Talking About Coming Home: Conversations with Active History

Posted by Jessica Meyer


Over the next few weeks, the Active History blog will be publishing series of four posts exploring ‘how disabled Canadian ex-service people of the Great War engaged the pension system‘. Drawing on the Canadian pension records digitized by the Through Veterans Eyes project at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS), Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, these posts promise to speak to many of the questions that we are looking at here at Men, Women and Care using the British pension records collected in PIN 26.  While the scale of our project is somewhat smaller than digitization of over 200,000 individual records undertaken by Through Veterans Eyes, much of what we are examining relates to the themes of invisible trauma, gender norms and racial categorization that the Active History posts will be discussing. In collaboration with Active History, therefore, this blog will post a series of reflective responses, drawing on the material we are exploring in PIN 26 to provide further insight into these subjects both in the context of the British empire and across nations. These posts will enable us to consider variations in language, in medical cultures, in gender and race relations as they relate to the provision and administration of pensions in the aftermath of the First World War. In doing so, we hope to further ‘demonstrate the utility of the pension records’ to our understanding of social history in the first half of the twentieth century comparatively and transnationally.