The federal government’s plans for the distribution of pensions to soldiers and their dependents were not well developed in the early years of the war. Private insurance companies were also wary about getting involved in this type of venture, as they lacked a clear understanding of the extent of the risk. This left many women at home with uncertainty about how they would get by should their husband be disabled or killed overseas, especially if they were raising children. Some municipalities decided to take such matters into their own hands and make sure that everyone was cared for at a very local level. On May 5, 1915, the town of Stratford in the neighbouring county of Perth voted to create a debenture fund of $10,000 out of the town’s budget in order to aid the families of men who had enlisted, should assistance be needed. The vote was unanimous, and speaks to the strong sense of duty locals felt towards those who were personally sacrificing for the war effort.
Waterloo Chronicle, May 13, 1915.