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AndyJohnson

Debit Balance on Soldier's Efects

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AndyJohnson

Hi

I've come across a few entries on Soldier's Effects where there is no outstanding pay to disburse as the records says Debtor Balance - ie the soldier owed the army!

 

1. How did this happen - were the army willing in to 'advance' a man some money?

2. Were the next-of-kin expected to reimburse the army?

 

Tipton man Joseph Perry 'owed' the army £7/5/9d - quite a sum. The entry says "Rel inf of Dr bal 17/04/1918" ie Relative informed of Debtor balance.

Was that just telling the next-of-kin that there would be no money coming to them, or would the army expect to be repaid?

 

He's on my website at: https://www.tiptonremembers.net/index.php/perry-joseph

 

regards

Andy

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Edited by AndyJohnson

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1. How did this happen - were the army willing in to 'advance' a man some money?

It's quite common to see - for all the work I've done on the war gratuity etc as to how someone owed money to the army is not something I've been able to get to the bottom of as they usually paid in arrears. It would need a knowledge of army pay accounting.

 

Quote

2. Were the next-of-kin expected to reimburse the army?

When it came to the war gratuity there was some dispute over whether it could be offset against debts, the RAF were apparently particularly prone to doing it and they were instructed not to after complaints were raised in parliament.

 

General debts were offset against unpaid wages etc at the point the estate was dealt with by the army but once paid there was no recourse to recover from relatives and it was written off as a bad debt. The effects register notes things for future reference and I would expect that any monies which later came to light (it was common for transactions to be processed months later) would be offset against any debt already written off.

 

Craig

 

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corisande

My guess would be that a death date was , as it says, "presumed for official purposes", and that the army had continued to pay him until a death date was presumed.

 

for example he may have been missing, but might have been a pow.

 

I have had examples in Ireland of missing soldiers eventually declared dead months later. Then there is messy correspondence with his family to get them to repay it

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23 minutes ago, corisande said:

My guess would be that a death date was , as it says, "presumed for official purposes", and that the army had continued to pay him until a death date was presumed.

 

for example he may have been missing, but might have been a pow.

 

I have had examples in Ireland of missing soldiers eventually declared dead months later. Then there is messy correspondence with his family to get them to repay it

That may well be the case and would neatly explain it - so far it's a rabbit hole I've not ventured down (I suspect my copies of FSR part 2 and the Army Financial Accounting booklets would have something).

 

Craig

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DavidOwen

I have seen an example of a (Canadian) officer being advanced salary, but as he survived the war the army pay folks sorted it all out in the end. They ended up owing him.

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ss002d6252

Having looked through some of the documents I have it appears that the army were far more generous than I thought regarding advancements of certain allowances.


Craig

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PRC

I've been trying to track down the two instances I've come across of this over the years but have drawn a blank for the time being.

 

From memory the first owed money for army issued equipment lost \ damaged \ destroyed and the soldier was deemed negligent.

The second was where the soldier concerned was tardy in notifying the death of a dependant child and so the allowance was overpaid.

 

In both instances the Army Register of Soldiers effects shows the balance as written off post death.

 

Sadly a trawl through local papers will quickly bring up court cases of soldiers selling their blankets and fraudulent claims for dependants allowances. Thats not to impugn this particular soldier but to just throw into the ring some other reasons why a mans account might be overdrawn.

 

It's a different conflict but a relative of mine did his National Service in the Korean War. Staggering into the tent in a drunken state he knocked over the parafin heater causing a fire that destroyed everything and left his squad with little more than the clothes they were sleeping in and him in hospital. As a small child we were all told he got his burns in the war. It was only later when I working with him and one of his brothers that I was told the real story in the context of "he's always working and has got no money because he's still paying for that b****y tent!"

 

Cheers,

Peter

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AndyJohnson

Hi gents

thanks for the input, looks like one of those questions where there's no specific answer, just lost in the mists of time!
I've seen a few of these cases with a Debit balance, but never any where it was deducted from the War Gratuity, I have seen instances where there were a few entries in the outstanding pay/allowances and the Debit one has been offset against the Credits. 

Again, I've never seen an instance where there was a suggestion of next of kin being asked for the money.

regards

Andy

PS Terry, I like your tent story!

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1 hour ago, AndyJohnson said:

Hi gents

thanks for the input, looks like one of those questions where there's no specific answer, just lost in the mists of time!
I've seen a few of these cases with a Debit balance, but never any where it was deducted from the War Gratuity, I have seen instances where there were a few entries in the outstanding pay/allowances and the Debit one has been offset against the Credits. 

Again, I've never seen an instance where there was a suggestion of next of kin being asked for the money.

regards

Andy

PS Terry, I like your tent story!

They were specifically told not to touch the war gratuity - it was far too politically sensitive as it was without risking it (they got enough grief for retrospectively deciding that the service gratuity would be offset).

 

Craig

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