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Widow's Pension - "Noted for Novel"


Matlock1418
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The problem with the legal amendment side is that the legislation was changing regularly so I don't think it's that side - my gut feeling is that it will turn to being one of the cases where the pension was calculated by one of the alternative schemes which was in place but hopefully some sort of answer can be determined.


Thanks to David for the examples to get started with. The 'type' of cards used is something I'd vaguely wondered about in the past but I've not tried to tie them in to any specific types of cases other than they seem to have evolved over time (as did the legislation underpinning changes to the pension scheme) so whether or not there was a specific purpose or just an evolution I don't know.

 

Craig

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The annotation is in each case appears to be in a different script or type to the remainder of the card. In one case (Jefferies above), the typing is over the top of a 1917 red entry. To me this indicates that the cards were subjected to a later trawl at the end of or after the war. I have tried searching for an additional pension that might have been considered at that time; a 'Novel Pension', as it might be that those so annotated were shortlisted for its receipt. But no luck.

Acknown

Edited by Acknown
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8 minutes ago, Acknown said:

The annotation is in each case appears to be in a different script or type to the remainder of the card. In one case (Jefferies above), the typing is over the top of a 1917 red entry. To me this indicates that the cards were subjected to a later trawl at the end of or after the war. I have tried searching for an additional pension that might have been considered at that time; a 'Novel Pension', as it might be that those so annotated were shortlisted for its receipt. But no luck.

Acknown

That is exactly what I think happened - at some point in time the cards were updated with the annotation after they had already been created. As a guess I'm thinking towards the early 1920's when there was a lot of additional work done to get awards finalised and up to date but again, it's just a working theory,


Craig

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19 minutes ago, David Tattersfield said:

here's a group of them. Having examined these, the occurrence of this phrase is far more prevalent than I realised. In fact, this may appear in the majority of the examples I've looked at. So turning the question on its head - why is the phrase NOT appearing on some cards? 

 

Most of these are cards for men with children, but not all.

 

ALL of the cards are of the same type. I thought previously the use of the TYPE of cards was random but perhaps not

The OP Soldier & Widow had two children

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6 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

The 'type' of cards used is something I'd vaguely wondered about in the past but I've not tried to tie them in to any specific types of cases other than they seem to have evolved over time (as did the legislation underpinning changes to the pension scheme) so whether or not there was a specific purpose or just an evolution I don't know.

 

 

Yes, but given the cards here date from the entire period of the war, I'm not certain that the type of card 'evolved' (ie didn't become obsolete).  

 

An idea would be to see if applications were made for the 'alternative' pension that was available, something that Acknown has suggested. Some do have "APW" references but by no means all, so this is possibly another 'dead end'. 

 

The warmest lead at this stage seems to be that these are all the same type of card. 

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26 minutes ago, Acknown said:

The annotation is in each case appears to be in a different script or type to the remainder of the card. In one case (Jefferies above), the typing is over the top of a 1917 red entry. To me this indicates that the cards were subjected to a later trawl at the end of or after the war.

Agreed, that was my reading of my card, however

In addition to: 

"increase pension by 2/6 [2s/6d] a week with effect from 4.1.17 in respect of widow's  age" that I revealed

- I could have, and should have, added "Widow infd 3/3/17" and mentioned it was in a different hand and in red ink [sorry to all by the general anonymity being used for the casualty/widow which was the start for my OP enquiry from my POI] so seems a wartime activity and onwards, and not just a later trawl after the war.  There is a W.P. No #####/17 above also in read ink so thinks this cross refers. David and Craig will note this no doubt.

15 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

That is exactly what I think happened - at some point in time the cards were updated with the annotation after they had already been created. As a guess I'm thinking towards the early 1920's when there was a lot of additional work done to get awards finalised and up to date but again, it's just a working theory,

As above

15 minutes ago, David Tattersfield said:

the cards here date from the entire period of the war

Likewise my POI PC was started 1915 and the amendment in 1917 with a 1920s annotation to an as yet unlocated 11/APW/M/#### ledger = David and Craig will note this no doubt.

 

Thanks to all for all the interest shown and the useful posts in the thread.

 

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Just some musings on this,

In my day working for the Pension Service they had the 'Complex Sections' who would deal with cases that were not straightforward and needed someone to spend some time dealing with the calculations. 

So far, as far as I can see - based on the notes made on the cards - almost all of the cases where N/N, N/S, or Noted for Novel are those where there was not a straightforward calculation and/or there were some, out of the ordinary, intervening events.

