24 March 2020

War Brides in Newspapers

What do you find searching for "war bride" in Canadian newspapers? I expected to find lots of coverage when they arrived in Canada, most in 1946, and mention in death notices in more recent years.

Newspapers.com has 31,467,646 pages from Canadian newspapers. Papers included which have content back more than a century to (almost) the present day are the Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Regina Leader-Post, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Vancouver Sun, Whitehorse Daily Star and Windsor Star.  There is no content for Atlantic Canada.

The results confirmed expectations. There were a lot of good news stories about war bride arrivals and mention in death notices. Notable is that the peak in the early 2000s is in agreement with back of the envelope estimates.

Some of the results were for movies. "I was a Male War Bride" was a 1949 comedy film starring Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan. The blue curve shows mentions of "war bride" that were not "male war bride". Hits for "The War Bride" a 2001 Canadian/British drama film with Anna Friel and Julie Cox were not accounted for. It undoubtedly pushed up the peak in the early 2000s.

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