Douglas C. (Douglas Crawford) McMurtrie.

The evolution of national systems of vocational reeducation for disabled soldiers and sailors online

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senting the whole people of Canada.

That, therefore, he should write direct to the commission or the board if he
needs advice or help.

Canadians are unanimously resolved that every returned soldier shall have
a full opportunity to succeed. When that opportunity is put within his
reach, his success will depend on his own good sense in seizing and using

Among the releases issued to the daily newspapers was one em-
bodying an interview with Sir George Perley, high commissioner
for Canada in the United Kingdom. An extract from this follows :

I sometimes wonder if we Canadians even yet completely realize what a vast
difference it will make to the country if we do our best for our returned

• Name since changed to Invalided Soldier's Commission.


By " doing our best " for them, of course, I don't mean treating them
like children or fools, which they are not. Let us give them the warmest pos-
sible welcome when they arrive, but don't let us stop at that. Don't let us im-
agine that cheering them and patting them on the back will help them to make
a living.

I might add that one form of treating them is not merely a help but a
hindrance, and a cruelty in the guise of kindness. A man already upset by
wounds or sickness is more likely to be injured by liquor than one in sound
health. No thinking man needs to be reminded of that.

We have begun well. We have established a liberal scale of pensions, but
that is only a beginning. This country's resources are enormous ; but they
must be developed, not only to gratify our national pride in figures of trade and
production, but to meet our heavy obligations. Yet we have not a tenth of the
population required to develop these resources. We need the help of every
man for this development, and very few indeed are so disabled that they
can not be of some assistance.

The great majority of the soldiers who return invalided have, fortunately,
the hope of a long life of useful and happy activity before them. Whether
that hope will be realized depends on the treatment and training given them,
and on their own willingness to take advantage of that training, both during
their convalescence and later on. The military hospitals commission, by its
thorough organization and the extreme care it takes to help men in this direc-
tion according to their individual and varying needs, is doing a splendid work
for the men as well as for the country.

In fact, the importance of that work can not be too strongly insisted on.
The public should be kept constantly informed about it, and should be helped
to' understand the problems involved, for it is necessary that every one should
assist and cooperate in a great national effort to see that every man gets re-
munerative employment suited to his ability.

Another item in the service to newspapers was a signed article by
A. E. Doble, president of the Khaki League, pointing out some of the
specific obligations of the public to returned soldiers :

The military hospitals commission and many official and private organiza-
tions are spending much time and energy in behalf of the returned soldiers,
but every Canadian citizen should and can take an interest in the national

Many have neither time nor opportunity to join an organization for that
purpose, but much is to be done by individual and independent effort, intelli-
gently directed. Here are a few suggestions which may help you to do your

When you see in the papers that any of the boys are returning to your neigh-
borhood get together with a few of your neighbors and give them a hearty

Don't treat them to alcoholic refreshments. Many of the men are not in
normal state, owing to what they have been through. While, under ordinary
circumstances, a drink might do them no harm, under present conditions it
might be a very bad thing for them. You will not wish to do an injury to
those who have endured so much for you.

Find out what jobs are vacant in your community. Make it a matter of
pride for the employers to give the first chance to a returned soldier.

Encourage the men to get back to work. Loafing is bad for them as it is for
any of us. 4I


If you are an employer give the returned soldiers a fair show. It may take
a little time for them to get their bearings. Have patience with them and
encourage them — they have suffered so much for you.

Be in a position to advise the returned soldier where to go in case of need.
If you see one in any difficulty try to help him out or go with him where he
can get proper attention. Help the men who have helped you.

In another article for the daily press is traced the career of the
disabled man who triumphs over his handicap.


Canada should be as proud of her wounded soldiers' victory over their
wounds as she is of the glorious fights in which they fell. Their struggle up
from the depths of disablement is often as hard, and even as heroic, as their des-
perate defense of Tpres or their dashing capture of the Vimy Ridge.

We hear little, altogether too little, of these hard-won victories by disabled
men, because they are fought out in the seclusion of a hospital, not in the
theater of war with the whole world looking on. But such victories deserve
public recognition. They show the same spirit, the same pluck, and still more
indomitable perseverance.

A preacher on Easter morning was thanked for the inspiring sermon he had
just preached, on the resurrection. He said, " I had my text sitting in front
of me — a man in khaki, with an empty sleeve. He has had two resurrections
already. He was buried by a shell explosion, and was dug out only just in time
to save his life. That was the first. He spent months in hospital, fighting his
way back to health. That was the second.