For example,
https://www.westernfrontassociation.com:2061/image/368/669479434 - Children placed with a guardian
https://www.westernfrontassociation.com:2061/image/368/669479434 - Widow imprisoned

These notes are typically added in red pen to make the decision clear.

I think that perhaps the Widows Alternative Pension Branch of the Widows Department had their own version of the 'complex' team and the 'Novel' team dealt were these (N/S - Novel Section ?). If one looks at the reference numbers on the cards you see those which refer to the various times the cases were swapped between areas and teams of clerks (The references typically being written in a little box).

#19409 Reilly is a case in point for this renumbering. As can be see the case was 1/WR/803 , WAE525 (probably Widow – and then some sort of further sub-split & sequential numbering). The most interesting part however is the further code written on the bottom of the card – NN2103

a.png

Clearly not every card has this but nor, for example, do all cards always show the reference numbers for regional changes. This may be indicative that the records where dealt with by a separate team. It is  a possible lead.

The search goes on.

Craig

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19 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

In my day working for the Pension Service they had the 'Complex Sections' who would deal with cases that were not straightforward and needed someone to spend some time dealing with the calculations. 

So far, as far as I can see - based on the notes made on the cards - almost all of the cases where N/N, N/S, or Noted for Novel are those where there was not a straightforward calculation and/or there were some, out of the ordinary, intervening events.

 

19 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

Children placed with a guardian

 

19 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

Widow imprisoned

19 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

I think that perhaps the Widows Alternative Pension Branch of the Widows Department had their own version of the 'complex' team and the 'Novel' team dealt were these (N/S - Novel Section ?).

 

Ah Craig, Thanks - your knowledge background is revealing itself, and very handy it would seem.

Seems very plausible, especially as 'novel' is often used for an unusual event/practice etc. - not straightforward/extraordinary etc. = a forerunner to a 'complex' section it might seem.

 

The two examples you cited certainly seem novel = and possible candidates for 'novel'

 

Now back to my starting point ... from the case of the OP Soldier/Widow

  • Firstly I previously indicated there was an adjustment in 1917 a due to the widow's age [at age 35 it would appear] Post #24 - whether considered standard ort novel is not yet determined, but ...

I also indicated that they had two children. Post #29

  • Secondly one of these children died age 5 (i.e. before the 16 year limit for child payments) in 1918 - so an adjustment would have also been applicable I believe = perhaps also 'novel'

The second child lived beyond 16 years old so presumably further adjustment would have had to be made for this and for the rest of the widow's life (including any standard adjustments, eg inflation) - though I think the 'novel' would probably have worked its way out by then (unless further 'novel' adjustments for further increases in age and other reasons - those 'novel reasons still seem a further topic for a related enquiry)

 

'Novel' is certainly looking very like the later 'complex' scenario but the scope and topics/reasons for 'novel' still seem a little partial

 

And, who, what and where these 'novel' cases were calculated/determined is thus obviously another further subject in need of more enquiry - I'm thinking probably in the same offices but just a different location/floor - you get the idea, rather than a different geographical location.  But who knows?

The search goes on ...

 

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33 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

And, who, what and where these 'novel' cases were calculated/determined is thus obviously another further subject in need of more enquiry - I'm thinking probably in the same offices but just a different location/floor - you get the idea, rather than a different geographical location.  But who knows?

 

The depends on the timing somewhat. Without pulling out my notes etc...

Until the early 1920's the widows cases were dealt with in London by 'W' branch. The cases were then dished out to the regions but the 'HQ' in London retained many functions of a specialist nature (appeals, disputes etc) so I suspect that the difficult cases may have remained there although it is not yet fully clear. Alternative Pensions did have their own branch 'A.P.' for which the work was dished out to the regions  at some point in the early 1920's and, as far as I'm aware, they used the same system of sending things back to the HQ. On this basis I think the complex cases may have been retained centrally but it has to be remembered that we only see part of the system and the rest needs pieced back together. The actual calculation and surviving records may not have been directly related in any case, in that the same parties may not have completed each of the surviving record sets (I have some further evidence on this side).

Of course, the regions didn't last for many years and by the late 1920's they had gone back to one processing office in Scotland and one in London at Acton (with HQ functions dotted around the London area).

