Daily Life of Soldiers and Officers


Demobilization and Retirement

Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, most soldiers left the service when their unit was disbanded, usually right after a war. If the demobilized regiment was in Canada the men were generally offered land to encourage them to settle in the colony. Those who wished to were allowed to return to the United Kingdom, it would appear, even though such a right was not granted unconditionally until 1867. Invalid soldiers could claim a small disability pension from the Royal Hospital. It was not unusual, however, to see old blind or amputee soldiers begging in the streets. As for the able-bodied among the demobilized, they could request a pension, which, if granted, was sure to be paltry.