Pension payments to soldiers: the practicalities

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Pension payments to soldiers: the practicalities

Postby keitha » 06 Jun 2009 20:14

Does anyone know how,when and where pesions were paid to military recipiants after discharge from the Army.
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Re: pension payments to soldiers

Postby Jessie711 » 19 Aug 2009 07:33

Hi keitha

I had the same question and found this on RootsChat

http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.ph ... 623.0.html

Cheers
Jessie
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Re: pension payments to soldiers

Postby redclover » 08 Oct 2009 11:10

Hi, very interested in your link Jessie which answered one question I had.
By coincidence, I was checking the 1851 census for Fulwood barracks, Lancashire and spotted one resident listed as Sergeant of pensioners. Now I know what this means.

My other question is connected with deferred pensions. My wife's great grandfather, John Darcy, was discharged from the 26th Foot about 1870. He went to Ireland, worked there for five years and then returned to Lancashire in the late 1870's and is shown as a Publican at the Waggon and Horses Pub, Chorley, Lancs, in the 1881 census. He left the pub some time after and in the 1891 census is shown as an Army Pensioner. I presumed that his pension was deferred for some reason. Can anyone throw any light on whether pensions were paid on dischatge or what would be the period of time if they were deferred.

Thanks,

Richard.
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Length of service

Postby redclover » 10 Oct 2009 13:17

Hi, Whilst looking for John Darcy, who served in the 6th Foot (mid 1860's) and the 26th Foot (late 1860's), I read in one of the help leaflets about the National Archives, that if a soldier completed ' a full term in the army ' he would possibly be awarded a pension. Could someone tell me what the required length of service for a pension was in the 1860's.
Thanks,

Richard.
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Re: Pension payments to soldiers: the practicalities

Postby keitha » 12 Oct 2009 11:08

Jessie, sorry for the late response but thank you for the link that answers the question perfectly.

Keith
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Pensions?

Postby JustSayNoToVorderman » 16 Aug 2011 15:40

Can anyone tell me about the Army Pensions in the late 1800s?
I have one ancestor's military records, he served 25 years(left in 1890) but I can't find any detail of his pension payments( he died age 54, 14 years after leaving the army).
At what age would he have started getting payments or did they get them as soon as they left the army?
Another ancestor, who left the army earlier (1870s)and whose records are quite different from the 1890s ones, appears on the 1901 Census age 66 as an Army Pensioner.
Thank you
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Re: Pensions?

Postby Frogsmile » 17 Aug 2011 13:14

JustSayNoToVorderman wrote:Can anyone tell me about the Army Pensions in the late 1800s?
I have one ancestor's military records, he served 25 years(left in 1890) but I can't find any detail of his pension payments( he died age 54, 14 years after leaving the army).
At what age would he have started getting payments or did they get them as soon as they left the army?
Another ancestor, who left the army earlier (1870s)and whose records are quite different from the 1890s ones, appears on the 1901 Census age 66 as an Army Pensioner.
Thank you


Pensions were (and still are for those on the 1975 T&Cof S) immediately payable on discharge during the period you quote. If, however, a man sought refuge (accommodation) as an in-lier Army pensioner in the Chelsea Asylum, then he had to forfeit his pension to cover clothing and bed and board and was issued an allowance for necessaries.

A pension could also be forfeited if a man was dishonorably discharged.
Last edited by Frogsmile on 18 Aug 2011 23:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pensions?

Postby JustSayNoToVorderman » 17 Aug 2011 14:08

Thank you 8)
Don't suppose they'll have got much though, but it was probably what my Great Great Grandfather used to help set up his Fried Fish Shop after discharge.
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Re: Pensions?

Postby heliwest » 17 Aug 2011 14:56

The system for paying pensions was quite sophisticated and a soldier could leave the country and arrange for his pension to be paid by overseas paymasters or through consulates. I have come across an Irishman who had his VC annuity paid quarterly in Auckland, Boston USA through consulates and through the Paymaster in Mauritius when he was in South Africa. You may find pension details at Kew looking through discharge papers and also Chelsea papers because even if they were not Chelsea pensioners in the hospital some administration was done through there.

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Re: Pensions?

