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Widows Pension given to mother. Any clues as to why that might be?


Diane Brown

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I am researching my ancester Francis James Jones who was killed in action on 20th November 1914. I found a Dependants Pension card, in the Pension Index Cards,  which gives his dependant as his mother Mrs Mary Annette Jones. The pension was awarded to her on the 19th March 1919.

Copy attached courtesy of Fold3.com via Ancestry.com

At the time of his death Francis  had been married for 6 years and had a 5yr old daughter. The Register of Soldiers Effects show that Francis had left a will in favour of his widow. So I presumed that his widow would have received his pension.  I wonder if anyone has come across a similar situation. 

 

UK, WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Page 1 - UK, WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards,.jpg

FJ Jones.jpg

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Hello Diane,

   Welcome to the forum.

  I can’t find any record of Francis’ wife Elizabeth claiming a widow’s pension {the surviving records may not be complete}, but I would be surprised if she hadn’t claimed. The widow’s pension would have been awarded from 6 months after Francis’ death. Before that Elizabeth would have continued receiving the separation allowance she had been receiving from Francis. As well as a widow’s pension she would have received a child’s allowance, for her daughter. When she re-married Elizabeth’s widow’s pension was stopped but she could claim for a marriage bounty. This was a lump sum for the equivalent of one year’s widow’s pension. This might seem generous, but it was cheaper for the government than paying a widow’s pension for life. In addition, she would also receive the child’s allowance for her daughter, until she was 16. The government thought that it was unfair for a new husband to financially support another man’s child. It was also a good incentive for a widow to re-marry.

  With regards to Francis’ parents’ allowance there is a card on Fold 3 which states that Francis’ mother Mary was paid a renewed pension of 12s 6d. per week from 12/02/19 to 12/02/20. There is a change of address on the card, from Hounslow to Watford, so payment of the previous allowance, presumably from after Francis’ death, may have been interrupted by the re-location. This allowance was presumably renewed annually. Another card shows that Mary was paid an increased allowance of 15s from 22/08/22 to 20/11/22. Francis’ mother’s dependant’s allowance would not be linked to his widow receiving a pension. Mary would have received it whether or not Elizabeth had claimed for a widow’s pension.

Regards,

Alf McM

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Thank you so much Alf for your prompt response and comprehensive answer to my query. I am writing an account of Francis and it is good to clear up this outstanding question . I only wish that his service records survived. 

His widow Elizabeth, like so many with a child to support, did indeed re-marry,  in December 1915. It is good to know that she may have continued to get an allowance for her daughter.

Kindest regards,

Diane

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Diane,

  Apologies if you already know this, but the 5th Lancers’ war diary is available for free download {once you register} from The National Archives;-  5 (Royal Irish) Lancers | The National Archives

  It is unlikely that Francis will be mentioned, but it will explain how the regiment got to France and everywhere they went. According to the 1914 Star Medal Roll, Francis landed in France in August 1914. {His date of death is a few years out!}.  UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920 - Ancestry.co.uk

  With regards to Elizabeth’s pension, she would have initially received 10s per week for herself. This means that her marriage bounty would have been £26. The children’s allowance for her daughter was initially 5s per week, but this was increased in May 1918 to  6s 8d. There was a further increase to 10s. from 3rd September 1919. There may have been further increases by the time her daughter was 16.

   Elizabeth also received Francis’ bank balance and war gratuity as shown in the register of soldiers effects.

Regards,

Alf McM

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Please don't apologise, any information is gratefully received. Including the additional details relating to Elizabeth's pension and marriage bounty. I had downloaded a copy of the register of soldiers effects but found it difficult to interpret.

I previously downloaded a copy of the 5th Lancers' war diary, which provides a compelling read and offered me some insight into what Francis would have endured when he was recalled to active duty.  He had previously served as a Private in the ? Irish Lancers, stationed at the Cavalry Barracks in York. ( source:1908  marriage certificate)

The diary entry for November 20th read "Remained in the trenches. Periodical bursts of shelling and rifle fire, but were never attacked. Killed other ranks 1.     Relieved by French Infantry at 10pm & then marched to billets in Dolieu."

Despite the succinct mention of his passing, he is honored extensively; his name appears on WW1 memorials in two churches, the Menin Gate, The King's Book of Heroes housed in York Minster, and Ireland's Memorial Record.

Kind regards,

Diane

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For James Francis JONES there is a regimentally-misindexed PIC available showing Elizabeth Ann JONES / MORRIS with a widow's pension reference of 4/W/13 [Region 4 = Yorkshire Region] - so this is confirmation she did make a claim and her re-marriage was noted.

