Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

At what age did officers retire after WW1 ?


taylov

Recommended Posts

I have been researching a career soldier, 15493 Mech Q.M.S.John David TRITTON of the Royal Engineers who served in India from May 1917 until 1921. He completed his service in the sub-continent as a Lieutenant in the Coast Battalion.

Returning to the UK in 1921 or 1922, he remained with the RE in the Coast Battalion and was promoted to Captain in 1928. He received a MBE in 1935 whilst serving with the Anti-aircraft Searchlight Companies. The London Gazette of 13.9.1935 records that - "Major J.D.Tritton, MBE, Corps of Royal Engineers, having attained the age for retirement is placed on ret. pay."

My research suggests that Tritton was born in 1890 and therefore was just 45 years old. Was that the usual retirement age for an officer who had served in WW1 and who had approx.18 years service in 1935 ?

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Tony

The retirement rules in force in 1914 were that a subaltern or captain was compulsorily retired at 48, but retention after 45 was subject to the approval of the Army Council.

A substantial or brevet major was compulsorily retired at age 50, with certain exceptions for officers commissioned before 1906 who could stay on till 52. A substantial or brevet lieutenant-colonel was compulsorily retired at age 55.

I don't know if this was changed during or after the war but, from the case you quote, it does seem to have changed by 1935.

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you mean substantive, rather than substantial?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know - overweight officers could be made to retire too :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Tony

The retirement rules in force in 1914 were that a subaltern or captain was compulsorily retired at 48, but retention after 45 was subject to the approval of the Army Council.

A substantial or brevet major was compulsorily retired at age 50, with certain exceptions for officers commissioned before 1906 who could stay on till 52. A substantial or brevet lieutenant-colonel was compulsorily retired at age 55.

I don't know if this was changed during or after the war but, from the case you quote, it does seem to have changed by 1935.

Ron

I spent today going through the Army lists and from 1927, when he moved from Greenock down to Brentwood, Tritton is recorded with a "t" against his rank and status - i.e. as a member of the Territorial Army. This is confirmed in the LG of 25.3.27 (page 1964) - "Lt J.D. Tritton RE to be Adjt, and is granted the temp. rank of Capt. in the T.A. (with pay and allces. of a Lt.) whilst holding that appt. 1st March 1927."

I wonder if the fact that he was serving in the T.A. might have affected his move to retirement pay at age 45. It seems he did continue to serve in the TA (on retirement pay) until 1937 when he had to relinquish his commission on account of ill-health (L.G. 2.11.37).

BTW his WW1 Medal Index Card shows no rank below Mech Q.M.S in the R.E. which suggests that he may have had earlier service (before 1917).

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you mean substantive, rather than substantial?

Oops. I really must stop buying low-wattage light bulbs. :lol:

Tony - if his rank as major was only temporary, and his substantive rank was lieutenant, that would explain his retirement at age 45 as mentioned in my earlier post. As Adjutant of a TA unit he would probably have been a Regular officer rather than a purely TA one, but his subsequent promotion might have been as a TA officer.

Incidentally, if his MIC shows only the rank of Mech QMS, he presumably reached that rank whilst still serving at home. He may have been part of a training unit in the UK before going abroad. In any case he would have had to spend at least some time in the UK between joining up and going to France (though in my grandfather's case this was only six weeks).

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oops. I really must stop buying low-wattage light bulbs. :lol:

Tony - if his rank as major was only temporary, and his substantive rank was lieutenant, that would explain his retirement at age 45 as mentioned in my earlier post. As Adjutant of a TA unit he would probably have been a Regular officer rather than a purely TA one, but his subsequent promotion might have been as a TA officer.

Incidentally, if his MIC shows only the rank of Mech QMS, he presumably reached that rank whilst still serving at home. He may have been part of a training unit in the UK before going abroad. In any case he would have had to spend at least some time in the UK between joining up and going to France (though in my grandfather's case this was only six weeks).

Ron

Ron, many thanks for the helpful replies.

Looks like I shall have to make a FOI application to try and get Tritton's records from M.O.D. (He was born in Faversham, Kent in September 1890 and died in Maidstone, Kent 10.11.1960.)

Tony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...