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Andy Wade

Soldier's Effects - War Gratuity transfer

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Andy Wade

A Great War exhibition currently on display at Cliffe Castle Museum in Keighley (shameless plug) has some documents on display pertaining to Lance-Corporal Arthur Hastings who died September 1, 1914 during an operation on his wounds. His widow Alice had remarried before the War Gratuity was paid out in 1919 and it seems that because Arthur hadn't made a will and that she had remarried, that the War Gratuity would go to her new husband instead of her. I must confess I've never come across this before so thought I'd share it in case anyone was puzzled about the references made to it in the Soldier's Effects records.
I have downloaded the relevant 'Soldier's Effects' for Arthur Hastings and it does indeed refer to a transfer of war gratuity but there's no reason given, but since we also have a copy of the letter sent to his widow we know what it means.
Here's the relevant image cropped from his Soldier's Effects sheet posted here only to illustrate how this appears in the records:

Hastings Soldier's Effects crop for GWF.jpg

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ss002d6252
Posted (edited)

You only see it written in that way on cases where a stamp has not been used (not sure why no stamp was used, it makes no difference to the way the gratuity was calculate etc). Nothing special is meant by the 'transfer', it's just an army accounting usage for moving monies around betwewn internal accounts. If you look at one with a stamp you'll see the same reference (just stamped rather than handwritten).
image.png.a43d2a6694adbd0736904639f7e1710c.png

The war gratuity was paid to the actual beneficiary, they didn't (surprisingly) make it payable to the man of the family/husband. The monies were paid out in a surprisingly equitable and sensible way.

Craig

Edited by ss002d6252

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Andy Wade

Thanks Craig, it did seem rather draconian to pay it to her new husband rather than her. I'll see if I can get hold of a copy of the official letter she was sent because I think there's still a question over what actually happened.

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