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Wexflyer

Did Death Benefits (If Any) Depend on Cause of Death??

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Wexflyer

I am interested in what benefits were paid in the event of a soldier dying on active service. 

 

In  particular, what of the case of a soldier accidentally killed while on active service?  

A soldier I know of died in such circumstances - explosion of an unstable shell. He was unmarried, with no dependents, but was survived by his parents and sisters. 

His surviving sisters always insisted that the benefits to his family had been reduced because his death was ruled accidental, rather than in action.

Is that possibly true?

I did some research, and other soldiers who died in the same location, same day, were KIA.

 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

This is one for Craig @ss002d6252

 

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ss002d6252

The parents could claim a pension based on financial dependency.

 

Whether it was accidental or not made no difference to the pensions of those killed due to the accident.

 

I can't recall any clauses that reduced a pension based on a person being found responsible for causing the event - I have several DLI men who were found to have been responsible for their own deaths due to negligence (gassed themselves with carbon monoxide). I'll take a look later at their pensions and see what it shows.

 

Craig

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RFT
Posted (edited)

Hoping the following is of interest -

 

War pensions were made a Statutory Right on 19 Aug 1919, previous to which date the claim to pension was as "a matter of grace."

 

Regretfully, scanner is not functioning but the following is extracted from the Royal Warrant for the Pensions of Soldiers Disabled, and of the Families and Dependants of Soldiers Deceased, in Consequence of the Great War. 

 

Appendix II.

Part II.- Widows & Dependants.

11. The widow of a soldier who (a) is killed while in the performance of military duty during the war, or (b) dies as a result of wounds or injuries received in the performance of such duty within seven years of receiving such wounds or injuries, or (c) dies of disease certified as contracted or commencing while on active service during the war, or as having been aggravated by such active service, within seven years of his removal from duty on account of such disease, may, provided the soldiers death has not been caused by his serious negligence or misconduct, be granted a widow's pension at the following weekly rates (several rates listed).

 

Allowances to Widows where Death of a Soldier Not Attributable.

15. The widow of a soldier who, during the war, has died from wounds, injuries, or disease, neither attributable to military service nor certified as contracted or commencing while on active service, nor as having been aggravated by such service, but not due to the serious negligence or misconduct of the deceased man, may be granted a temporary pension of 15s a week for the period of the war and for 12 months afterwards.

 

Parents.

21.-(1) The parent (or parents) of a soldier who has died in the circumstances set forth in Article 11 may be granted a pension under the following conditions:-

Dependency Pension.

(a) [Details]

or

Need Pension.

(b) [Details]

or

Flat Rate Pension

(c) [Details]

 

Non-attributable Cases.

(5) The parent of (or parents) of a soldier who has died in the circumstances set forth in Article 15 may, if they would have been eligible for a pension under subsection (1) (a) or (b) of this Article had his death taken place in the circumstances set forth in Article 11, be awarded a grant as in Article 22 (2) at the discretion of the Minister.

 

Part III.- General Provisions.

Parent.

24. Parent includes a grandparent or other person who has been in the place of a parent to a soldier, and has wholly or mainly supported him for not less than one year at some time before the commencement of the war.

 

Rob

Edited by RFT
Additional content (Part III.)

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ss002d6252
47 minutes ago, RFT said:

Hoping the following is of interest -

 

War pensions were made a Statutory Right on 19 Aug 1919, previous to which date the claim to pension was as "a matter of grace."

 

Regretfully, scanner is not functioning but the following is extracted from the Royal Warrant for the Pensions of Soldiers Disabled, and of the Families and Dependants of Soldiers Deceased, in Consequence of the Great War. 

 

Appendix II.

Part II.- Widows & Dependants.

11. The widow of a soldier who (a) is killed while in the performance of military duty during the war, or (b) dies as a result of wounds or injuries received in the performance of such duty within seven years of receiving such wounds or injuries, or (c) dies of disease certified as contracted or commencing while on active service during the war, or as having been aggravated by such active service, within seven years of his removal from duty on account of such disease, may, provided the soldiers death has not been caused by his serious negligence or misconduct, be granted a widow's pension at the following weekly rates (several rates listed).