" Doctoring and nursing, of course, did much for him ; so did the exercises
and occupations that they provide nowadays — perhaps the best part of the
treatment. But the man himself was working out his own resurrection, by
resolutely putting his own will-power into the task. Now he is almost ready
to go out into the world, a better and abler man, he says, than he was before,
in spite of his lost arm.

" While the rest of us are thinking of a resurrection beyond the grave, he
has won a resurrection this side of it, to a new life of activity and independ-
ence among his fellow-countrymen."

Authentic cases resembling that are not rare in the records of the military
hospitals commission. Here are a few that have just been communicated to us :

A mechanic who enlisted in the Princess Patricia's regiment was wounded,
returned to Canada, spent three months in a convalescent hospital, and now
earns double his former pay, having taken full advantage of the mechanical
drawing and arithmetic classes carried on there. Writing to the hospital in-
structor, he says:

" When I enlisted, I was earning about $3 a day at my trade. At present,
and since my discharge from military service, I am, technically, a better man
all around; I am able now to hold a job as foreman in a machine shop, with
more than twice the salary I was getting before. This benefit to me is greatly
due to your practical information, and my only regret is that I was unable,
after my discharge, to continue instructions with you as you had advised."

Another letter received is from an ex-private in the Thirteenth Battalion.
Before enlistment, he was getting $12 a week as driver on a city milk round.
" I always had a liking for drawing," he says, " and felt that if ever I had the
chance I would take up a course in mechanical drawing." This opportunity
came to him at one of the commission's convalescent hospitals. After six weeks'


application to the work there, he was able to secure an appointment with a
salary beginning at $75 a month, with good prospects of advancement.

A locomotive fireman enlisted, was severely wounded, and had to have his left
arm amputated. Under the commission's scheme of reeducation, which is offered
to all men incapacitated for their former work by service, he received special
training in telegraphy and railway routine. As a result, he secured an ap-
pointment as station agent and despatcher, at $110 a month.

Still another patient, formerly a mechanic, passed the civil service qualify-
ing examination after instruction in hospital, and has got a customhouse
position at $900 a year, rising to $1,500.

A man who had been a guide and trapper, and had never handled tools,
returned from the front with one eye destroyed by a wound and the sight of
the other eye impaired. In spite of all these old and new disabilities, by
putting his mind to it he rapidly developed such skill in the hospital workshop
that very soon he was clearly on the way to become a first-class carpenter.

Equally remarkable is the case of a Polish laborer. He came to Canada six
years ago, and worked in a coal mine till he enlisted. At the front, he was both
gassed and burned. Though he knew absolutely nothing about carpentry to
begin with, after two months of instruction in hospital he also acquired an
extraordinary mastery over the tools.

Not every man, of course, can " double his pay." But one of the most
cheering facts proved by experience during the war has been this — that almost
all the disabled men, including the very seriously wounded, can be equipped
once more with power to earn a good living.

And often, as Lord Shaughnessy said the other day, the occupations and
training provided by the military hospitals system " reveal astonishing talents
which even the man himself did not know he possessed."

Still another release points out first the obvious obligation and next
the more fundamental one.


A soldier arrived at a town in Ontario the other day, invalided home from
the war, and the whole town turned out to meet him.

Just for one man.

Sixty motor cars in procession, a brass band, a public meeting, an address
of welcome, a presentation of a gold watch— all just for one man.

He deserved it all ; we are quite willing to take that for granted ; but, if
all this appreciation is due to one man, how much is due to the hundreds
coming back every month?

Brass bands are not to be despised, still less are gold watches. Welcome
the brave, with cheers and full musical accompaniment, if you will. Strong
feelings often demand loud expression. In fact, when we hear of men coming
back and finding no one at the station to welcome them, we feel that something
has been left undone which we ought to have done. See to this, Canadians,

But that is only a beginning. There is something much more important
and lasting that we must see to.

Every man coming back is of some value to the community. That value has
been reduced by injury or sickness. We must increase it again by every
available resource of medical and educational science.

"That is what the military hospitals commission is doing," it may be said,
and truly. But the commission is only doing it on your behalf, as represent-
ative of the public.



The individual members of the public can help and ought to help.

The friends of a returned soldier in a convalescent hospital can encourage
him to take all possible advantage of the educational classes and physical
training, and to seize opportunities of employment or continued training when
he comes out.

