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How much were they paid?


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#1 anneca

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 01:40 PM

I would be interested to know the remuneration that would have been given to a soldier in the Great War, e.g a Private. Would he have been given his 'pay' whilst in action or was it sent to his relatives?

As remuneration is determined as "a payment or reward for goods or services or for losses sustained or inconvenience caused" would the family of a soldier KIA have received any remuneration for their loss and for his death?

#2 Magnumbellum

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 02:19 PM

Others will have more expertise than I, but I believe that at the time of the Great War a private was paid at the traditional rate of one shilling per day. That, however, was essentially pocket money (beer, fags etc), as accommodation, food, clothing, travel on official leave, etc was all paid for. A man with dependants was entitled to a "separation allowance" paid directly to the dependants on a scale of so much per category of dependant. This could be topped up by deductions from the soldier's pay.

#3 John Hartley

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:06 PM

Through 1916, my grandfather received 10 francs a week as a private.

#4 kenf48

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:45 PM

there are a number of threads on pay and allowances on the forum but not sure what's happened to the forum search engine as entering pay gives a nil return but a forum search through google works well, try:-

http://1914-1918.inv...showtopic=19146

and also here

http://1914-1918.inv...howtopic=158007

In answer to the second part of the question this is probably the most useful of the previous thread

http://1914-1918.inv...1

also externally here is the online pay and allowances book http://archive.org/d...allow00hoggrich

Ken

#5 anneca

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:26 PM

Thank you to everyone who has responded. I had searched the forum under pay and allowances but, as Ken has said, nothing came up for this. Thank you Ken for the links which were useful and very interesting. 10 francs doesn't seem a lot for John's Grandfather to receive as does 1 shilling.

My reason for asking this question was in relation to my Grandfather who was a Private in the AOC in Egypt. He left 6 children, all under the age of 10, from 1914-1919. My Grandmother would have had a hard time bringing up her children then as times were hard and money short. She wouldn't have had the money my Grandfather gave her when he worked as a Blacksmith before the war.

Thanks again to everyone for the information.
Best Wishes,
Anne



#6 gunnersdad

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:44 PM

Anne

This might be of interest to you. My wife's grandfather's demobilization account.

Regards Mal

Attached Files



#7 anneca

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:57 PM

Hello Mal

This is very interesting, especially as I see a pound had to be re-paid in return of a military great coat. One would have thought the army should have allowed the men to keep these as they would have been used and second-hand to someone else. Your family is very fortunate to have things like this to pass down generations. Unfortunately the only things I have of my Grandfathers are a few souvenirs he brought back from Egypt and one of his medals. Sadly his military records were destroyed during the WW2 blitz of London.

Going back to the pay and the 'shilling' I wonder if this had anything to do with the phrase 'taking the King's shilling' - something my late Father was famous for saying.

Thanks Mal for letting me have a look at the demobilization account and best wishes.
Anne

Anne

This might be of interest to you. My wife's grandfather's demobilization account.

Regards Mal



#8 gunnersdad

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:20 PM

Anne

I think you are right about the King's Shilling. I also believe that if a trained militia man or territorial transferred to the regular army he was paid a bounty of ten shillings. I know 70 years later when my son enlisted the King's Shilling had gone up to £10 not exactly in line with inflation but what's new?

Regards Mal

#9 kenf48

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:23 PM


My reason for asking this question was in relation to my Grandfather who was a Private in the AOC in Egypt. He left 6 children, all under the age of 10, from 1914-1919. My Grandmother would have had a hard time bringing up her children then as times were hard and money short. She wouldn't have had the money my Grandfather gave her when he worked as a Blacksmith before the war.

Anne


Not strictly true as this poster from 1915 shows the wife of a private with six children received at least 29 shillings per week
http://www.ww1propag...-march-1-1915-0

Many 14 year olds (and younger) worked to support the war effort and could earn up to 2 shillings a day. Although financial comparisons are difficult in 1914 the average wage of a skilled industrial worker was about £2
(40 shillings) p.w.

In fact it caused some controversy during the war as a soldier at the front was paid infrequently and in local currency while on the home front the separation allowance and opportunities for women and boys to earn (especially if they had the support of an extended family) together with freedom, not least, from further child bearing and other 'duties' led to massive and well documented change.

Not to diminish the privations of the Home Front and accepting the stress of separation before the war it was, as you say 'the money my Grandfather gave her' in this case a married soldier had to make a compulsory 'allotment' of pay, which was then made up by the Army, for the first time your grandmother and millions of other women had an unexpected and unheard of degree of financial independence.

Of course the payment was constrained by conditions etc that would probably be familiar to modern day claimants if you look at the book I posted you will see the tables for separation allowance and how it increased during the war (p.31 et seq.) together with the qualification for payment but a headline figure of 30 bob a week was probably more than even the most generous partner ever gave his spouse.