 

Allowances to Widows where Death of a Soldier Not Attributable.

15. The widow of a soldier who, during the war, has died from wounds, injuries, or disease, neither attributable to military service nor certified as contracted or commencing while on active service, nor as having been aggravated by such service, but not due to the serious negligence or misconduct of the deceased man, may be granted a temporary pension of 15s a week for the period of the war and for 12 months afterwards.

 

Parents.

21.-(1) The parent (or parents) of a soldier who has died in the circumstances set forth in Article 11 may be granted a pension under the following conditions:-

Dependency Pension.

(a) [Details]

or

Need Pension.

(b) [Details]

or

Flat Rate Pension

(c) [Details]

 

Non-attributable Cases.

(5) The parent of (or parents) of a soldier who has died in the circumstances set forth in Article 15 may, if they would have been eligible for a pension under subsection (1) (a) or (b) of this Article had his death taken place in the circumstances set forth in Article 11, be awarded a grant as in Article 22 (2) at the discretion of the Minister.

 

Rob

 

 

Thanks Rob, hadn't got around to checking.

 

Craig

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ilkley remembers
Posted (edited)

I realise that the following example doesn't entirely address the original question but it does perhaps give some indication of the mindset of the pension tribunals.

 

An Ilkley soldier who was severely wounded on 3 occasions sufficiently for discharge in mid 1918 as no longer physically fit for war service was advised by a tribunal in Bradford that his pension award, for which there was no dispute, would be dependant on a change to his lifestyle. The claimant had wished to return to his studies at Durham University but was told that instead he should seek employment in the "open air". Sadly, the claimant was so distressed by the verdict that 10 days later he took his own life. The issue of his pension and the tribunals stipulation was raised at the subsequent inquest, although, the coroner chose to ignore this evidence and his verdict was that a blow to the head suffered during his service was the likely cause of his mental imbalance. 

 

I would imagine that suicide post war would also preclude his parents from any further pension claim. 

Edited by ilkley remembers

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ss002d6252
16 minutes ago, ilkley remembers said:

I realise that the following example doesn't entirely address the original question but it does perhaps give some indication of the mindset of the pension tribunals.

 

An Ilkley soldier who was severely wounded on 3 occasions sufficiently for discharge in mid 1918 as no longer physically fit for war service was advised by a tribunal in Bradford that his pension award, for which there was no dispute, would be dependant on a change to his lifestyle. The claimant had wished to return to his studies at Durham University but was told that instead he should seek employment in the "open air". Sadly, the claimant was so distressed by the verdict that 10 days later he took his own life. The issue of his pension and the tribunals stipulation was raised at the subsequent inquest, although, the coroner chose to ignore this evidence and his verdict was that a blow to the head suffered during his service was the likely cause of his mental imbalance. 

 

I would imagine that suicide post war would also preclude his parents from any further pension claim. 


As of Dec 1919

Quote

 

43. Mr. R. YOUNG

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that a number of discharged disabled soldiers have committed suicide and left dependants in straitened circumstances; that the medical evidence affirms that the contributory causes of suicide in these cases arise from or are due to wounds received or illness contracted while on service, and that it has been decided that assistance cannot be given to the relatives by way of pensions, etc., because they are not covered by the terms of the Royal Warrant; and whether it can be arranged that all such cases will be brought to the notice of the administrators of the National Relief Fund for consideration, and that where found necessary help shall be given in relief of distress arising in connection with the War?

 

§ Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)

I would refer the hon. Member to the replies given to questions on this subject by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions on the 18th of August and the 6th of November last. I have no doubt that such cases, if brought before the Committee of the National Relief Fund, will receive careful consideration.