The public at la»ge, whether as friends of particular soldiers or not, can
help the affiliated provincial commissions to find employment for all.

Every man doing steady work suited to his capacity is a gain to himself
and his country.

Every man left idle, or performing some trifling task beneath his capacity,
or trying to do work he is unfit for is wasted.

And Canada can not afford to waste a man.

As in all the belligerent countries the returned men have been in-
fluenced adversely by the expression of maudlin and pointless sym-
pathy, by lionization at the hands of society ladies, and by ill-judged
hospitality in general. The Canadians who were socially wise have
had their hands full combating these tendencies.

There has been a distinct effort in Canada to prevent crippled
men taking jobs dependent for their existence on the abnormal labor
conditions in time of war. According to one bulletin: "Many
wounded soldiers have been tempted by these apparently seductive
openings. The military hospitals commission has been waging a
constant struggle to persuade the disabled to avail themselves of
the regulation permitting the commission to go to almost any length
in training them in permanent callings where their disability will
be no handicap to efficient work. Thoughtful people realize that
unless the man with a disablement has greater skill than his fit com-
petitor in the labor market he will naturally be passed over by
employers who have efficiency in their shops to consider." 10

It is further realized that the consideration of the community for
the crippled soldier, which is acute during the period of war, falls
off after peace is declared. " The inevitable decline in public sym-
pathy for the wounded is constantly held before the soldiers in the
convalescent hospitals, and the fate of the typical ' old soldier ' after
other wars is held up as an object lesson to inspire those who have
made such great sacrifices for Canada to take no chance of falling
into this class a few years hence." 11

The military hospitals commission has prepared a film illustrating
the provision made for the disabled Canadian soldier after his re-
turn from over seas. Among the details illustrated are the arrival
at Halifax, the clearance through the discharge depot, the hospital
train ride, the life in the convalescent home, the recreations, the vari-
ous kinds of treatment, the vocational training, and, lastly, the dis-

» Canada, Military Hospitals Commission. Bulletin, November, 1917, p. 4.
u Canada, Military Hospitals Commission. Bulletin, November, 1917, p. 5.

57710—18 16


chaiged soldier in spite of a disability working at his job, self-
supporting, independent, and a sturdy citizen.

The film will be used for the purpose of public education within
the Dominion and will also be exhibited to disabled soldiers in the
military hospitals in England. The message which the moving pic-
ture conveys, according to the commission, is " that injury does not
mean pauperism, that every man is given a chance to make good
under circumstances devised by scientific men who have applied
themselves to the various subjects under which assistance can be
given. But the alternative will be indicated. The man who gives
up, who does not try to achieve victory over his wounds will be
shown his ultimate fate — vagrancy." 12 The film was also sent abroad
for exhibition in London on the occasion of the recent interallied

Training is being offered to-day in Canada at the following insti-
tutions and in the subjects specified. Where the name of the training
center is preceded by a* dagger (f) it indicates that work within the
category of vocational reeducation is in progress. At other institu-
tions the instruction falls within the more informal category of
occupational work.

Unit A.

t Montreal Technical School, Montreal, P. Q. Drafting, motor mechanics, civil
service, business, English and French, stenography, carpentry, French
polishing, carpentry and pattern making, electric wiring, mathematics.

t McGill University, Montreal, P. Q. Machine-shop practice, electrical work,
geometry and mechanical drafting, telegraphy.

t Industries, Montreal, P. Q. Industrial.

t College of Pharmacy, Montreal, P. Q. (Classes operated in this building by
Invalided Soldiers' CommissiQn.) Shoe repairing, shoemaking, general
brass work.

Laurentian Sanitarium, Ste. Agathe des Monts, P. Q. Needlework, telegraphy
and typewriting, civil service, woodwork, French, weaving.

Unit B.

Camp Hill Convalescent Hospital, Halifax, N. S. General education, handi-
crafts, telegraphy, machine-tool operating, care and operation autos.

t Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Fruro, N. S. Agriculture.

t Dominion School of Navigation, Halifax, N. S. Navigation.

t Pine Hill Convalescent Home, Halifax, N. S. General, art novelties, shoe re-
pairing, automobiles, woodworking.

Nova Scotia Sanatorium, Kentville, N. S. General, auto mechanics, telegraphy,
commercial, industrial arts.

t Nova Scotia Technical School, Halifax, N. S. Drafting, machine-tool operat-
ing, shoe repairing, steam-engine operating, strength of materials and
machine design, electrical engineering, motor mechanics, instruction of

t School for the Blind, Halifax, N. S. Practical massage, Braille reading, shoe

"Canada, Military Hospitals Commission. Bulletin, November, 1917, p. 13.