Postby Frogsmile » 17 Aug 2011 19:35

JustSayNoToVorderman wrote:Thank you 8)
Don't suppose they'll have got much though, but it was probably what my Great Great Grandfather used to help set up his Fried Fish Shop after discharge.


Yes I believe he would have received a small 'gratuity' (lump sum) upon leaving and very often some back pay too.
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Re: Pensions?

Postby Maureene » 18 Aug 2011 07:51

Hi
JustSayNoToVorderman wrote:I have one ancestor's military records, he served 25 years(left in 1890) but I can't find any detail of his pension payments( he died age 54, 14 years after leaving the army).


Have you looked at the National Archives records WO 116 or WO 117? WO 116 consist of records for Disability and all Royal Artillery pensions and WO 117 relate to pensions awarded to soldiers for length of service.

For a discharge in 1890 these records are available to download free of cost from “The National Archives Documents Online: Digital Microfilms”. (Large pdf file)
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/docu ... rofilm.asp

A researcher found an ancestor’s pension records in WO 116 for 1913, (only available online to 1893, WO117 to 1913). After twenty years service with the Royal Artillery, mostly in India, he received a pension of 13½ pence per day, which commenced the day after he retired. Unfortunately his service records are not available in the WO 97 records which are available online on FindMyPast, so the WO 116 records are the only British Army records which have been located.

Cheers
Maureen
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Re: Pensions?

Postby Peter » 18 Aug 2011 16:28

Skelley has a few pages concerning pensions. They’re mainly to do with the insufficiency of pensions whereas I think you’re interested in pensions per se. Proceeding on that assumption:

“Pensions originated in the seventeenth century as compensation for illness or injury contracted in the line of duty (an alternative to hospitalisation) and a reward for long and valuable service. Disability pensions were awarded on the discretion of the Board of Commissioners of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. Throughout the nineteenth century they were granted either to soldiers invalided for sickness or injury caused directly by their military service, or to men with a minimum of fourteen years’ service who were discharged for medical reasons not attributable to the exigencies of their duty. It was the practice to give permanent pensions only to those who had spent fourteen or more years with the colours and whose invalidity was a result of their military service. In other cases the Chelsea Commissioners determined the duration of the pension as well as its size.

“The normal rates for invalidity incurred as a result of service varied from 8d to 2s per day for privates and up to 3s per day for sergeants, depending on the nature and extent of the disability. For illness which was not a result of military duties, and if the minimum fourteen years had been served, pensions of 7d to 9d per day (9d – 1s 3d for sergeants) might be awarded.

“Permanent long service pensions were awarded to every soldier who had completed the maximum period of service with the colours. The size of the pension varied with the length of service over twenty one years and with the soldier’s rank. As was the case with disability pensions, service pensions were often inadequate. Normal rates started at 8d to 1s 6d per day for a private and ran to as high as 3s per day for a top sergeant. Complicated army regulations limited the effectiveness of pensions even further.

“Although a minimum of twenty one years service was required, the qualifying period for a pension was reckoned after reengagement for a second term (privates) or by the number of years served as a non commissioned officer. Service towards pensions was lost by desertion, fraudulent enlistment, a court martial conviction, or forfeiture of pay due to imprisonment.

“For the most part, pensions were paid quarterly in advance, a practice which, by placing a large sum of money in the hands of those unused to having more than a few shillings at once, encouraged the intemperate to waste their allowances. There were also provisions for pensions to be commuted for a lump sum and these were frequently taken advantage of.

“Between 1856 and 1899 the importance of increasing army pensions was repeatedly emphasised, and in particular the necessity of providing more funds to help those discharged after twenty one years’ service.

“….. (After) 1892 the ceiling on long service pensions for NCOs was raised to 5s per day, but not until after the South African War was action taken to raise the minimum for privates to 1s per day. Nothing else was done to increase the rates and nothing at all to lower the requirements for pensions.

“The proportion of men who received a pension between 1861 and 1898 declined if anything. Since every man who completed the maximum period of service was entitled to a pension, it is clear than an increasingly large number of those who were invalided from the army must have received no compensation whatsoever. Furthermore, a large proportion of the pensions which were granted were temporary in nature.

