canada for 100,000 refugees and 1 million immigrants. (Source: Pier 21 National Historic Site.)

• Halifax's Pier 21 was the departure point for 494,000 Canadian troops headed for Europe during the Second World War. It was also the entry point for 3,000 children escaping war-torn Britain. When the war ended, Pier 21 served as the gateway for 50,000 war brides and their 22,000 children.

• You can hear Halifax residents talk about caring for visiting sailors in this clip.


On Every Front: Canadian Women in the Second World War more