Moxham Conwlescent Home, Sydney, N. S. Woodwork, motor mechanics, gen

eral education, commercial.
t Victoria School of Art, Halifax, N. S. Lettering.
t Canadian School of Telegraphy, Halifax, N. S. Telegraphy.
Wellington Station, Halifax, N. S. Telegraphy,
t Maritime Business College, Halifax, N. S. Business.

Ross Convalescent Home, Sydney, N. S. Automobile operation, commercial.
t Glace Bay, Cape Breton, N. S. Coal mining.
Dalton Sanatorium, New Wiltshire, P. E. I. General.

Unit C.

t Grand Trunk Railway Power Station, Ottawa, Ont. Stationary engineering.

t Ewing's Civil Service School, Ottawa, Ont. Civil service.

t Ottawa Car Company, Ottawa, Ont. Machinist, car repairs.

t Gowling Business College, Ottawa, Ont. Commercial.

T Willis Business College, Ottawa, Ont. Commercial.

t Invalided Soldiers' Commission Drafting Department, Ottawa, Ont. Drafting.

t Sanford Fleming Home, Ottawa, Ont. Woodwork, motor mechanics, commer-
cial, preparatory, stenography, telegraphy.

t Kemptville Engineering Co., Kemptville, Ont. Stationary engineering.

t Shawville Power House, Shawville, P. Q. Stationary engineering.

t Brockville Business College, Brockville, Ont. Commercial.

t Peterboro Business College, Peterboro, Ont. Commercial.

tDier's Telegraphy School, Ottawa, Ont. Telegraphy.

t Queen's University, Kingston, Ont. Arts, high-school education, medicine,
science, theology, farm mechanics, electrical engineering, telegraphy, motor
mechanics, woodworking, commercial, civil service, elementary, steam and
gas engine operation, shoemaking, highway engineering, drafting.
Memorial Sanatorium, Kingston, Ont. Machine-shop practice, commercial,
stenography, motor mechanics, civil service, barbering, fancy work, moving-
picture operation.

t Ontario Military Convalescent Hospital, Cobourg, Ont. Arts and crafts, show-
card writing.

t Elmhurst Convalescent Hospital, Kingston, Ont. Elementary education and
civil service.

t Tractor School, Kingston, Ont. Tractor repairs.

Unit D.

t Union Shoe Repair Co., Toronto, Ont. Shoe repairing.

t Russell Motor Car Co., Toronto, Ont. Machine-shop practice.

t J. C. Williams, Toronto, Ont. Lens grinding.

t Mason & Risch, Toronto, Ont. Piano tuning.

t P. W. Ellis Co., Toronto, Ont. Polishing.

t McLaughlin Carriage Co., Toronto, Ont. Auto repairs.

t Luxfer Prism Co., Toronto, Ont. Lead glazing.

t Jones & Moore, Toronto, Ont. Apprenticeship.

t Electrical Maintenance & Repair Co., Toronto, Ont. Electrical repairing.

t Douglas Bros., Toronto, Ont. Sheet-metal work.

t Vokes Hardware Co., Toronto, Ont. Hardware.

t J. McLean, Toronto, Ont. Cutting.

t Thompson Monument Co., Toronto, Ont. Drawing.

t Roden Bros., Toronto, Ont. Polishing.

t Lanston Monotype Co., Toronto, Ont. Operating.

t Toruoto Nautical School, Toronto, Ont. Fresh-water navigation.


t Standard Bronze Co., Toronto, Ont. Electrical-fixture making.

t Carter Welding Co., Toronto, Out. Oxyacetylene welding.

t Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ont. X-ray operating.

t College Street Convalescent Hospital, Toronto, Ont. Shoe repairing.

t Bell Telephone Co., Toronto, Ont. Switchboard installation.

t Euclid Hall, Toronto, Ont. Elementary, occupational therapy.

t Lansdowne School, Toronto, Ont. Elementary and civil service.

t Great North Western Telegraph Co., Toronto, Ont. Telegraphy.

t Artificial Limb Factory (Invalided Soldiers' Commission), Toronto, Ont.
Orthopedic bootmaking.

t Simcoe Business College, Simcoe, Ont. Commercial.

