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Scotland and the Scots, 1707-2007

Christian Auer

World War I

101. A Soldier’s Wife in Trouble, 1915

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1At the beginning of the war the Scottish landlords in the Clyde area tried to implement large rent increases which put 7,000 pensioners and families whose men were fighting in France at risk. This brought about the formation of Women’s Housing Associations to resist the increases. By the end of 1915 over 25,000 tenants were refusing to pay rent. The movement of resistance culminated on 17 November 1915 with the massive demonstration and march of thousands of people through the streets of Glasgow. This resulted in the implementation of the 1915 Rent Restriction Act.

2“A Soldier’s Wife in Trouble”, Forward, 4 December 1915

(To the Editor of Forward.)


Dear Sir,

Could you find space in your valuable paper for the following letter, just to give the public another instance of how the factors are treating soldiers’ dependants. We rent a house in 802 Hawthorn Street, which has been in the family for 17 years. The factors have never had any trouble getting their rent, as it was always paid regularly and up to time. We have recently received a registered letter ordering us to leave the house by the 28th November. I went to the factors for an explanation, but they had none to give except that they wanted our house. My mother to whom this cruel letter was sent, has been an invalid for 20 years, 3 of which she has been entirely confined to bed. The factors are not in ignorance of this fact, nor that she is the dependant of an only son, who is at present serving in the Canadian Army, 52nd Battalion, Port Arthur. She has also a grandson serving with the 2nd C. E. F., somewhere in Belgium. I live in the house with my mother, and my husband is also a soldier, having served the country for 13 years previous to being called up with the Reserve. He went through the Boer War, holding medals and bars for same. The factors are also aware of the fact, as they received the rent for this house from the “Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Association” up till March of this year. My mother is a soldier’s widow. My father served 21 years in the Army. He went through the Indian Mutiny, holding the Mutiny and Indian Frontier medals.

I am


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