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Remembered Today:

Ancestry "pension" papers


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I've recently been looking for the records of a number of men I know were discharged and received a Silver War Badge. I'd assumed I'd find almost all the sets of papers in the pension set but seemingly not. I'm only finding around 10% of the names. I'm searching just on known service numbers. Is this about par for the course (and most men discharged were not considered for a pension) - or are the Ancestry records still very incomplete?


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No, John, is it about normal. WO364 is not a collection of papers of all men who were pensioned - far from it. The records it contains just happened to have been away from the Arnside St warehouse that burned, and were found at the Ministry of Pensions. The papers of most men who were granted a pension were in the warehouse and 2/3 went up in flames. You might also look at the teensy PIN26 collection which is searchable at TNA as that also has papers to men who were pensioned.

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The records it contains just happened to have been away from the Arnside St warehouse that burned, and were found at the Ministry of Pensions.

Hi Chris, do you know why they might have been elsewhere?

Were all these sevice records, and pension records, just at the warehouse gathering dust, or was there work being done on any of these documents, between 1919-1940?

What about men who were not granted a pension, were their details kept, and stored elsewhere?

Is there a secret store of documents waiting to be discovered? :innocent:

Cheers Mike

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The PINs at the NA have a lot of good info always worth having a look.

PIN 9 contains papers of the War Pensions Committees established under the War Pensions Act, 1921.

These voluntary bodies included representatives of disabled and ex-servicemen, widows and dependants, local authorities, employers, employees and associations. They existed to make recommendations on local administration of war pensions, to hear complaints and to enquire into matters referred to them by the minister. They were empowered to appoint sub-committees and to undertake welfare work. Most of the series dates from the Second World War and after, but there is material on the constitution and function of the committees in the north of Scotland (PIN 9/13) and Sussex (PIN 9/43) going back to the mid 1920s, and material on the' General Purposes Sub-committee of the Plymouth and District Committee (PIN 9/21), which also dates back to the mid 1920s.

PIN 15 contains the registered files of the Ministry of Pensions, established under the War Pensions Act, 1921 and the relevant Royal Warrant (for the army), Order in Council (for the Royal Navy) and Order by His Majesty (for the RAF). It is a very large and comprehensive collection.

Legislation, related authorities to award pensions, appeals, final awards and entitlements are all covered (PIN 15/101-25, 375-84, 387-99, 422-5, 525-91, 652-4, 829-36, 1560-66, and 3914-62), while there is also a report on the work of the Ministry compiled in 1930 (PIN 15/65-70). There is also material on such issues as the administration of medical assessment boards (PIN 15/3-14 and 24-6); the Ministry's own clinics (PIN 15/130-37); local treatment by GPs (PIN 15/138-42); and some specific establishments such as Bellahouston Hospital in Glasgow, into which there was an official inquiry in 1921 (PIN 15/657-62), and St Dunston's (PIN 15/1054-61 and 3195).

The files also deal with the treatment of specific disabilities, injuries and illnesses including tuberculosis (PIN 15/27-32, 47-9, 1062-76, and 1480-89); malaria and other tropical diseases (PIN 15/50-52); neurasthenia (PIN 15/53-8); gas poisoning (PIN 15/126-9); venereal diseases (PIN 15/368-70); self-inflicted wounds (PIN 15/494); lunacy (PIN 15/862-911); and cancer (PIN 15/2034-6). There are also files on different categories of pensions and pensioners such as constant attendance allowances (PIN 15/39-46); amputees (PIN 15/62, 1835-7, and 3372-8); those who declined to have recommended operations (PIN 15/435-7); funeral expenses (PIN 15/1981-9); widows' alternative pensions (PIN 15/85-92); 'unmarried wives' (PIN 15/148-50); children and orphans (PIN 15/216-25 and 610-43); remarried widows (PIN 15/253-62); pensioners in prison (PIN 15/1018-32); suicides (PIN 15/807-11); deserters (PIN 15/145-6); pecuniary needs pensions (PIN 15/2064-117); the facially disfigured (PIN 15/1526); eye injuries (PIN 15/1418-21); and deserted or separated wives (PIN 15/1209-27).

Apart from the practical considerations of payments to British servicemen residing overseas (PIN 15/23 and 672-96), including the condition of those in the Irish Free State (PIN 15/757-8), there are files on pensions awarded to personnel of imperial and other contingents such as the Egyptian Labour Corps (PIN 15/765); West African Frontier Force (PIN 15/1040-44); King's African Rifles (PIN 15/1124-46); Rhodesian and South African units (PIN 15/1422-30 and 1433-41); British West Indies Regiment (PIN 15/1771-84 and 2655-66); Maltese (Active Service) Battalion and Royal Malta Artillery (PIN 15/1814 and 2666); Indian Army Territorial and Auxiliary units (PIN 15/2613); and even secret service agents who worked for British Military Intelligence in German-occupied Belgium (PIN 15/1701-2). Purely British services, of course, are also naturally represented including 'Women's Corps' (PIN 15/418); nurses (PIN 15/478); members of the Mercantile Marine killed or injured whilst under Admiralty orders (PIN 15/1733-50); Reservists of all kinds (PIN 15/205-15); and British casualties of the fighting between Greek and allied forces at Athens in December 1916 (PIN 15/159). There is also material on the Guedella Committee on the Supply of Artificial Limbs in 1919 (PIN 15/63-4).

