100 Years Ago: King George V, War Veterans as Employees, Red Cross Penny Bag Collection

The Intelligencer December 6, 1918 (page 1)

George V“His Majesty the King, who, while other thrones are crumbling, retains the love and admiration of his subjects of the British Empire.”

The Intelligencer December 6, 1918 (page 4)

“War Veterans as Employees. One of the largest concerns in Canada has issued the following notice to its foremen in reference to proper treatment of returned soldiers as employees. If all employers realized the truth of its statements there would be fewer remarks about the alleged unreliability of returned soldiers as workmen. This uncertainty is only a phase of short duration and the man who has had sufficient conscience to offer his life for the principles for which the British Empire is at war, is pretty sure to have enough conscience to do this work faithfully. Here is the notice:

‘How do you treat a returned soldier working under you? Do you consider him as an ordinary workman, let him shift for himself and look on his mistakes only as you would an ordinary employee? If so you are assuming that he is in all respects just a normal man and should be able to do the same work as quickly and as well as the average employee. If you do, you are wrong.

Most returned soldiers’ constitutions are broken down. They have been gassed, shell shocked, and tortured by wounds, and consequently, are highly strung and nervous, and will be for some time to come. What they make of themselves depends upon you. If one of these men makes a mistake and is roughly reprimanded, he is likely to shake like a leaf, get excited, etc., and be very difficult to make anything of; this is wrong. The greatest tact, care and attention that you can give these men in helping them to become useful employees is what the Company expects, and moreover,—YOU OWE IT TO THEM.

There are bound to be some exceptions, and some men will fail to make good. The success or failure of the majority, however, depends on you, and it is your privilege to help your country in this national crisis by endeavoring to make useful citizens out of the nerve-shattered men that are commencing to come back to us from the Front.”

The Intelligencer December 6, 1918 (page 6)

“Red Cross Penny Bag Collection Oct. Nov. Owing to the severe epidemic of influenza which visited our city in October it was deemed wise to omit the collection of the pennies for that month and collect for the two months at the end of November. While not double our monthly amount, still the collection just completed is a considerable increase on any individual month of the year, and we are very grateful for the added amount, as the money is still badly needed. …

Our heartfelt thanksgiving goes out at the prospect of peace which has come to us during the past month, and we hope that before long the work of the penny bags may cease. …

The Red Cross Society is still making needed hospital supplies, still doing knitting, though not so much as formerly, still sending parcels to the boys and in addition, are now making clothing for the little children, whom this awful war has rendered homeless and destitute. The materials for these things cost much money, and we must do our part to supply it. Won’t you all continue to help by saving your pennies for us, as long as the Red Cross work proves necessary?”