t Toronto Linotype School, Toronto, Ont. Linotype operating.

f Grand Trunk Railroad, Bethany, Ont. Telegraphy.
Freeport Sanitarium, Kitchener, Ont. Civil service, manual training.

t Broadway Church, Toronto, Ont. Music.

t Central Technical School, Toronto, Ont. Testing cement, machine-shop prac-
tice, plumbing, cabinetmaking, electricity, electric wiring, power-plant
engineering, motor mechanics, machine design, art and design printing,
moving-picture operating oxyacetylene welding, drafting, chemistry.

t Military Orthopedic Hospital, Davisville, North Toronto, Ont. Commercial,
mechaical drafting, telegraphy, shoe repairing, civil service, stenography,

t University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont. Mining engineering, farm-tractor courses,
Central Military Convalescent Hospital, Toronto, Ont. English.

tCentral T. M. C. A., Toronto, Ont. Telegraphy, civil service, English and
French, freight clerking, commercial, preparatory.

tBrunswick Avenue School, Toronto, Ont. Commercial, stenography.

tBrunswick Garage, Toronto, Ont. Motor repairs.

tMinster Myles Co., Toronto, Ont. Office work.

tToronto Tool Co., Toronto, Ont. General mechanics.

tWhitby Convalescent Hospital, Whitby, Ont. Shoe repairing, telegraphy, com-
mercial, drafting, special pupils, manual training, arts and crafts, elementary
and civil service, farm tractor repairs, auto mechanics.

Muskoka Free Sanitarium. Gravenhurst, Ont. Poultry and beekeeping, fancy
work, music, French.

tWood Shoe Co., Hamilton, Ont. Shoe repairing.

tWilliams Shoe Co., Hamilton, Ont. Shoe repairing.

tAskew Shoe Co., Hamilton, Ont. Shoe repairing.

tHamilton Garage, Hamilton, Ont. Motor mechanics.

tCasey Garage, Hamilton, Ont. Motor mechanics.

tPatterson Garage, Hamilton, Ont. Motor mechanics.

tMcLaughlin Garage, Hamilton, Ont. Motor mechanics.

tHoward Music Studio, Hamilton, Ont. Music.

Mountain Sanitarium, Hamilton, Ont. Woodworking, stenography, commercial,
civil service, telegraphy, clay modeling.

tHamilton Technical School, Hamilton, Ont. Machine-shop practice, woodwork,
miscellaneous, mechanical drafting.

Brant House, Burlington, Ont. Shoe repairing, machine shop, carpentry.

Unit E.

Savard Park Convalescent Hospital, Quebec, P. O/. Woodwork, motor mechanics,

poultry, business.
Lake Edward Sanitarium, Lake Edward, P. Q. General subjects, English,

stenography and typewriting, motor mechanics and agriculture.


Unit P.

fOntario Agricultural College, Guelph, Out. Agriculture.

tGalt Business College, Gait, Ont. Commercial.

tSt. Thomas Business College. St. Thomas, Ont. CommereiaL

tSolid Leather Co., Preston, Ont. Shoe cutting.

tMcClary Mfg. Co., London, Ont. Metal polishing.

tGlobe Casket Works, London, Ont. Metal polishing.

fPetit Pattern Works, London, Ont. Pattern making.

tBarrett's Barber Shop, St. Thomas, Ont. Barbering.

tAuto Supply Co., London, Ont. Motor mechanics.

tPrank Raffaele, London, Ont. Barbering.

tDr. Bracey, V. S., Guelph, Ont. Veterinary work.

tMcCracken Show Case Co., London, Ont. Wood polishing.

Guelph Collegiate Institute, Guelph, Ont. Junior matriculation.

tMilitary Convalescent Hospital, Guelph, Ont. Farm tractor, commercial,
elementary and civil service, agriculture, shoe repairing, motor mechanics,
manual training, music, book making, gardening, barbering, mathematics,

tMilitary Convalescent Hospital, London, Ont. Farm tractor, academic instruc-
tion and civil service, wood carving, shoe repairing, carpentry, cabinet-

tLondon Auto School, London, Ont. Auto mechanics.

fFarm Tractor School, London, Ont. Farm tractors.

tO'Brien Business College, London, Ont. Commercial.

tWestervelt Business College, London, Ont. Commercial.

Online LibraryDouglas C. (Douglas Crawford) McMurtrieThe evolution of national systems of vocational reeducation for disabled soldiers and sailors → online text (page 27 of 38)