PIN 26 contains a sample of 22,756 files on individuals awarded (or refused) pensions from all services and from all causes including heart disease, gunshot wounds, pyrexia, malaria and other tropical diseases, rheumatism, and shell shock.

It represents approximately 2 per cent of the pensions awarded in the London Region of the Ministry of Pensions, though this was the largest and most accessible holding and covered the South-east England as a whole under the decentralised system of administration created in May 1919. War Pensions staff selected every fiftieth file, from which the assumption must be that there were originally 1,137,800 million files for the region. One official survey in March 1930 suggested 1.6 million pensions or gratuities had been granted, so that the London Region represented some 60 per cent of the total awards. The series is arranged by type of pension and then alphabetically.

The first files are for all services and all ranks listed in order of date of termination of pension or death (PIN 26/1-203). The remaining files are listed by covering dates (PIN 26/204-22756) and represent army other ranks' disability pensions, some of which are out of alphabetical order (PIN 26/204-16683); navy disability pensions (PIN 26/16684-17178); widows' pensions listed by name of husband (PIN 26/17179-19523); alternative widows' pensions, also listed by name of husband (PIN 26/19524-720); mercantile marine death and disability pensions (PIN 26/19721-820); dependants' pensions, listed by name of dependant (PIN 26/19821-53); other ranks (DM series) (PIN 26/19854-923); officers (DO series) (PIN 26/19924-54); alternative disabled pensions (PIN 26/19955-84); nurses' disability pensions (PIN 26/19984-20286); overseas death and disability pensions (PIN 26/20287-21065); and officers' death and disability pensions (PIN 26/21066-22756).

PIN 38 comprises the records of the Ministry's Disablement Service Branch, primarily those establishments in which artificial limbs were fitted and where the supply, repair and renewal of such appliances took place. Specific establishments covered are Queen Mary's (Roehampton) Hospital (PIN 38/301-21); Dunston Hill Hospital (PIN 38/328-60); Queen Alexandra's Hospital, Cosham (PIN 38/3612-73); Queen Alexandra's Military Hospital (PIN 38/374-91); the Optical Appliance Branch (PIN 38/484); Limb Fitting Centres (PIN 38/404-8); and St David's House, Baling (PIN 38/490), the latter closed for 75 years. There are files on the supply, repair, fitting, inspection, disposal and instruction in the use of artificial limbs (PIN 38/393-403, 409-34, 454-9, 470-78 and 481-2), as well as on the supply of hearing aids (PIN 38/449-52).

PIN 41 contains the papers of the Central Advisory Committee on War Pensions established by the 1921 Act, consisting of representatives of central and local government, ex-servicemen and the local War Pensions Committees. It did not meet between 1928 and the outbreak of the Second World War but was revived in November 1939. Its purpose was to consider any matters referred to it by the minister and at times determined by him. Proceedings from 1921 to 1927 can be found (PIN 41/1).

PIN 45/1-6 are selected payments files for pensions in relation to the Great War, covering the period from 1918 to 1971. They are closed for 75 years.

PIN 56 contains registered files relating to the War Pensions Committees.

There is material on travelling and other expenses (PIN 56/1 and 6-7); the reorganisation of local committee areas between 1921 and 1937 (PIN 56/9-13), with additional material on reorganisation of the London, Scottish and South-western regions between 1921 and 1924 (PIN 56/37-41); the Area Advisory Committee for the Irish Republic, 1923-58 (PIN 56/14-15); the extension of the scheme to both the Isle of Man and Jersey (PIN 56/16-17 and 43); and the constitution of local committees generally (PIN 56/19-36 and 42), including draft circulars sent to county councils in 1916 (PIN 56/18).

PIN 67 contains policy files on war pension payments. These include consideration over a continuous period of time dating back to 1916 and 1917 of such issues as the disposal of the estates of deceased pensioners (PIN 67/2-6); the treatment of pensioners subsequently committed to prison (PIN 67/7-13); and institutionalised psychiatric cases (PIN 67/47-56). There is also material on pension savings schemes from 1936 (PIN 67/14).

PIN 82/1-183 comprises a sample of widows' and dependants' pensions for all services, representing perhaps 8 per cent of pensions awarded. It is arranged in alphabetical order by serviceman's name with details of regiment or ship and cause of death. Each of the files contains about 50 forms.

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