The cards (the new release) as far as I can figure out would have been retained in London and may have been used as the central index (as far as I can see they probably operated similar to other contemporary offices which used a card index and a set of ledgers to record correspondence in and out). The Pension Issue Office (P.I.O.  / I.O.)  was also retained in London. This constant change and re-organisation of the MoP can be seen with the varying reference numbers across the different pension types (There were at least 3 different types, plus sub-sets, used before they even got the regional numbering).
 

Quote

The search goes on ...

So it does.

I may well write something up for StandTo! at some point (although there's probably enough for multiple articles).

 

Craig

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In support of these cards being retained centrally as an index are notes like this to indicate the case file has been moved between regions.

image.png

and

image.png

 

Craig

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58 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

In support of these cards being retained centrally as an index are notes like this to indicate the case file has been moved between regions.

image.png

and

image.png

Looking at your examples I note "Region 11" which I think included London (also in your first example)

 

I would comment the unnamed individual(who set off this thread) - soldier/widow's file was marked on the WFA Pension Ledger as 11/A.P.W./#### [but very few details compared to the PC] and on the WFA Pension Card "11/W/#####" [same as PL] and "11/APW/M/####" even though to my knowledge he and/or she were not, at any time, living in London. 

The rear of the PC indicates "11/W/##### Awards file destroyed" and there is also the repetition from the front of "11/APW/M/####" and also "N/T", some initials and the date "10/8/65" There is also a further possible reference, #####/17 seeming possibly from 1917 [Craig you already have the link to this specific widow's Ledger and PC]

 

Yet another mystery coded inscription "N/T" = ??? = Now Transferred??? or Novel Team ???

 

Craig has already done much work here so already many thanks to him, and to others contributing to this thread :-)  :-)

 

Looks like there was possibly another Ledger, for Region 11 and that it has gone missing, to date [certainly the one with and/or 11/A.P.W./M/#### entry seems 'walkabout' in my opinion] = Would probably be very useful if someone could find it     

(and that's not just aimed at you Craig - I'm looking in my usual ham-fisted way too - you'll probably put me straight yet again!)

Edited by Matlock1418
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59 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

Looks like there was possibly another Ledger, for Region 11 and that it has gone missing, to date [certainly the one with and/or 11/A.P.W./M/#### entry seems 'walkabout' in my opinion] = Would probably be very useful if someone could find it     

A large number of  Region 11's ledgers have been destroyed/weeded (or at least not with files that the WFA have).

59 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

The rear of the PC indicates "11/W/##### Awards file destroyed

A lot of the cards seems to have that - suggests that they destroyed files as soon as they were happy they weren't needed any more.

59 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

There is also a further possible reference, #####/17 seeming possibly from 1917

I have seen a few of these and I suspect that may be the case.

59 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

even though to my knowledge he and/or she were not, at any time, living in London. 

I have to say that in all the cases I've dealt with the region codes have been spot on. Region 11 covered the whole SE + London, not just London (London was to be it's own region but, in the end, it was not utilised as an individual region)
image.png

59 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

Yet another mystery coded inscription "N/T" = ??? = Now Transferred??? or Novel Team ???

At the moment I assume similar but...

Craig

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24 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

I have to say that in all the cases I've dealt with the region codes have been spot on. Region 11 covered the whole SE + London, not just London (London was to be it's own region but, in the end, it was not utilised as an individual region)

My anonymous example:

Derbyshire [birth for both 1880s] => Birmingham [married/children/widowed 1910-14] => Derbyshire [after widowed 1918] => Birmingham [with one child 1920s] => Derbyshire [at widow's death 1940s] based on my research [so far!]

Edited by Matlock1418
addition to address trail
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  • 1 month later...

The following example has just come to my attention. It is interesting in that the handwriting that wrote 'Noted for Novel' may also have written another bit of detail on the card as well. I wonder, Craig, @ss002d6252  if this supports your theories here?

Image here: 

https://www.fold3.com/image/669082059 and here 

https://www.westernfrontassociation.com:2061/image/669082059

LANE Fold3_Page_1 (23).jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Strange how this hasn't been solved yet and just to add my twopenneth in, here is my Great Grandfather/Grandmothers card, nice and simple, all children were theirs, no complications and still has Noted for Novel. I came looking for answers ha ha!

Brown, George (7824).jpg

Edited by Steve Monk
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10 hours ago, Steve Monk said:

Strange how this hasn't been solved yet and just to add my twopenneth in, here is my Great Grandfather/Grandmothers card, nice and simple, all children were theirs, no complications and still has Noted for Novel. I came looking for answers ha ha!

