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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Fight or Pay

Soldiers’ Families in the Great War

The First World War is remembered largely for the immense sacrifice in life and limb of Canadian soldiers. In Fight or Pay, Desmond Morton turns his eye to the stories of those who paid in lieu of fighting – the wives, mothers, and families left behind when soldiers went to war. A pan-Canadian story, Fight or Pay brings to light the lives of thousands of valiant women whose sacrifices have been overlooked in previous histories. It is an incisive and honest look at the beginnings of a social welfare system that Canadians have come to think of as intrinsic to citizenship.

Table of Contents


1 War and Families

2 Pay and Allowances

3 The Patriotic Fund

4 Choices and Responsibilities

5 Homecomings

6 Grumbling and Complaining

7 Victory for Whom?

8 Never Again





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