Convalescent Comrades: The 1935 Siege of Winnipeg’s Deer Lodge Hospital


  • David Thompson


The crisis engendered by the 1935 siege of Winnipeg’s Deer Lodge Hospital, and the government austerity that provoked it, offers an opportunity to reconsider Ottawa’s treatment of unemployed war pensioners during the Great Depression. Disabled war survivors and their pensioner associations were protagonists of the “second battle,” and focusing on their struggles contributes to the growing field of Canadian disability / labour history. Collective protest, which combined class, rank, disability, ethnicity, and gender discontents, served to radicalize some of Canada’s heroes. The ten-week occupation of the Deer Lodge Hospital challenges conventional portrayals of the supposedly conservative and exclusionary politics of Great War veterans. 

Author Biography

David Thompson

David Thompson is an independent researcher who recently held a Social Science and Humanities Research Council-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Ottawa.