 

 

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1919/dec/28/discharged-disabled-soldiers-suicide

 

Craig

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ilkley remembers
3 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

43. Mr. R. YOUNG

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that a number of discharged disabled soldiers have committed suicide and left dependants in straitened circumstances;

Thank you for the extract from Hansard. Apparently the fund was started in 1914 at the behest of the Prince of Wales and seems to be one of several such attempts, eg The Kings Fund, to alleviate suffering caused by tragic loss during WW1. Found a couple of links from Hansard which you may already be aware of but clearly show the concerns for the poorest members of society in an age when the Welfare State was less significant in everyday life. 

 

In the case outlined above it is interesting that the coroner chose to give a verdict which linked the suicide with injuries from war service rather than mental deterioration post conflict and one wonders if this was deliberate in order to assist any subsequent approach to charitable funds. In this case I suspect that the parents who were not rich but certainly comfortably off would have had no real call to approach the National Relief Fund

 

It seems to at least indicate that in the post war world there was some understanding of long term trauma associated with military service. 

 

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/lords/1923/apr/18/national-relief-fund

 

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1920/jul/07/national-relief-fund

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ss002d6252
1 minute ago, ilkley remembers said:

Thank you for the extract from Hansard. Apparently the fund was started in 1914 at the behest of the Prince of Wales and seems to be one of several such attempts, eg The Kings Fund, to alleviate suffering caused by tragic loss during WW1. Found a couple of links from Hansard which you may already be aware of but clearly show the concerns for the poorest members of society in an age when the Welfare State was less significant in everyday life. 

Certainly from the start of the war onwards there were various schemes (official and non-official) aimed at helping those outside of the various official schemes. If they were financially stable then I think you'll be right that they would get little or no assistance.

 

Craig

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ilkley remembers
9 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

Certainly from the start of the war onwards there were various schemes (official and non-official) aimed at helping those outside of the various official schemes.

 

Before the 'lockdown' I did have a look at the situation relating to returning soldiers particularly those with some form of disability in this part of the mid Wharfedale to see if there was any emerging pattern of material assistance. The various local newspapers did highlight a number of instances where men with long term medical conditions and where care particularly from family members was lacking were forced to seek help from the Workhouse system which sadly was still used as an agency of final resort. I suspect the hope was that charity would help step in to alleviate hardship was unfounded especially as the economic climate began to deteriorate from about 1921 onward.

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RFT
On 08/06/2020 at 13:15, RFT said:

Appendix II.

Part II.- Widows & Dependants.

11. The widow of a soldier who (a) is killed while in the performance of military duty during the war, or (b) dies as a result of wounds or injuries received in the performance of such duty within seven years of receiving such wounds or injuries, or (c) dies of disease certified as contracted or commencing while on active service during the war, or as having been aggravated by such active service, within seven years of his removal from duty on account of such disease, may, provided the soldiers death has not been caused by his serious negligence or misconduct, be granted a widow's pension at the following weekly rates (several rates listed).

 

 

7 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

 

Royal Warrant for the Pensions of Soldiers Disabled etc .... came into effect 3rd Sept 1919.  Shortly after (precise date not available) Article 11 was revised to include the following -

 

"(d) dies within seven years of the receipt of the wound or injury which caused his death, or his removal from duty, or at the termination of his active service during the war (whichever is earliest), of a disability in respect of which a claim has been admitted under Article 1 of this Our Warrant, and which is certified to have been attributable to or aggravated by such service; or, if no such claim has been made and admitted, dies within the same period of disability which, a continuous medical history being shown from the termination of such active service, can be certified to have been attributable to or aggravated by such service."

 

Rob

 

 

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Wexflyer

Thanks to all, for the documentation and discussion. Very informative as always.

Just to comment that my great-uncle was killed during the Boer War  - I worded my query more generally, so as to comply with forum rules.

His service papers survive and are included in Great War collections online. That means he died before the introduction of old age pensions, and before the rule changes described above, so his parents feared for the future. No sign of a pension.

To get back within the rules: Before the changes in 1919, would a pension payment to survivors be listed in the "soldiers effects" registers? I presume not.

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