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Widows pensions


Guest jjroche
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Hi,

I would like to know if the widow of a soldier killed in action received a pension in 1917. If so, did it take into account the number of dependant children? Also how much would she be paid?

Thanks Ann and Ian

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I have not yet seen a report of the amount payable to a widow but it seems that a local committee would first make a recommendation and the Government would be guided by that.

I have a couple of reports on pensions in general that appeared in the newspaper at the time and might help, and I would like to know a lot more about this myself.

Tony.

6th October 1917.

At a meeting of the Pension Committee it was announced that notification had been received stating that pensions to the parents of dead servicemen that were smaller than three shillings and sixpence would be raised to that amount, and that it would be the minimum payable in future.

A circular read:

“The parent or parents of a man who had died as a result of the present war might, if they were or became wholly or partially incapable of self support from infirmity of age and in pecuniary need, be granted a pension at such rate (not less than 3s. 6d. or more than 15/- a week) as the Minister might determine according to the circumstances in each case, notwithstanding that the parent or parents were not dependant on the soldier or sailor before he joined for service. Further, the parent or parents of a man who had so died who might have been or may hereafter be pensioned under the provisions of the said Order in Council or Royal Warrant at a rate of less than 15/- a week might in like circumstances be granted an increase of pension at such a rate as the Minister might determine irrespective of the amount of their dependance on the sailor or soldier before he joined the service.”

6th July 1918.

The Holmfirth and New Mill Pensions Committee’s monthly meeting was held at the Holmfirth Council offices on Tuesday 6th July, the committee existed to advise the National Ministry of Pensions on local cases, and contained some of the original members of the old Distress Committee from the early days of the war. They dealt with several cases including discharged men and some who had been killed. They also received a reply from the West Riding Committee in response to the application of a mother for support after her son had been conscripted. The reply stated:

“Before making any grant in such cases as this, the Pensions Ministry have pointed out that in view of the earnings of the daughters, it is their duty to make a larger contribution to the support of the home and their mother than twelve shillings a week only for board. State funds cannot be used to make up deficiencies in such circumstances.”

The mother replied: “I wish to say that if I need any assistance in the management of my household affairs, I shall now know where to apply to. I think the least the State ought to do is to let my son return home again if I am not worthy of justice being done, and that would suit me far better than any allowance they could allow me.”

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