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WFA secure Pension Record Card collection - news flash

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Phil Tomaselli

Begs the question, why did TNA turn it down? But since I once submitted an FoI request to them asking for (a) details of everything they'd been offered and refused in the previous two years and for a copy of their guidlines for what should be preserved and was told that neither actually existed - don't waste your time asking.

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johntaylor

Like everyone else, I can't wait to get my hands on these. Is there any indication when they will be available? Apologies if I missed this in the discussion.

All the best, John

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David Tattersfield

Hi John

We have announced on our website and via a Press Release that we will be able to offer manual lookups of the records (for which we will have to make a charge) in the near future. I expect that we will be able to do this early in the New Year. Please watch out for a further announcement on our website or via the WFA's eNewsletter.

Regards

David

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Griffner

If I understand right, these records survived the wars completely unscathed and contain about a card or a page per person ? Great news ! Can't wait to delve into them.

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lionboxer

So am I right in thinking that these cards will hold sufficient details (exact cause for his pension) that, potentially, would prove a man's right to be added to the CWGC RoH? For example I have a man who died in 1921 from TB who was discharged 18th December 1918 as no longer physically fit etc. but no reason why is given on his SWB roll. He has no other records.

Lionboxer

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David Tattersfield

Provided the man (officers cards are different and provide less detail) survived and received or applied for a pension (or was a fatal casualty and he had next of kin who were entitled to a pension) then there should be a card. Naturally there may be exceptions, but we are as confident as we can be at this stage that the cards are a complete set. I would not like to comment on if these would be accepted by the CWGC as evidence. We intend to make a further announcement in the early new year which will add a bit more detail. Please keep an eye on the WFA web site.

Thanks for your interest.

David

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Justinth

Hi David

Really curious to know whether the records include pensions for soldiers from Scotland and Ireland.

My particular interest is in my wife's great grandfather who was born in Scotland (joined the RAMC), was based in Ireland before the war, invalided out 1915 (family lore says due to effects of a gas attack (hope the cards can confirm this), a 1916 birth certificate has him as an 'army pensioner') and returned to Scotland, moved to Ireland with his Irish born wife sometime after 1919 and died there in 1925 (County Cork).

I have read elsewhere that after partition an office was maintained by the British Government in Dublin to pay/make assessments for war pensions for soldiers who had fought in the British Army during WW1.

Can't wait for the enquiry service for these records to open.

Thanks

Justin

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John_Hartley

So am I right in thinking that these cards will hold sufficient details (exact cause for his pension) that, potentially, would prove a man's right to be added to the CWGC RoH? For example I have a man who died in 1921 from TB who was discharged 18th December 1918 as no longer physically fit etc. but no reason why is given on his SWB roll. He has no other records.

Lionboxer

Assuming the cards give a medical reason for discharge, I would take the view that as they are "official records", CWGC/MoD will accept them as evidence that links to cause of death on the death certificate. Bear in mind that this is just my assumption but, certainly, the In From the Cold Project would be making that case to them.

John

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David Tattersfield

Hi Justin

Yes, absolutely, these include records of men from Ireland and Scotland. As I say, more detail (and access details) will come soon.

The scenario you paint of your wife's g/grandfather being invalided due to gas is something that should be evidenced from his ledger (but not from his card - this is because the cards of those that survived do not provide this level of detail - unlike the cards for those who were killed). The last example we provide on the press release (see here http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-current-news/pension-records.html ) is something similar to what (hopefully) will be detailed for the example you are talking about.

You are quite right that there is evidence of regional offices being in operation to deal with the administration of these pensions. For example, the region for the North East (including Yorkshire) had its office at 7 Boar Lane, Leeds and for the North West there was an office at Great Duke Street, Stangeways, Manchester. Such other information will (I am sure) slowly come to light as inroads are made into these records.

Thanks for your interest.

