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The Handbook

Department of Militia

The Sailor and Soldiers Handbook

Published by the Civil Re-Establishment Committee

January, 1919

Welcome Home.

This little handbook has been prepared on behalf of the people of the Colony of Newfoundland. Right heartily does she welcome her brave sons home again. She is proud of their doughty deeds. She mourns that some of her best can never return and she pledges herself ever to hold them in remembrance. She grieves that in the great strife others have been maimed and she resolves than so far as possible they shall be restored to efficiency and strength. To those who have been permitted to come out of the struggle without serious injury she offers her congratulations. The following pages tell their own story; let every returned sailor and soldier read them carefully.

Chapter I


THAT     there is no such word as "impossible" in his dictionary.
THAT     his natural ambition, to earn a good living, can be fulfilled.
THAT     he can either get rid of his disability or acquire a new ability to offset it.
THAT     the Medical Service and the Civil Re-Establishment Committee exist to help him in doing this.
THAT     he must help them to help him.
THAT     he will have the most careful and effective treatment known to science.
THAT     interesting and useful occupations form a most valuable part of the treatment in Convalescent Hospitals and Sanatoria.

THAT his strength and earning capacity will be restored to the highest degree possible.
THAT     if he requires an artificial LIMB or kindred appliance it will be supplied free.
THAT     every man disabled by service will receive a pension or gratuity in proportion to his disability.
THAT     his pension cannot be reduced by his undertaking work or perfecting himself in some form of industry.
THAT     if his disability prevents him from returning to his old work he will receive free training for a new occupation.
THAT     full consideration is given to his own capacity and desires when a new occupation has to be chosen.
THAT     his own will-power and determination will enable him to succeed, both in the training and in the occupation afterwards.

THAT     allowance will be made for his maintenance and his family during his training.
THAT     neither his treatment for his training or his transportation will cost him a cent.
THAT     many towns and villages have committees, associations, and clubs, to welcome him on his arrival, many of which will be glad to help him to obtain employment.

THAT     the Civil Re-Establishment Committee exists to carry out his treatment and training in Newfoundland. Address Vocational Officer, Militia Building, St. John's.

THAT     the Board of Pension Commissioners exists to distribute the pensions provided by his country for him and his dependents. Address, Militia Building, St. John's.

THAT     the Civil Re-Establishment Committee and the Board of Pension Commissioners are in the position of trustees appointed for his benefit.

THAT,    therefore, he should write to the Vocational Officer of the Civil Re-Establishment Committee or the Board of Pension Commissioners if he needs advice or help.

Newfoundlanders are unanimously resolved that every returned sailor and 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 it.

Chapter II


(a) A suit of civilian clothes, a cap, collar and tie, or in lieu an allowance of $30. An overcoat (in the winter) or in lieu an allowance of $30.
(b) Post discharge pay for three months to every soldier who has given six months' continuous service, a potion of which has been performed overseas.
(c) Free transportation and meals to his home.
(d) The privilege of retaining his uniform including great coat.
(e) Assistance in securing employment or the means to work by the Civil Re-Establishment Committee.

Chapter III


Rate Per Annum---Pension and Allowance.

Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 Class 5
100% 80-99% 60-79% 40-59% 20-39%

Member of the Forces.

$600 $480 $360 $240 $120

Each Child

90 75 60 45 30

Members of the Forces holding higher rank are entitled to a higher scale according to rank.
Naval Men.--If the pension allowed by the Imperial Authorities to discharged members of the Royal Naval Reserve is lower than would be the case for similar disability in members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Naval pension will be supplemented to bring it up to the Military standard.

Chapter IV

(See Chapter 5)
The allowance payable, (inclusive of pension) while under treatment or training by the Department under the supervision of the Civil Re-Establishment Committee for a former member of the Forces, who is without dependents, shall be $50 a month.

