A Charity or a Right? Repatriation of disabled ex-servicemen in Western Australia, post WWI
(2011 - continuing)
This project explores the troubled repatriation of disabled ex-servicemen in Western Australia, through a case study of Trooper Frank Bolger who briefly served with the 10th Light Horse in Gallipoli before his discharge as totally incapacitated and unfit for further service. Bolger is typical of many WWI soldiers who were promised much within the rolling recruitment campaigns across Western Australia that drew large numbers of men into the war effort. On their return they were confronted with a downturn of the economy and jobs shortages compounded by the vagaries and inconsistencies of the Repatriation Scheme. Drawing upon a wide range of archival sources, this chapter discusses Bolger and similar cases with a clear focus on the post-WWI repatriation policies and schemes for disabled ex-servicemen in WA, an understudied aspect in the literature on returning soldiers.