Here’s $900 for your 1618 days of service in WW2
Building on yesterday’s post about WW2 compensation, I am going to provide some details about my Gpa Mike’s statement of war service gratuity. Grandpa originally enlisted in the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA), did his basic training at the base in Brantford and then did his light anti-aircraft (LAA) artillery training in Petawawa. After spending 202 days in Canada after his enlistment, Gpa left Canada on 15 March 1942. He would then spend over a year (470 days) in the United Kingdom like so many Canadians, waiting to their call to battle. While in the UK, Gpa took time to visit with his father’s side of the family, which is originally from Edinburgh and surrounding areas, Scotland. Thanks to my cousin Eleanor, we have a photo of Gpa with his cousin, Robin Morrison, taken sometime in 1942 in Isleworth, Middlesex, England.
Right before the outbreak of Operation Husky, or the invasion of Sicily, Gpa was transferred to the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps (RCASC). As a result of this transfer, he spent a brief time in Algiers, Algeria before reaching Sicily. There is a wonderful story that she shared with my Mom and I about the nights being so hot. One evening he awoke to find a scorpion on his bare chest – quite the shock to say the least. From Sicily, Gpa traveled with the RCASC driving an ammunition truck. As the guys made their way up the “boot”, his time in Italy would come to an end in April 1945. Through Germany and France, Gpa and his comrades would participate in the huge humanitarian efforts to help the starving Dutch and would spend VE-Day in the Netherlands. But the time he was discharged due to demobilization in January 1946, Gpa was a Lance Corporal.
So here is the breakdown of Gpa’s compensation for his service.
According the gratuity form, payment is based on “pay periods”, which are 30-day increments. Pay periods are monthly, so my grandfather earned 53 pay periods at $7.50, or said differently the base pay was $0.25. For overseas service, he was paid another $0.25 per day so his 1358 overseas qualifying days paid him another $339.50 on top of his base of $397.50. With his overseas days, there was an additional supplement of $163.73. Gpa Mike’s total pay for 1618 was $900.73. As with his younger brother, this money was paid out to him in instalments spread over 10 months with each payment being $90.07. In addition to this he received a clothing allowance and on February 18, 1948 just over a year after my grandma Betty’s 18th birthday and just before their first wedding anniversary, the Department of Veteran Affairs approved a cheque in the amount of $163.30. This was an allowance for furniture purchased at the Gladstone Hardware and Electric Company, located at 1178 Queen Street West in Toronto.