The allowances payable (inclusive of pension) while undergoing treatment or training by the Department under the supervision of the Civil Re-Establishment committee for a former member of the Forces, who has a wife, or a wife and child, or a wife and children, and for such dependent or dependents shall be as follows:

(a)For such former member of the Forces$50 a monthTotal
(b)For his wife$20 a month$70
(c)For his wife and two children$32 a month$82
(d)For his wife and three children$38 a month$88
(e)For his wife and four children or more$44 a month$94

Total Maximum to be $94.00

(1) All these allowances are inclusive of pensions and earnings.
(2) Allowances for other dependents are determined according to circumstances by the Civil Re- Establishment Committee.

Chapter V


The Civil Re-establishment Committee has been appointed by the Government of the country mainly for the following purposes:

1. To assist returned discharged sailors and soldiers to find suitable employment.
2. To provide, with allowance for maintenance, courses of industrial re-training for men who have been so disabled that they cannot return to the kind of work in which they were occupied previous to enlistment.
3. Generally to give advice and assistance to discharged men in any way possible.
Therefore, if a man is well and strong enough to take up again his old work, and if he has not his former job waiting for him, let him communicate with the Civil Re-establishment Committee through the Vocational Officer and every possible effort will be made to secure a suitable berth for him.

If a man has received a disability in service which prevents him from successfully following his main trade or calling before enlistment, he is entitled to be trained for some other trade when his disability will not be a handicap. While in training the man and his dependents receive special pay and allowance which enable them to live in reasonable comfort until he can again be a wage-earner. (See Chapter 4). The instruction, books, materials, etc., are furnished free of cost also. Any skill and proficiency which he may develop in his training so that he may earn more will not affect his pension whatever.
It is the aim of the Committee to train the disabled men who cannot go back to their old work in some new occupation where they may have lighter work and earn more money than ever before.
The disability must be of such a character and extent that he cannot successfully carry on his former trade or calling.
The attempt is made to train the man in some occupation very close to his old one so that his experience will not be lost. Thus a carpenter is trained to become a cabinet maker, a fireman to be an engineer, a tailor to be a cutter or foreman, a lumber man to be a lumber scaler, a fisherman to be a tallyman or fish inspector, and so on.
At the present time about 100 returned, disabled sailors and soldiers have been passed to take courses of training and more are being added every week. The trades, etc., now being taught are as follows:
book-keeper, carpenter, chauffeur, cooper, engineer, garage mechanic, lawyer, motor engineer, navigator, nickel-plater, railway-man, salesman, shoe-repairer and maker, steward (railway and ship), surveyor, tally-man, teacher, telegrapher (land-wire cable and wireless), vulcanizer.
The period required for training in most of these occupations is six to eight months.
Before a man enters his course, it is necessary for him to appear before the Vocational Officer who represents the Civil Re-establishment Committee which consists of the vocational officer, a special medical officer, a business man and others who decide upon his case and recommend him for a course if they think he is entitled to it. He may start as soon as the decision is made as to what course suits him best and begins to draw his special allowances immediately.
The training does not affect a man's pension in any way and no proficiency or ability to earn higher wages, by reason of the training, affects the pension in any way. many disabled men through the training are enabled to earn more money than they did before the war and have their pensions besides. For many men this is the first opportunity they have ever had of receiving any education or practical training in their lives.
If a man, then, feels that he has been disabled so that he cannot go back to his old work, or especially if he has tried his own work and cannot "carry on," let him write to the Vocational Officer about it, state if possible what he wishes and let the case be looked into quickly and thoroughly.

All applications for courses should be put in as soon after return as possible. Of course every man will want to go home for a season but he should not delay too long to begin fitting himself for civil life, for the longer the effort is put off, the harder it will be for the man to apply himself to it.

Finally, if in any way the Committee can be of assistance to any returned man by affording advice and information or otherwise, let him write to or look up the Vocational Officer.

Return to the Regimental Index

Return to the Main Military Records Index

Military Records Contact: Daniel B. Breen

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