CEF Soldiers

Rates of Pay

Privates in the CEF during the Great War received $1.10 a day for the time that they were serving. This was significantly lower than the normal pay that a man employed in manual labour would receive, and well below the amount required to provide for a wife and children. To compensate for this, the Canadian Government provided a "Separation Allowance" for men who could prove that they had dependants, normally restricted to a wife or mother where they were the sole wage earner. This separation allowance varied from $20 per month for Privates to $60 per month for senior officers. Even with the separation allowance, the amount of money provided to a soldiers dependants was insufficient, which led to the creation of a "Patriotic Fund", a charity that provided additional money to help tide a family over while their husband or son was overseas. The Patriotic Fund had no fixed schedule. The amounts provided were determined on a case by case basis.

Rank
Basic Pay (per day)
Overseas allowance (per day)
Separation Allowance per month
Major General
$ 20.00
$ 4.00
$ 60.00
General Staff Officer - 1st Grade
$ 10.00
$ 3.00
$ 60.00
General Staff Officer - 2nd Grade
$ 8.00
$ 3.00
$ 60.00
Assistant Director of Medical services
$ 8.00
$ 3.00
$ 60.00
Chief Paymaster
$ 8.00
$ 3.00
$ 60.00
General Staff Officer - 3rd Grade
$ 5.00
$ 3.00
$ 60.00
Divisional Paymaster
$ 5.00
$ 3.00
$ 60.00
ADC to Commander
$ 3.00
$ 3.00
$ 40.00
Brigade Commander
$ 9.00
$ 3.00
$ 60.00
Brigade major
$ 6.00
$ 3.00
$ 60.00
Colonel
$ 6.00
$ 1.50
$ 60.00
Lieutenant-Colonel
$ 5.00
$ 1.25
$ 60.00
Major
$ 4.00
$ 1.00
$ 50.00
Captain
$ 3.00
$ 0.75
$ 40.00
Lieutenant
$ 2.00
$ 0.60
$ 30.00
Paymaster
$ 3.00
$ 0.75
$ 40.00
Quartermaster
$ 3.00
$ 0.75
$ 40.00
Warrant Officer
$ 2.00
$ 0.30
$ 30.00
Quartermaster-Sergeant
$ 1.80
$ 0.20
$ 25.00
Orderly Room Clerk
$ 1.50
$ 0.20
$ 25.00
Squadron, Battery, Company Sergeant-Major
$ 1.60
$ 0.20
$ 25.00
Squadron, Battery, Company Quartermaster Sergeant
$ 1.50
$ 0.20
$ 25.00
Colour Sergeant, staff Sergeant
$ 1.60
$ 0.20
$ 25.00
Sergeant
$ 1.35
$ 0.15
$ 25.00
Corporal
$ 1.10
$ 0.10
$ 20.00
Bombardier or 2nd Corporal
$ 1.05
$ 0.10
$ 20.00
Trumpeter, Bugler, Drummer
$ 1.00
$ 0.10
$ 20.00
Private, Gunner, Driver, Sapper, Batman, Cook
$ 1.00
$ 0.10
$ 20.00

Note: Specialty trades, such as tunnellers or miners, were given a higher rate of pay due to the skills and experience and the inherent danger of their duties.

Source: Official History of the Canadian Forces in the Great War, Volume 1, Appendix 91 (Colonel A Fortescue Duguid)

Reasons for Stoppages of pay

  1. Absent without leave
  2. In hospital for drunkenness
  3. In hospital for self-inflicted wound
  4. In custody for any offence against the Army Act
  5. In custody for drunkenness
  6. In hospital with venereal disease

Source: A Call to Arms (David Love)