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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Chelsea Register


lelly

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What was the ‘Chelsea Register’ often referred to on pension record cards? Soldiers who are applying for a pension often seem to be given a ’Chelsea No.’. 

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Chelsea Hospital traditionally managed the pensions of disabled soldiers for the army. For this purposes they issued claims with a 'Chelsea Number' - often shown as 'CH'. Eventually Chelsea was taken in to the Ministry of Pensions and slowly over time they stopped issuing 'Chelsea Numbers' and moved over to different types of numbering systems. It took a whole before the name 'Chelsea' ceased to be associated with disablement pensions however.


At the outbreak of war they were at 15607/D (The 'D' indicating the range of pensions they were in). This reached around 89000/D in June 1916. From June 1916 they started at 1/E to 115000/E in Dec 1916. From Jan 1917 to April 1918 they issued 1/H - 290000/H.

 

Craig

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 07/03/2021 at 15:00, ss002d6252 said:

Chelsea Hospital traditionally managed the pensions of disabled soldiers for the army. For this purposes they issued claims with a 'Chelsea Number' - often shown as 'CH'. Eventually Chelsea was taken in to the Ministry of Pensions and slowly over time they stopped issuing 'Chelsea Numbers' and moved over to different types of numbering systems. It took a whole before the name 'Chelsea' ceased to be associated with disablement pensions however.


At the outbreak of war they were at 15607/D (The 'D' indicating the range of pensions they were in). This reached around 89000/D in June 1916. From June 1916 they started at 1/E to 115000/E in Dec 1916. From Jan 1917 to April 1918 they issued 1/H - 290000/H.

 

Craig

 

Was the “Chelsea number” purely there way of administering the already existing pension records available on Ancestry, or are/was there more files, lost or held elsewhere?

Edited by Peterhastie
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The Chelsea Number was used to administer the pension and used the records that survive on Ancestry and the WFA records with the MoP. There are no more surviving records as the rest of the files have long since been destroyed - Chelsea Hospital have previously told me they themselves hold no records either.

 

Craig

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3 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

The Chelsea Number was used to administer the pension and used the records that survive on Ancestry and the WFA records with the MoP. There are no more surviving records as the rest of the files have long since been destroyed - Chelsea Hospital have previously told me they themselves hold no records either.

 

Craig

Thank you Craig.

 

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I am currently helping the WFA indexing and adding addresses to the WFA cards. I asked what the difference was between the WFA cards and the ‘Burnt records’ held at Kew. As I understand it, the ‘burnt records’ were war office records, WFA records are index cards for the Department of Pensions. As it was the applicants responsibility to provide evidence of injury or disability, already having a Chelsea Number would really help in getting a D o P pension. 

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1 hour ago, lelly said:

I am currently helping the WFA indexing and adding addresses to the WFA cards. I asked what the difference was between the WFA cards and the ‘Burnt records’ held at Kew. As I understand it, the ‘burnt records’ were war office records, WFA records are index cards for the Department of Pensions. As it was the applicants responsibility to provide evidence of injury or disability, already having a Chelsea Number would really help in getting a D o P pension. 

 

The burnt and un-burnt records were service records created by the War Office but the records were passed as needed to the Ministry of Pensions so that the MoP could use the details where they required them. The un-burnt records were primarily those which were with the Ministry of Pensions when the fire took place and they were passed back to the MoD for their use. This is why the un-burnt records have pension details within them, from the time they were being used by the Ministry of Pensions.

A Chelsea Number was only ever generated when a pension application was made for a man, it was Chelsea's internal reference number. The applicant could either have been medically examined by the army pending discharge and the case passed to Chelsea or he could have made a claim for a pension, either way could happen depending on the circumstances.

 

Craig

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