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Recruiting Sergeants

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Guest shug2213

I'm interested in recruiting sergeants during the first months of war. Can anyone confirm the rate given to the recruiting sergeant per recruit? In 'Boy Soldiers of the Great War' the figure of two shillings and sixpence is given?

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Black Sapper

I was under the impression that the recruit himself was paid 2 shillings & 9 pence at his attestation, at least that seems to have been the figure in December 1915?

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clive_hughes

Under the 1912 Recruiting Regulations any person, military or civilian, who delivered an intending recruit to the Army was entitled to a bounty. There were permanent recruiting staff; Pensioner sergeants, and civilian recruiting agents amongst others who might qualify for this money if they personally dealt with the recruit and no-one else claimed it (even Labour Exchange staff initially qualified if they sent an unemployed man off to be enlisted, until February 1915). The clerks assisting in the recruiting office could also claim a share in that event.

The sums varied by branch of service: in 1914 Artillery, RE, Guardsmen, and ASC (Mechanised Transport branch) were worth 5 shillings.

Infantry, most cavalry, RFC, RAMC, AOC, and other branches of the ASC were worth 2 shillings & 6 pence: unless enlisted at an "outstation" away from the regimental or recruiting district headquarters, when the sum was 4 shillings.

A few of the coloured colonial regiments paid up to £1.

Best fee was for choice specimens for the Household Cavalry at up to £3 at their CO's discretion.

On the other hand, Special Reservists were worth just 1 shilling and 6 pence.

No bounties paid in the event of fraudulent enlistment, Boy service entrants under 17 years, transfers to the Regular Army from the Special Reserve, and a few other categories.

Source: War Office, Royal Warrant for the Pay, Appointment, Promotion and Non-Effective Pay of the Army 1914, Section XIII, Articles 1260 - 1264.

These Regular/SR bounties remained in force throughout the voluntary recruiting period and emerged again after the War. When the New Armies were raised in 1914, however, the flood of recruits persuaded the authorities to lower the reward for enlisting "Duration" men of all kinds to 1 shilling in October 1914.

Things were also tightened up during the Derby Scheme from October 1915, with no reward paid for handling men who attested under the Scheme after being sent to recruiting offices by the door-to-door canvassers, or who attested after being "Grouped". By May 1916 rewards were only paid if a man enlisted voluntarily in advance of his call-up. These were so few that one civilian agent resigned in mid-January 1916 claiming that his salary alone (some 24 shillings weekly, apparently matching that of a Recruiting Sergeant) was insufficient to live on without enough additional bounty benefits.

The pay & allowances received by the recruit himself is a different issue; as is the payment made to doctors for his medical examination.

Clive

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pehrt

Thank you for this information.

I am researching a soldier who joined in 1905. What regulations were in force at that time?

The Regimental record says he was over 18 years when he joined, but Church records say he was under 17 years. Is it possible that the recruiting sergeant encouraged him to lie about his age to get in as a full soldier or at least did not make sure he told the truth?

Thanks for any help

Pehr Thermaenius

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clive_hughes

Hello pehrt,

Not sure about the exact bounties on offer in 1905; but insofar as Regular (12-year) contract soldiers were concerned, there was probably little difference to the situation in 1914-15.  No birth certificate or parental consent was required (unless Boy service was involved), as the cost of these official pieces of paper deterred lower working-class parents from acquiring them.  The late Victorian Army realised this and so didn't ask for them. An intending recruit only had to look as if he was the "apparent age" he stated (and the phrase appears in the official paperwork of enlistment).  If the examining doctor couldn't square a young candidate with the official standards of physique, that was a different matter; although even then by what was termed "special permission to enlist", some were passed if there was hope they would quickly develop the required height, chest measurement etc.   

 

I'm sure that on occasions even pre-war, the recruiting staff either winked at a false age or otherwise encouraged untruths.  They could wash their hands of the consequences because proofs of age were not usually produced.  I have seen a WW1 file of an (over-age) recruit in which he happily listed his dependent children and exact ages (here they DID have to produce certificates) which if taken at face value meant he had married and fathered his first child at the age of 9... yet nobody along the line raised any query about this nonsense.  

 

Clive 

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Sergio

Were Recruiting Sergeants paid per man in WW1  ?

 

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clive_hughes

Hi Sergio,

See my 2013 post above - if a Recruiting Sergeant was in effect the initial person who came into contact with a potential recruit, and brought him to the recruiting office he would indeed have qualified for part or all of the bounty payment.  Note, not all recruiters were Sergeants (or even in the Armed Forces), and even the office clerks might have claimed their cut of the amount. 

 

Once compulsory service had come into force in 1916, only certain types of recruit would have attracted a bounty.  

 

Clive

 

 

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