Steve,

Please remember these cards were not the pension files [which would have been much bigger - sadly most now destroyed] so not a lot of a record and although seemingly many much annotated over time they often were not, or only briefly updated [as in this case the claim was made DEAD after the youngest child seemingly reached 16 in 1930 - but I digress!].

"Noted for Novel" does seems to have a multitude of possible reasons - but I shall explore one here

One of the common reasons for "Noted for Novel" was on a widow's re-marriage, especially if there were children.  Things could get quite complicated.

Don't forget that a re-marrying widow was entitled to a one off re-marriage gratuity and the children would continue to get a pension allowance until 16.

How these gratuities and pension allowances were settled/paid is often complicated [not necessarily to the widow herself and/or in cash!] and thus often the subject of notes on a pension card - usually in red ink, but clearly nothing of that sort marked here. 

However, I think this re-marriage explanation for "Noted for Novel" / 'special treatment' is very possibly valid here.

Not least because from the pension record cards = 

There is another card for George BROWN 7824 and Kate at East View Cottages, Rohenden [sic?] - and yet another for George and a Kate with the surname of COVENEY, at a slightly different address [?] in Thornden Lane, Rolvenden in Kent - this certainly suggests to me a likely re-marriage.

1611357505_BROWNG_7824.jpg.e2bc4e1877dfa3c4412c658781dfd058.jpg

Image courtesy of WFA/Fold3 -with thanks

= You may know the situation better than I do - or it certainly seems worth you exploring.

Good luck with your research.

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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Thank you M, I had not seen this one, and yes Kate married Thomas Alfred Coveney in 1922 and yes they lived in Thornden Lane, Rolvenden Layne. I remember both Kate and Thomas, they both died in the 1960's. Another slight oddity is Kate lived at Lambsland cottages Rolvenden Layne when George was killed and that address appears on the "Send belongings to" form. East View Cottages was where my other Great grandad lived, Sgt Arthur Monk.
Once again, thank you for posting.

Edited by Steve Monk
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  • 5 months later...

Hi

I read a lot of stuff on the forum but this is my first ever post (on any forum) because I really couldn't resist this thread.  I do a lot of research but don't consider myself particularly knowledgeable about a lot of the FWW stuff and find this site can really clear my head.  And answer all my questions.

The 'noted for novel' had been bugging me and so I googled it which bought me here, to this very interesting thread.  So, I thought I would share my findings and see what you any of you thought about it.

I have been looking at the pension records for about 25 men, so it's a short survey.  Noted for novel does not appear on any claims from parents of the soldiers although payment amounts can go up or down. 

  image.png.04a1f49b2c2389f8e09e66c0cbefdc11.png

Man was a special reserve, married before war with three children, missing in 1915 and later marked presumed dead.  I do not know why the widow was not eligible for the grant but she passed away in 1919 (so too late for a grant?) and the pension was paid until the youngest child turned 16 in 1926.  Same form as those above.

image.png.93f2c915b3177f12dfbcceba5265ab17.png

Man special reserve, married before the war, children born during war, killed 1916, pension awarded 1916, widow remarried 1921, pension continued to be paid for children until youngest turned 16.  Same form as above.

image.png.7238411d42ac6e82ca00a64eae259bb0.png

Man enlist into TF, married during the war, daughter dies during war so no surviving children post 1918, widow remarries Jan 1922, does NOT say Noted for Novel.  Same form as above but with a red top.

a: Man - reservist, time expired, 'unmarried wife', one child, two step children.  Re-joins on existing/previous number.  She remarries in 2nd Q 1919 but does that mean they didn't have to pay her the grant?  Does NOT say noted for novel.  Different form entitled Dependant's Pension.

a: Man - married in Canada to British lady, returns to England and joins local TF, no children, widow remarried 3rd Q 1919, dispute with mother over pension payment.  Two forms digitised, no payment information on either.  Does NOT say noted for novel.  Widow not entitled as they married during the war (although this condition was later overturned) and perhaps the mother was not entitled because he had been living abroad and she couldn't prove she was financially dependant on him.

Like you guys before me, I was going down the path of noted for novel meaning that there was something different to the norm or a change in circumstance ie pay the remarriage grant and have to make new/different arrangements for continuing payments for kids.  But then I found one where the widow doesn't remarry but it is still noted for novel.  I thought, as did some of you, this could relate to an increased payment as she aged.  

