Sunday, 6 November 2016

First World War Canadian Veterans Claim Cards

The Canadiana.ca Heritage Collection is a bit like Mrs. Gumps box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
There are nine reels called World War One Veterans Claim Cards. The description is "veterans claims card indexes arranged alphabetically by name of claimants. The information consists of the land location number, file number and the ex-regimental number of claimant."
The alphabetical arrangement by reel is:
T-1322: Aalrust (image 20) - Carson (image 6747)
T-1323: Carson (image 30) - Forsyth (image 6891), preceded by Fortier (image 2) - Forsyth (image 18)
T-1324: Fosbery (image 10) - Johnson (image 7109)
T-1325: Johnson (image 10) - Munro (image 6916)
T-1326: Munro (image 11 ) - Rhyno (image 7402)
T-1327: Redman (image 10) - Thoms (image 6801), a section of cards from the end of previous reel repeated.
T-1328: Thomsen (image 10) - Zygmont (image 4667), followed by a series of cards arranged by province and county or district relating to land transactions and loans.
T-1329: Continuation of  cards arranged by province and county or district relating to land transactions and loans.
T-1330: Continuation of  cards arranged by province and county or district relating to land transactions and loans.

Up to mid-way through T-1328 the cards are for veterans who sought land from the Soldier Settlement Board (SSB).  Carrying the Gump analogy too far, it's as if the top layer of chocolates are as advertised. But the layer below? What's in your chocolate box could be a surprise!

Included are people brought out from the UK under the 3000 British Family Scheme (BFS), not necessarily veterans. Some cards also marked as "CIVILIAN" seemingly not everyone in the cards was a veteran.

Some named on cards were women and very unlikely to be First World War "veterans". See T1324, image 31 for Mrs Emma Foster with the notation "on file of Wm Foster" and better still, she is described as a "Brit. Imm." Maybe the cards for the purchasers of the land or those who lived on the land.

It  is also apparent that many land holders could not maintain the payments, land was subsequently sold to others or even back to the SSB.

Thanks to Glenn Wright for insight into the contents.

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