Old 08-25-2017, 09:56 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 48
Default Meaning of "Subsistence" in service records

I'm trying to decipher one of my Great Grandfather's WW1 service records, I've run into one line that I can't make out a word, and am not really sure what the other word is referring to. The last entry below seems to say "Subsistence Indef," though I'm not sure of the second word.

I've seen subsistence relate to wages -- can anyone provide some clarification on this entry? Cheers.

Other entries around, and on this same date, are as follows,

Sep. 19, 1919 -> Sep. 20, 1919 - Toronto, 2nd Det. Canadian Garrison Regt., C.E.F. S.O.S. on transfer to #2 District Depot Part 2
Sep. 20, 1919 - T.O.S. No. 2 Disctrict Depot, Part II
Sep. 20, 1919 - T.O.S. On Transfer from #2 Det. C.G.R. Posted to Cas. Co.
Sep. 20, 1919 - On Command H.Q. M.D.#2.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:01 AM   #2
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First, yes I agree, it looks like "subsistence indef"

Normally "subsistence allowance" means that the person is being paid money to pay for "food" while on leave or not living in barracks.

I've have never seen the term used this way, so I'm not sure what it means.......but my best guess, it may have to do with his medical disability that he was diagnosed with. It possibly could mean he's entitled to a long term allowance because of condition. I would look at his medical records (which should be part of his record package) and see if their is a note about it in their.

Last edited by Temujin : 08-26-2017 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:02 AM   #3
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I think you might find it reads 'Subsistence Indep' which I would take to mean subsistence independent, i.e. can support himself.

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Old 08-26-2017, 12:32 AM   #4
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I think I've solved it, at least to my satisfaction, if not for certain.

The entry coincides with his transfer to On Command H.Q. M.D. No. 2. Military District No. 2 was in Toronto at the time, having been recently married and being from Toronto it seems likely that when he was stationed in Toronto he lived at home rather than in barracks/quarters and thus was entitled to a Subsistence Allowance, at that point, indefinitely. While the term indefinitely makes some sense, it doesn't seem like very good record keeping to use it in a service record. Thanks for the help.

Subsistence Allowance. Soldiers who lived at home rather than in barracks were paid a subsistence to offset the costs associated with the free rations and quarters to which they were entitled. (Guarding Niagara: The Welland Canal Force, 1914-1918)

Last edited by substatica : 08-26-2017 at 12:43 AM.
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