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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

War Gratuity

Sandie Hayes

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I've been looking at Records of Soldiers Effects. These ledgers seem to record outstanding Army pay at the time of a soldier's death and who it was eventually paid to.

The ledgers also record a WAR GRATUITY, stamped in red. There seems to be no criteria for this payment. Some are awarded significant amounts, others get very little. Often nothing is paid and comments such as 'Inadmissible' 'Denied' ' Refused' 'Does not qualify' are written at the side of the red stamp. I've seen a father paid £18.10s following his son's death but I've also seen a widow with 5 children denied a payment. Some people get £3, following a death, others get £12, yet their circumstances seem very similar. 

Can anyone tell me what the War Gratuity was, how you qualified and how it was established the amount payable?

Many thanks. 

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I'm sure others' will be along to offer chapter and verse, but as far as I'm aware it has nothing to do with family circumstances, just rank and length of service. Forum member @ss002d6252 has a great website to use that can work backwards from the amount paid to calculate when a man might have enlisted. However in terms of the questions you have asked, if you use the drop-down "About the Gratuity" under the header "War Gratuity" on the home page of that website, you will get a little bit more information about the qualifying conditions.



Hope that gets you started.





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Can anyone tell me what the War Gratuity was, how you qualified and how it was established the amount payable?

Chapter and verse is on my website that Peter has mentioned but the war gratuity had a multitude of qualifying criteria (primarily based on rank and length of service).


The issue is also complicated by the fact that the gratuity, introduced in early 1919, was paid retrospectively and that meant that they had to work around other monies which has already been paid. These monies had been offset against the gratuity and the payment adjusted accordingly (and, of course, these other monies are rarely noted so I had to learn how that was calculated). All in all it took me about 2 years to fully crack the system and write the appropriate calculator to do the work of what the clerks did in 1919/1920.



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Fabulous news! Thank you both for replying.

I shall spend some time, this evening, reading the website.

Thanks again.

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