Research on soldier settlement has to be set within the wider history of emigration and immigration. This book examines two parallel but complementary themes: the settlement of British soldiers in the overseas or 'white' dominions, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, between 1915 and 1930. One must place soldier settlement within the larger context of imperial migration prior to 1914 in order to elicit the changes in attitude and policy which occurred after the armistice. The book discusses the changes to Anglo-dominion relations that were consequent upon the incorporation of British ex-service personnel into several overseas soldier settlement programmes, and unravels the responses of the dominion governments to such programmes. For instance, Canadians and Australians complained about the number of ex-imperials who arrived physically unfit and unable to undertake employment of any kind. The First World War made the British government to commit itself to a free passage scheme for its ex-service personnel between 1914 and 1922. The efforts of men such as L. S. Amery who attempted to establish a landed imperial yeomanry overseas is described. Anglicisation was revived in South Africa after the second Anglo-Boer War, and politicisation of the country's soldier settlement was an integral part of the larger debate on British immigration to South Africa. The Australian experience of resettling ex-servicemen on the land after World War I came at a great social and financial cost, and New Zealand's disappointing results demonstrated the nation's vulnerability to outside economic factors.
context. The street
urchin is from the very class that would be recruited into the army as
an adult, and precisely the type who had been found to be physicallyunfit to serve. He is, however, robust and healthy-looking, but, more
than that, he is full of the right kind of sentiment — patriotic
and militaristic. The painting must therefore be read as a reassurance.
Sons of the Empire still existed
, real symptoms
seemed to lead to very unattractive outcomes. The point is not to
dismiss these diagnoses as simple hocus-pocus, but to understand them
in their cultural context and the personalized anxiety they caused.
Irina Sirotkina argues that the Russian diagnosis of neurasthenia was
different from the Western diagnosis in which the rapid pace of industrial life supposedly sapped the individual’s life-force. ‘The archetypal
Russian neurasthenic was hard-working, intelligent, often poor and a
physicallyunfit person, oppressed by a lack of freedom and suffering
pensioners were singled out, and Ottawa insisted that the physicallyunfit be stopped at Canadian ports and deported before they became a
public charge. 107
The SSB emphasised continually that only those ex-imperials selected and
accepted by its overseas office would be eligible for the benefits under
the 1919 Act. 108
If ‘other Imperial ex-Service men
to Haggard in 1916,
asked Premier Lawson of Victoria? ‘Fair and nebulous words, that
is all,’ replied Millen. 82 The onus therefore remained on the states to
decide how many British ex-servicemen they wanted to assist.
But like the Canadians, Australians soon complained about
the number of ex-imperials who arrived physicallyunfit and unable to
undertake employment of any kind. Conversely, reports