“The pensions paid to police constables and to private soldiers were frequently compared between 1856 and 1899. ….. To take but one example, the police constable and the infantry private discharged after the maximum period of service [being twenty five years for police] would each receive a permanent pension. The constable’s might amount to 20s per week, but the soldier’s would be no more than half this amount.

“The insufficiency of army pensions, both in terms of the number and size of the allowance awarded each year is nowhere better demonstrated than by the number of ex soldiers reduced to destitution and to dependence on civilian institutions yearly. If a pensioner had to be lodged in an asylum for the mentally ill, the War office undertook to pay the guardians of the institution 4s for his maintenance, yet deducted the amount from his pension, leaving in some cases only a few pence for the support of the man’s wife and family.”

(Skelley, AR, The Victorian Army at Home, Montreal, McGill Queens University Press, 1977, pp 205 – 211)

PM me if you would like copies of the pages.
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Re: Pension payments to soldiers: the practicalities

Postby GreenwichPensioner » 15 Nov 2011 23:37

The following may be of interest, para 4.6 in particular:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/british-army-soldiers-discharge-and-pension-records.htm

Out-Pensioners would go to regional offices to collect pensions; here is a list of some of the pension districts
http://yourarchives.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php?title=WO_22

If you are researching an out-Pensioner who died between 1842 and 1862, their death will be recorded in the relevant district book in the WO 22 series.

Para 4.1 of the amorementioned advises:
Pension admission books come in two series..
for disability, 1715-1882, in WO 116
for length of service, 1823-1913, in WO 117
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Lower ranks pensions: mid- late- 19th C

Postby Les Waring » 13 Aug 2012 16:03

Can anyone help with amounts paid as pensions to private soldiers and NCOs in the 19th C.

The man who I am researching did approximately 20 years service, was apparently not promoted from private (maybe acted as drummer and/or bugler)and served a significant time overseas. He was not, apparently wounded. I have data stating that, on retirement in the 1870s, he received 8 pence a day.

'Does this seem to be correct for a pension of a 'ranker' at that time' ?

Any help gratefully received.
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Re: Lower ranks pensions: mid- late- 19th C

Postby grumpy » 13 Aug 2012 17:27

My earliest data are from Pay Warrant 1893. Bearing in mind inflation was, I believe, negligible in the Victorian era, I would expect the figures to be similar for your man.

A private/ drummer/ bugler etc was Class V.

21 years qualifying service: 1/1-
20: 1/0-
19: 11d
18: 10d
14 to 18: 8 to 10d

there were lots of caveats about "qualifying", inevitably!

The following from wiki:

1850 - 1914
Average Weekly Cash Wages paid to Ordinary Agricultural Labourers
Source: Dept. of Employment and Productivity, 1981
Figures are given in shillings/pence.
Cash wages exclude extra payments for piecework, hay and corn harvests, overtime, and the value of allowances in kind.


Date Wage Date Wage Date Wage Date Wage Date Wage
1850 9/3½ 1862 11/1 1874 13/11½ 1886 13/4 1898 14/1½
1851 9/2½ 1863 11/0 1875 14/0 1887 13/2½ 1899 14/4
1852 9/3 1864 11/0½ 1876 14/1½ 1888 13/2½ 1900 14/10
1853 9/11 1865 11/3 1877 14/1½ 1889 13/4 1901 14/11
1854 10/8 1866 11/6 1878 14/0½ 1890 13/6 1902 14/11½
1855 10/11½ 1867 11/11 1879 13/8½ 1891 13/9½ 1903 14/11½
1856 11/0½ 1868 12/0 1880 13/7½ 1892 13/10 1904 14/11½
1857 10/11½ 1869 11/8½ 1881 13/7½ 1893 13/9 1905 15/0
1858 10/9½ 1870 11/10½ 1882 13/7½ 1894 13/8 1906 15/1
1859 10/8½ 1871 12/1 1883 13/8 1895 13/8½ 1910 15/4
1860 10/11 1872 12/8½ 1884 13/7½ 1896 13/9 1914
(June) 16/9
1861 11/1 1873 13/4 1885 13/5½ 1897 13/10½




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