Incidentally on enlistment in 1914 George Coppard reports he received the 'King's Shilling' and one shilling and ninepence for his first day's ration allowance, he says by the time he got to the barracks and a roll call was taken there were two or three absentees he asks, "could they have signed on just to get the two and ninepence?"
(George Coppard With a machine gun to Cambrai)

Ken

#10 anneca

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 01:30 PM

Ken, that is a lot of information you have posted thank you. It has given me a new perspective, particularly the fact that my Grandmother, like a lot of other women, would have had for the first time an 'unheard of degree of financial independence'.

The tables for separation allowance are interesting and as you said a headline figure of 30shillings a week was probably more than they had ever been used to.

Thank you Ken for sharing your knowledge.
Regards
Anne

Ken - that book you posted is really interesting. I have spent several hours reading it with particular interest in the sections 'Treatment & Training', 'Hospital Stoppages & Deductions' and 'Medals & Distinctions'. Thank you for posting it! Anne

Edited by anneca, 17 April 2012 - 01:47 PM.


#11 Magnumbellum

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:07 PM

Going back to the pay and the 'shilling' I wonder if this had anything to do with the phrase 'taking the King's shilling' - something my late Father was famous for saying.


Yes, indeed. The point was that back in the 18th century a man received an advance of one day's pay on enlistment. As a form of press-ganging, which was exercised by the army as well as the navy, a recruiting sergeant would buy a man a drink, but slip a shilling into the tankard, for the man to be told, as he saw the coin on draining the last drop, "You've taken the King's shilling, you're a soldier now".

#12 anneca

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:39 PM

Very interesting - I learn something every day. Thank you!
Anne

Yes, indeed. The point was that back in the 18th century a man received an advance of one day's pay on enlistment. As a form of press-ganging, which was exercised by the army as well as the navy, a recruiting sergeant would buy a man a drink, but slip a shilling into the tankard, for the man to be told, as he saw the coin on draining the last drop, "You've taken the King's shilling, you're a soldier now".



#13 Ron Clifton

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 10:07 AM

I know 70 years later when my son enlisted the King's Shilling had gone up to 10 not exactly in line with inflation but what's new?

Hello Mal

What was new was, in fact, inflation!

When Britain and other countries maintained the "gold standard" of a fixed exchange rate, inflation was virtually unknown. There were occasionally fluctuations due to shortages in supply (e.g. during the Napoleonic Wars) but, if the baseline is fixed at 100 in 1660, the purchasing power varied very little duringbt the next 250 years and, in fact, was slightly less (i.e. things werev cheaper) in 1914 than in 1660! See William Rees-Mogg's book The Reigning Error which gives the figures for every decade, based on various earlier versions of what nowadays is the CPI.

Once convertibility into gold was suspended, the purchasing power of paper money (and base coin) decreased markedly, and inflation became a significant factor.

I think John Maynard Keynes once said that inflation at around 2% per annum was acceptable, because most people's earnings were increasing at a similar rate and hence were less likely to notice that prices were creeping up too, as they could still afford their necessary purchases.

The basic daily pay of an infantry private was a shilling a day throughout most of the period 1660 to 1914. The story about recruiting sergeants slipping a shilling into a prospective recruit's beer tankard may be just a traditional tale, but it is a fact that tankards were often made with a glass bottom (to detect the trick).

Ron

#14 Andrew Upton

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

The story about recruiting sergeants slipping a shilling into a prospective recruit's beer tankard may be just a traditional tale, but it is a fact that tankards were often made with a glass bottom (to detect the trick).


There is no "may" about it - in both the Army and Navy there were guarantees against being tricked into being enlisted/impressed this sort of way. The much more likely origin is that a glass bottom allowed a drinker to see the clarity of what he was drinking. A good publican would want to show off the quality of the liquid he was selling (thus use glass bottomed tankards), a bad one would want to disguise it as far as possible (and use solid tankards).

Although I do also like another suggested origin of a gambling ships Captain who distrusted other players to the point of wanting to see what they were doing, even when having a drink...

#15 gunnersdad

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:39 PM

Thanks Ron

I stand corrected, I've check an on line inflation calculator and it appears that a 1914 shilling is worth about £4 today. In comparison that makes my son's £10 generous.

Mal

#16 anneca

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:51 PM

Well, that is the first 'generous' thing I have heard since we came into this recession. I know 10 doesn't seem much now, but if the 'King's Shilling' today is worth 4, I hope your Son appreciated it's meteoric rise in value to 10.
Anne

a 1914 shilling is worth about 4 today. In comparison that makes my son's 10 generous.