I have been reading Andrea Hetherington's excellent book and she notes that the separation allowance continued to be paid for 6 months after a man's death, to allow the family to prepare for the lower rates of pension, so perhaps the phrase relate to that changeover especially as, in the section we see the phrase, there is the line "Number for whom S A is paid".  I also thought that perhaps it relates to any kind of investigation into the widow as morally acceptable to continue to receive the pension.

But, in general, I think it is simply, as you have already surmised, that it relates to anything that deviates from the 'norm' of widow and children receive pension until they of age and or die and widow, as mother, is responsible for receiving the payments. 

Also, and this might not be relevant at all, but regarding your points about the type of form, I noticed that this form 

So, I have no actual answers but also a few questions.

Did stepfather rights as a parent take precedence over the mother?   Is this why the phrase in on so many forms?

Do you know why some forms have a big OK stamped on them?

On many of mine, there is a date for notification of death and but often a second date is written underneath in pencil and this date tends to be around the same time the permanent pension is granted.  I understand why for men missing now presumed dead, as there would be two notifications, but why for some others?  Do you think it's just part of the process of checking the man is really dead and the widow is really entitled before the permanent pension is agreed?  Hmm, maybe I just answered my own question. 

 

image.png.3a57971d10c9d173647a4062a8d41267.png

On this one, the widow was married before the war and had three children (one of whom died Dec 1918).  Husband killed April 1918.  She remarried 3rd Q of 1920.  She applied for the Alternate Pension in July 1920 (so the same 3 month period as her remarriage) which was rejected on the grounds of "up to the date of her re-marriage her former husband's P.W. (?) were insufficient to qualify for an award".  Does anyone have any idea what PW (?) might stand for? I thought maybe prewar (?) salary? as she would have to prove it was above the norm to qualify for the AP however, she was about to be married.  So, was she trying to obtain a higher annuity grant upon remarriage? Or to somehow protect the payments the children would receive?  Or did payments to children stop after she remarried? 

So many questions...

Thank you

Claire 

 

 

 

Edited by Clairej
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Claire,

3 hours ago, Clairej said:

So many questions...

Welcome to GWF.

Thank you for your post - Your observations are interesting.

I could and try and answer but I think I will defer to our very much respected and extremely knowledgeable on the subject member. CraIg @ss002d6252, as he is likely to give you by far the best reply(ies).

This mention, above, will hopefully now attract his attention and no doubt we will all learn more on this subject.

:-) M

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3 hours ago, Clairej said:

I have been reading Andrea Hetherington's excellent book and she notes that the separation allowance continued to be paid for 6 months after a man's death, to allow the family to prepare for the lower rates of pension, so perhaps the phrase relate to that changeover especially as, in the section we see the phrase, there is the line "Number for whom S A is paid". 

The 26 weeks was to allow for the man potentially turning up and paperwork to be done to confirm the death. A pension was often higher than the Allowance.

So far I've looked at thousands of cases for articles I write for, and pension queries I help with from, the Western Front Association. The Notes for Novel has still eluded capture - and that's even after I've reviewed dozens of pension manuals and pages of guidance.

 

Quote

I also thought that perhaps it relates to any kind of investigation into the widow as morally acceptable to continue to receive the pension.

That was not a common event - it was only looked in to if specific issues were raised and that was very rare.

Quote

Did stepfather rights as a parent take precedence over the mother?   Is this why the phrase in on so many forms?

Not really, each case was paid on it's own merits and they could decide who it was to be paid to, if necessary.

Quote

Do you know why some forms have a big OK stamped on them?

At some point they reviewed the cases and stamped them as OK against whatever purpose they were checking them at that time.

 

Quote

which was rejected on the grounds of "up to the date of her re-marriage her former husband's P.W. (?) were insufficient to qualify for an award".

It's more commonly shown as PWE in documents - Pre-War earnings.

Quote

So, was she trying to obtain a higher annuity grant upon remarriage?

She was probably just seeing if she could get any higher pension payment.

Quote

Or did payments to children stop after she remarried? 

The child element continued after marriage.

Craig

 

 

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@ss002d6252 That was quick! :thumbsup:

:-) M

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28 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

@ss002d6252 That was quick! :thumbsup:

:-) M

I'd drafted a response a couple of hours ago but got distracted before I posted it. Your post reminded me and the copy was saved in the browser.

Craig

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6 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

I'd drafted a response a couple of hours ago but got distracted before I posted it. Your post reminded me and the copy was saved in the browser.

No need to have given away your secret!

;-) M

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