David

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Terry_Reeves

In fact there were MoP offices all over the country and papers can be found at TNA relating to cases dealt by them. Applications for a pension by widows are also another important source of information. Whilst these cards are a welcome addition to the researchers armoury, what you really need to prove a death from was service is the copy of the original medical examination papers to prove the link, as indicated by David above. I have seen quite a number of applications for widows pensions for instance, related to TB, where it was shown that the disease was not attributed to war service despite the deceased relative's insistence that it must have been . Gas injuries also remain problematic in that much of the damage caused did not properly manifest itself until long after the war and there is often nothing in a man's service record to substantiate it.

TR

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lionboxer

Terry,

Looking at the example card it states "Att" in the appropriate column. If I'm lucky enough with my man and the card is extant and shows this then it's still not good enough for the CWGC. Surely this is proof enough, in the absence of other pension records, given that these are official documents?

Lionboxer

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David Tattersfield

Lionboxer:

Just to assist you here - the "Att" is (obviously) short for "attributable" - something that you have correctly deduced from the LEDGER on the example we have used - the card that takes you to this record will not provide this level of information (the card will, however, be useful for purposes of positively identifying the person you are looking for via (for example) addresses and regimental numbers).

For those servicemen who survived the key source (for many researchers) will be the ledger and not the card (although the cards can be of interest even if the ledger did not survive).

For those who were killed in the war (whether in combat or disease) the cards are almost as good as the ledgers.

I just wanted to clarify the fact that there are (different sorts of) cards as well as ledgers - all of which provide different details.

Hope this helps. More information to come soon.

David

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Chris_Baker

David, do you have any idea of a date when applications for a manual look-up might begin to be made? Even roughly?

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David Tattersfield

Hi Chris

Announcement soon. Hopefully we will start taking applications in the course of a few weeks, but due to manual nature of process, expectations will have to be managed in terms of turn-around times.

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Simon Birch

Has it been decided how / who / when / where the scanning will be done?

Will it be done professionally or by volunteers - if so are you looking for volunteers?

Simon

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David Tattersfield

Hi Simon

No decisions made in this respect. Volunteers not ruled out but the scale of the resource makes this an unlikely solution at this stage.

David

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JefR

Great News! - an important new source.

I'd be more than happy to pay a premium to obtain my Dad's pension card.

His service record doesn't exist, but I've been able to find out when he joined his battalion at the front, and I know he was in hospital when the Armistice was signed - the missing piece of the jigsaw is the date he was wounded. If the Pension Card showed that date I could piece together the whole of his military career from the battalion war diary.

Yep, I'd pay good money for that!

JefR

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lionboxer

David, forgive me being a bit slow on the up-take (probably seasonal over-indulgences) but I thought the examples on the WFA site were different cards and not ledgers as well. Doh!! So are you saying that there is a complete set of index cards but only a partial set of these ledgers?

Lionboxer

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David Tattersfield

Hi Lionboxer

There are several types of cards which were originally created to (among other things) track/identify ledgers. The various types of cards appear to be complete, but the ledgers are not totally complete. I would prefer not to add any more at this stage as much fuller details will be along shortly.

David

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Seany

Where will the cards and ledgers be viewable?

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lionboxer

Thanks for your patience with me David. We all wait with bated breath for the next revelation!! You are a tease!!

Lionboxer

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Seany

No further news then?

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dannyboy

Does anyone have any further updates on this yet? Checked WFA website & no indication yet as to when they will be available.

Thanks

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eairicbloodaxe

Unfortunately, scanning 6m+ records will probably take a number of years... Even organising manual lookups is likely to be a hefty logistical challenge.

Of course, everything can be speeded up with a judicious application of (lots of) money!

I'm sure the WFA is going as fast as possible.

Regards

Ian

PS - David - back from hols now, will send email as discussed

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KevinBattle

I note that a Grant Application is being made (or considered). This would seem to represent the very core purpose of the Heritage Lottery Fund (if not the WW1 Centenary funding).

Is that the route being taken? Hopefully you will be successful, as this will be a tremendous research resource.

Perhaps you need to publicise about Membership benefits of the WFA!!

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