Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson’s research seeks to assess the post-war rehabilitation of disabled British Great War veterans who resided in territories of the British Empire; these ex-servicemen were labelled by the British Government as ‘Imperial Pensioners’. The Ministry of Pensions, funded by the British Treasury, remained responsible throughout the inter-war period for providing ‘Imperial Pensioners’ with medical assessments, medical treatment, a weekly monetary pension, and employment training

The funding provided by the Canada-UK Foundation was fundamental in allowing Michael to scope out and access the relevant records to allow him to write up a competitive research proposal for a larger thirty-six-month post-doctoral Fellowship which has been submitted to leading national funding bodies such as the Wellcome Centre and the Leverhulme Trust.

In November 2016, he conducted a week-long research trip to the National Archives in Kew, London. Analysis of these records allowed him to discover that Canada hosted the largest community of ‘Imperial Pensioners’ in the British Empire whose rehabilitation in the country continued to cost the British Treasury over £500,000 a year during the inter-war period. In March 2017, he conducted a week-long research trip to the Archives of Ontario with his travel funding. He was able to access a variety of research resources including the psychiatric case files of former patients of the Queen Street Mental Health Care Centre. Which allowed him to track down former Great War veterans who were under treatment at the facility in the aftermath of the Armistice. His study was the very first study to research the role of the Ministry of Pensions outside of Britain, and his post-doc project aims to be the first study of the department’s work beyond the United Kingdom.