Mal



#17 kenf48

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 02:44 PM

Anne

Came across this exchange in Hansard which seems pertinent to the second part of your original question although it refers to an RSM and seems very harsh

Viscount WOLMER asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Mrs. Robinson, of 2, Pembury Place, High Street, Alder-shot, widow of the late Sergeant-Major J. W. Robinson, M.C., Royal Army Medical Corps, during her husband's life drew £2 14s. 1d. weekly separation allowance, in addition to 25s. per week remitted to her by her husband; that now, since her husband has been killed in action, she receives a total pension with bonuses of 29s. 6d. per week; and that, although her husband had completed twenty years' service out of twenty-one years qualifying for his pension, she has received no compensation for this; and if he can state whether this case can be reconsidered?

Mr. FORSTER I am afraid that under the Regulations the widow is not entitled to any payment from Army funds in addition to the pension awarded by the Ministry of Pensions.


Written answer 23 July 1919
Ken

#18 anneca

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:33 PM

My goodness, that seems so very harsh Ken, especially after her husband had completed 20 year's service with only 1 year to go. Thank you for posting this Ken. (and we think we're going through tough times now!)
Regards, Anne

Anne

Came across this exchange in Hansard which seems pertinent to the second part of your original question although it refers to an RSM and seems very harsh

Viscount WOLMER asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Mrs. Robinson, of 2, Pembury Place, High Street, Alder-shot, widow of the late Sergeant-Major J. W. Robinson, M.C., Royal Army Medical Corps, during her husband's life drew 2 14s. 1d. weekly separation allowance, in addition to 25s. per week remitted to her by her husband; that now, since her husband has been killed in action, she receives a total pension with bonuses of 29s. 6d. per week; and that, although her husband had completed twenty years' service out of twenty-one years qualifying for his pension, she has received no compensation for this; and if he can state whether this case can be reconsidered?

Mr. FORSTER I am afraid that under the Regulations the widow is not entitled to any payment from Army funds in addition to the pension awarded by the Ministry of Pensions.


Written answer 23 July 1919
Ken



#19 bill24chev

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:52 PM

Walking past the local ACO today noticed current pay for an RSM (WO1) is about 105 per day, about 35K per annum. Good pay when on home service but actually less than minimum wage when on ops and effectivly on duty 24/7!!!!

#20 anneca

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:46 PM

35K p.a. is not bad at all but, as you say, less than minimum wage when effectively on duty 24/7. Not many other people, maybe hospital doctors the exception at times, are on duty 24/7 for such long stretches at a time I reckon! They're worth more I think.

Walking past the local ACO today noticed current pay for an RSM (WO1) is about 105 per day, about 35K per annum. Good pay when on home service but actually less than minimum wage when on ops and effectivly on duty 24/7!!!!



#21 WilliamRev

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:15 PM

Thanks Ron

I stand corrected, I've check an on line inflation calculator and it appears that a 1914 shilling is worth about £4 today. In comparison that makes my son's £10 generous.

Mal


I would warn against virtually all on-line calculators that claim to convert money from a former era to the present. They have often taken the price of one commodity (ie, eggs, or bread, or beer or whatever) through the centuries, and extrapolated a whole economy from it, as though different goods had stayed in proportion with each other: in my opinion they are very misleading when it comes to property, or furniture, or education......etc.

For example, my great-grandfather paid £300 to buy a small shop in central Glasgow (i.e. a respectable area) circa. 1890. This amount converts to a 2012 value of approx. £25,000 on several online converters, whereas clearly at least ten times that amount (or twenty?) would be needed today to buy that kind of property.

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#22 David Underdown

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:10 PM

The Measuring Worth website will give you a range of values based on several different indices. The values do differ considerably

#23 treetop

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:31 PM

Another aspect of the impact happened to my grandmother who lost her husband in 1916 and was left with 4 very young children to raise. She remarried in 1917 to survive (??) and her children were not allowed to live with her and had to live with a maiden aunt and uncle who raised them. The kids had to meet up with her in the street away from the house she lived in with her second 'husband'. I often wonder who received her pension payments in a land fit for heroes!

#24 corisande

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:41 AM

Against that background of wages and costs and post war unemployment, you can see the attraction of the Black and Tans in Ireland in 1920 for demobilised British soldiers.

A Temporary Constable in Royal Irish Constabulary got 10/- per day plus accommodation and food. And an Auxiliary Division RIC man (officers only) got a guinea a day plus food and accommodation). And there were various allowances on top.

#25 hovebooks

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:09 AM

Posted Image
Posted Image

I hope this helps!

I found this soldiers paybook and a few of his postcards tucked away in an old book!

It is now on Ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.co.u...em=130690134820