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Wife of Canadian soldier returning to UK after husband joined up. Was this common?


rolt968
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I have found two Scottish wives of Canadian soldiers (who were born in Scotland) who seem to have returned to their families in Scotland after the husbands joined up.

 

How common was this?

 

(One was recently married when she went to Canada in 1911. The other seems to have gone to Canada to be married.)

 

Also: It is possible that one travelled via the USA. At least until the loss of the Lusitania, was this viewed as a safer route?

 

RM

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I'm not sure how common it was, but this was also the case with my great, great uncle and his wife, both born in Dundee.

 

They were married in Dundee on 21st May 1913 (a Wednesday at their home address), and travelled to Montreal on the "Saturnia" of the Donaldson Line from Glasgow 3days later.

 

(Some kind of special license)??

 

I have never found the reason for this, although maybe it was a common occurence of the time for those who emigrated, (I'm sure i read than in the decade prior to the Great War 10,000 young men from Dundee emigrated to Canada, although i may be misremembering the number).

 

After joining the CEF in 1916, my great, great uncle's papers show the seperation allowance being sent back to his wife at their previous Dundee address.

 

I am unsure if she actually DID return in that intervening period, as I can find no record of it, but she did return at some point as my mother and my grandmother looked after her as an old woman in Dundee circa 1955, just prior to  her death in DRI.

 

Maybe a few more personal anecdotes will firm up or dispel your suspicion whether this is very common or not; or maybe someone is particularly knowledgable on the subject!

 

 Good luck!  :)

 

 

 

 

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Thank you. That is interesting. I should have said that both husbands were killed and the widows did not return to Canada, at least not permanently.

 

One husband was a rancher. The other was running a hardware store in Cobalt (a mining town). I'm not sure if the wife actually lived in Cobalt.

 

I suppose it must have been a very lonely prospect if the wife had not been in the area for very long and returning to Scotland would give the prospect of meeting her husband when he was on leave.

RM

 

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Hello again,

 

Yes, my relative returned alive to Canada, but with a fractured humerous following a sniper wound in August 1918.

 

Replying has given me the opportunity to correct an error in my first post on the thread.

 

The figure of 10,000 I had in my head was correct, but this applied to men, women and children who emigrated to the colonies from Dundee and it's surrounding areas during the years 1906-1912; around 45% of them were thought to have settled in Canada.

 

So, apologies to the forum for posting inaccurate data.

 

I don't have a link to post right now but the work that Gary Thomson has done with regard to the "Dundee Canadians Project" is easily found via Google. As a fairly new user to the forum, apologies if this is already well known within the posting community, I have yet to see it referred to here.

 

Many Regards.

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One of the uniforms in my collection is that of CSM John Valentine Robertson who served with the 42nd Battalion CEF (Royal Highlanders of Canada).  He arrived in England June 1915, and his wife Mabel followed him to the UK in July 1915.  Mabel is listed at various addresses on the South Coast and Scotland during the war years.  Her husband was an electrical engineer prior to the war, and I sense that the couple had significant means.  In the meantime, CSM Robertson served in France Oct 1915 to Feb 1916.  During the night of 19-20 January he received a shrapnel wound to the right eye.  The eye had to be removed, and he was fitted with a glass eye.  Robertson served in staff suties for the balance of the war in England and Canada.  Photo of uniform is below. Hope this may be of interest.

 

20170612_154902.jpg.ecbe6407a5ebee3c5b8f882c3c5b4ab2.jpg

 

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The transport links between the East coast of Canada and Upper Canada aren’t great. It can be easier to drop into the US and travel to New York where there would also be more choice in trans Atlantic crossings. 

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18 hours ago, gmac101 said:

The transport links between the East coast of Canada and Upper Canada aren’t great. It can be easier to drop into the US and travel to New York where there would also be more choice in trans Atlantic crossings. 

Thank you. That had not occurred to me.

 

Also thank you to all contributors so far.

RM

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