The reference 4/W/13 then takes us to the Widow's pension ledger page for another claim made by Elizabeth Ann MORRIS, b. 10.12.1886, for John Henry MORRIS, 35176, Machine Gun Corps suggesting a date of re-marriage/marriage 5-1-16 - showing her two daughters/his step-daughter and his daughter born in 1916 - He died 3.1.22 [of Phthisis - other pension records are available for him]

Under the 1919 RW her second daughter would have had/had an additional allowance of 7/6 pw which with the elder's 10/- pw brought their combined allowances to 17/6 pw.  Her 26/8 pw widow's pension was a standard one for the widow, with children, of a pension Class V soldier / Pte. under that RW = total of 44/2 pw in 1922 [as can be seen on the PLP].  If her elder child reached 16 [or had perhaps died] then, if surviving, the younger child then 'inherited' the older child's higher quantum up to age 16. 

Widow's pension would remain at 26/8 pw up to 3-4-25 when her youngest child became 16 [or had perhaps died] thence dipping to 20/- pw until she reached 40 in 1926 at which point it would increase back to 26/8 pw and remain there through to 1946 when a new RW came into force [unless she perhaps remarried again or had perhaps died earlier].  Her awards file was deliberately destroyed 19-6-67.

On 03/06/2024 at 12:53, alf mcm said:

The children’s allowance for her daughter was initially 5s per week, but this was increased in May 1918 to  6s 8d. There was a further increase to 10s. from 3rd September 1919. There may have been further increases by the time her daughter was 16.

Just an observation/for information - the children's allowance for daughter(s) would not have increased again after 1919 [the 1919 RW continued to 1946]

M

Edited by Matlock1418
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On 29/05/2024 at 21:38, Diane Brown said:

Francis James Jones who was killed in action on 20th November 1914. I found a Dependants Pension card, in the Pension Index Cards,  which gives his dependant as his mother Mrs Mary Annette Jones. The pension was awarded to her on the 19th March 1919.

At the time of his death Francis  had been married for 6 years and had a 5yr old daughter. The Register of Soldiers Effects show that Francis had left a will in favour of his widow. So I presumed that his widow would have received his pension.  I wonder if anyone has come across a similar situation. 

On 31/05/2024 at 20:26, alf mcm said:

Francis’ mother’s dependant’s allowance would not be linked to his widow receiving a pension. Mary would have received it whether or not Elizabeth had claimed for a widow’s pension.

It does not seem common for two pensions to be paid simultaneously for one man.

A mother's claim would have had to have been made under Article 21 of the RW

It's easier to understand his mother later claiming if his widow was not in receipt of a pension through a remarriage to MORRIS in 1915/16 [Note the PIC has the printer's marks of 1/17 and 4/17 - so the claim does seem to have been recorded after his widow's remarriage to MORRIS and the award was from 1.9.17]

It would have depended upon his mother showing that she had provided parental support for him for at least one year before the commencement of the war [i.e. was a 'parent'] and then later whole or partial dependance and actual support from him for a reasonable period up to his death, e.g through Separation Allowance, or if she was at any time wholly or partially incapable of self-support from infirmity or age thus be granted a pension not exceeding 15/- pw.  The quantum of 12/6 pw paid was quite high by many other mothers' award standards and that would seem to reflect either a high level of prior dependance or a considerable need [speculating - as he was married with a child - I suspect perhaps the latter] but still much less, for the Nation, than a widow's pension.

M

Edited by Matlock1418
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Matlock,

  Thanks for the above information. I hadn't realised that the allowance weren't increased after 1922.

 

Diane,

  When Francis was first married, in 1908, he was serving with the 5th {Royal Irish} Lancers. When he enlisted in the Lancers he was given a service number, 6897. He would have enlisted for 12 years, comprising 7 years on active service followed by 5 years in the reserve, meaning he could be called back to the 5th Lancers up to 12 years after enlisting. The Army Service Number Blogspot https://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2010/01/5th-royal-irish-lancers.html shows that number 6985 enlisted on 10th June 1904, and number 7048 on 8th April 1904. It's likely that Francis joined up some time in 1904. He would have been called back to the army at the outbreak of the war, although some reservists would have made their way to the barracks before receiving official notification.                    

Regards,

Alf McM

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44 minutes ago, alf mcm said:

I hadn't realised that the allowance weren't increased after 1922.

Generally [and would also seem potentially likely to have been specifically here too if their mother had made an earlier successful claim] no increases for widows and children after 1919 when the 1919 RW came in on 3 Sep 1919 [nor for men's disabilities - WW2 refocussed attention on war pensions by 1946].

M

Edited by Matlock1418
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