G.W.V.A. presents shell shocked veteran as Human Document.
Saturday, October 04, 1919
Transcribed by: M. I. Pirie
Early veterans' organizations are mentioned in this report such as the Grand Army of Canada. The other group which had just started was the United Veterans' League, mentioned in the article as the group of J. H. Flynn (President). The $2,000 gratuity was a proposal of an amount to be paid to veterans. The amount would be adjusted based on location of service (overseas vs. Canada).
Pte. Rupert Pritchard is likely this man, Pte. Rupert Clifford Pritchard, 3107056, born in Wolverhampton, England, served in the R.A.M.C. under number 5240 for three years, then while giving a Philadelphia current address enlisted in the 1st Depot Battalion, 2nd Central Ontario Regiment in February 1918 (not conscripted) while medically unfit.
GRAND ARMY MEN QUIT ENQUIRY TO FIGHT WITH FLYNN
Leave Message for Committee Saying They Don't Intend to Go Through Grilling He Was Subjected To.
Ottawa, Oct. 2. -- The special committee on re-establishment had a series of galvanic shocks this evening when it was known that Messrs Gotha? and McKenzie, delegates from the Grand Army of Canada, Vancouver, had left to join J. H. Flynn in his [illegible] for the $2,000 gratuity, and would not come before the committee.
They left a message before the committee which was delivered after the chair had called these witnesses several times, in which they stated that they did not intend to go through the same grilling as Flynn had been subjected to and would join him in his course of public meetings.
Earlier in the day, G. C. MacNeil, counsel for the Great War Veterans' association produced before the committee a "human document" in the form of Rupert C. Pritchard, a man who had served with the British and Canadian armies and had been wounded and shell shocked; was unable to resume his trade, which before the war had netted him seventy cents an hour, and now was broke. He had just secured a job delivering telegrams for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company's Telegraphs, at which he hoped to earn a living while waiting for his pension cheque. He had been receiving $12.50 per month, which was being increased on Oct. 1 to a forty per cent disability which would pay him $288 a year.
He had been brought from Washington to enter the vocational school, became dissatisfied and left because they refused him the course he wanted and then could only get a ticket back to the border where he would be stranded.
Capt. N. F. Parkinson, recalled, said Pritchard, a previous witness had been found unsuitable as a motion picture operator owing to his disability and was given the commercial course as a multigraph operator. Pritchard, the witness said to Mr. MacNeil, was hardly in a fully normal condition owing to his wounds, and shell shock. There is a private fund at the disposal of the department which may be used to carry a man in straightened circumstances, until he is receiving pay and allowances.