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Posts Tagged ‘veterans of the great war’

“New Superintendent For Limb Factory,” Toronto Star. January 31, 1919. Page 04.

Department Makes Effort to End Dispute by Appointing Returned Officer.

In an attempt to end the strike conditions at the artificial limb factory at Davisville and on Spadina avenue, the Department of Soldiers’ Civil Re-establishment, which recently dispensed with the services of Superintendent J. E. Burns, which brought about a strike of the 220 men employed in the factory, has appointed Major R. W. Coulthard to the position.

Major Coulthard is an officer of the C.E.F., who went overseas with the Second Canadian Tunnelling company in 1915 from Western Canada, and his appointment, according to Colonel G. F. Morrison, assistant director of the department, satisfies the first demand of the employees that a returned soldier get the position.

On Strike Since Jan. 24.
The strike at the limb factory has been on since January 24, and followed the dismissal of Mr. Burns. The appointment as a temporary measure of E. M. Martin as superintendent was not agreeable to the men and they decline to return to work, and to-day, the appointment of Major Coulthard is announced.

Sir James Lougheed, Minister of the Department of Soldiers’ Civil Reestablishment, issues the following statement on the situation:

“On the recommendations made by those competent to give an opinion on the subject, we brought about changes that were necessary in the interest of the department, the men employed in the factory, and those ex-members of the forces who required artificial limbs and appliances. Some of the employees seemingly do not see eye to eye with the department in the changes that have been made. It is quite manifest that the Government must exercise its own judgement as to how an enterprise of this kind must be operated.

Highest Efficiency Wanted.
‘Regretable as it is that we have not at the moment the co-operation of the men who have thus ceased work, yet it is our duty to place this work upon the most efficient basis possible. We have appointed in charge, Mr. R. W. Coulthard, who has been overseas for a long period. During his experience as an engineer he has had charge of large enterprises requiring such ability as to qualify him for the position.’

Mr. G. E. Beaton, of the Strike Committee, interviewed by The Star this morning, explained that nothing definite can be announced from the men’s side of the question until the appointment of Major Coulthard has been considered at a meeting of the striking employees, which will be held forthwith.

Referring to Sir James Lougheed’s announcement that the department cannot be dictated to in matters of general policy, Mr. Beaton said: ‘We thrashed that out last night, and it was understood that there would have to be some modifications on the demands of the men.’

‘We are pleased to hear that a returned soldier has been appointed, and hold to that demand still,’ he said. ‘That would be quite satisfactory to us if Mr. Burns were retained to tutor the new superintendent in the way we have been working. Possibly some compromise will be reached along these lines,’ he concluded.

As Major Coulthard’s appointment has not been notified yet to the Strike Committee by the department, it is not likely that any official notice of it will be taken until such time as it is announced. Immediately following that, however, a meeting of all the employees will be held, and the future policy of the men decided on.

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“Widow and Kiddies Facing Starvation,” Toronto Star. January 31, 1919. Page 04.

Soldier-Husband Died Just After Discharge, and Pension is Refused.

Another case of destitution as a result of service for one’s country, which is as bad, if not worse, than that of the Tarringtons, who were left penniless when the breadwinner died after he came home from overseas, is that of Mrs. J. D. Powless, 913 Dundas street west, who is facing starvation, with a family of five children, all under 14 years.

Her husband, Pte. Powless, returned home from active service in France a couple of months ago, and after he had been home for two weeks, contracted influenza-pneumonia, and died. Mrs. Powless has received word from the Board of Pension Commissioners at Ottawa that she is not entitled to any pension because Pte. Powless died after he had been discharged from the service.

There are five children under 14 years of age in the family, and another, Daisy, who is fifteen years of age: she brings in the total family income, which is eight dollars per week. Mrs. Powless is expected to buy coal at $12 a ton, buy food for herself and six children, pay the rent, which is $25 per month, clothe them all, and get a doctor for her baby, who is lying ill in bed. She has got to do this all on $8 a week, or starve.

No Coal in the House.
Wednesday night, Mrs. Poweless applied to Chalmers Presbyterian Church for assistance, as there was no coal in the house. The church got in touch with the Soldiers’ Aid Commission and they sent her $30. Out of this sum, she has got to pay the rent, $25, and then there is $5 left to pay for a half ton of coal.

The children are half clothed, the house is in wretched condition. There is no carpet on the floors, and when the reporter called he found the children huddled in the kitchen, where there was a small fire of charcoal burning in the stove. When the remaining half bag of charcoal would be gone, there would be no fire.

Mrs. Powless told The Star that when her husband returned, the doctor said that his system was poisoned from the effects of his service overseas. Pte. Powless could not get any work, and he was so ill that he could not have worked if he had been able to get any.

Mrs. Powless has no relative in this country, and she is totally dependent upon the mercies of the commissioners for a livelihood. If something is not done immediately, she said that she would have to go and ask the city for help.

G.W.V.A. Takes It Up.
Central Branch of the

G.W.V.A. has taken up the case, and will now carry on a ‘drive’ to have the pension system extended or revised so that provision will be made for men whose general health is broken by their service overseas. Such men are often discharged after years of service, it is stated, as physically unfit, but with ‘no disability’ entered on their discharge papers. They, of course, receive no pension, although the service overseas oftentimes results in their death shortly after their return to civilian life.

Pte. Powless was over age when he enlisted, and was 50 years of age when he was discharged. He was Canadian-born. Two sons, both married are in France with the C.E.F.

The Central Branch took up this case with the Pension Board at Ottawa, and received a letter stating that under the regulations the case was not within the scope of the board, and no pension could be granted. This is the situation as it remains, although the doctor’s certificate, it is stated, reads that the man would undoubtedly have recovered from the ‘flu’ had his vitality not been greatly lowered by hardships overseas. Friends of the late Pte. Powless state that before enlistment he was hardy and in the best of health, the certificate of the attending physician to the effect that death was due to strain on his constitution while overseas bearing out their opinion.

‘Our arguments,’ explained Mr. George Murrell, secretary of the Central Branch, ‘is that a man under these circumstances is entitled to some consideration. We are not asking that the total disability pension be allowed his widow and children, but that some provision be made for them. Surely his wife and small children should be looked after to some extent by the Government.’

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“Bad Record Adds To Term Given Bigamist,” Toronto Star. January 16, 1919. Page 13.

Two-Year Sentence for George Dowle, Now in Jail on Charge of Fraud.

Shell shock, and all the imminent deadly perils of the battlefield, hadn’t taught George Dowle some of the fundamental principles of social ethics. While his first wife and child were still alive he married again. And before that offence was discovered by the law, he had been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment – which he is now technically serving – for fraud.

His counsel, Thomas O’Connor, in the Police Court to-day argued that perhaps his battle injuries were largely responsible for his acts. But Magistrate Denison pointed to the prisoner’s long previous record, and, on the additional charge of bigamy, sentenced him to two years in Kingston Penitentiary.

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“Off They Go On Canada’s Original Vimy Pilgrimage,” Toronto Star. June 11, 1936. Page 19.

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