Employment taken up by returning soldiers in WW1

Many returning soldiers were suffering from gas poisoning, shrapnel wounds, emotional traumas. This prevented many of them from taking up regular jobs even if they were available (which they were not as the country was going through a recession and nearly bankrupt because of the war)
The days they were feeling able they took up employment working for themselves such as salesmen when they could work their own hours. My grandfather James Burns decided to sell cleaning equipment door to door and had to get a pedlars licence or certificate as shown in the photo. This was applied for via local government offices in Newcastle.
He sold dusters, polish, sweeping brushes, cleaning materials anything that would fit into a suitcase. he walked the streets knocking on doors in all weathers just to make a few shillings.

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