In December 1918, a War Gratuity was introduced as a payment for men who served in the First World War for at least 6 months of home service, or for any length of service if a man had served abroad.
Before its introduction, men had been paid a service gratuity under the Royal Pay Warrant. Some men would already have been paid the service gratuity. On payment the War Gratuity was adjusted so they did not receive the full value of both.
During the production of this book, reference was made to the “Register of soldier’s effects” held by the National Army Museum. The information contained in these records has enabled us to calculate length of service of the casualty in the absence of other military records. In some cases, these records narrow down the place of their death and their next of kin. This type of information was not available for those who served in the Royal Navy or Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force.
The rules governing the gratuity were implemented under Army Order 17 of 1919, the full text for which is as follows:
Army Order 17 of 1919 – Army Council Instructions
Army Council’s instructions
The expression “normal period of service” in the Warrant refers to the terms under which soldiers are accepted for service in the Regular Army in Sections A, B or D of the Army Reserve, Class I., under regulations other than those specifically relating to the war. The terms are laid down in the Regulations for the Recruiting for the Regular Army, the Regulations for the Army Reserves, Class I. and the King’s Regulations.
The soldiers entitled to war gratuity in addition to service gratuity are:-
(i) Soldiers whose whole war service has been on a Regular normal engagement (including Section D reservists) as defined in 1 above.
(ii) Soldiers serving on a Regular normal engagement as defined in 1 above, who have been retained or have voluntarily continued beyond the term of their engagements during their war service.
For the following soldiers, the war gratuity will include any gratuity payable under the regulations mentioned at 29 below:-
(i) Soldiers serving on Special Reserve, Territorial Force or duration of the war attestations, or deemed to have been enlisted for the duration of the war.
(ii) Soldiers of the Regular Army re-enlisted or deemed to have been re-enlisted for the duration of the war.
Soldiers, part of whose service falls under 2 and part under 3, are entitled to draw the gratuities in 29 below in addition to war gratuity for the first mentioned portion of their service, but for the last mentioned portion.
In the case of a soldier who re-enlists under Army Order IV of 10th December, 1918, and is not counting service for both gratuities under 2 above, the gratuity mentioned in 29 below will be included in the war gratuity up to the date of his re-enlistment under that Army Order, but from that date he will begin to earn the gratuity payable on discharge &c. under the regulations mentioned in 29 below, in addition to any war gratuity for which he may be eligible.
The appropriate regulations referred to in paragraph 2 of the Schedule are the regulations of the Admiralty and Air Ministry authorising war gratuity for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force retrospectively – see also under 87 below.
For soldiers who are entitled to count service for war gratuity as well as for the gratuity under the regulations mentioned at 29 below i.e. those coming under 2 and all those re-enlisted under Army Order IV. of 10th December, 1918, the period for war service will terminate at the end of the war as defined hereafter by statutory authority. For those coming under 3, whose war gratuity includes gratuity under the regulation mentioned at 29, the period for war service will terminate on 3rd August, 1919.
Soldiers referred to in 8, who serve beyond 3rd August, 1919, will be entitled to draw the gratuity under the regulations mentioned in 29 below as from the next anniversary of their enlistment, reenlistment or recall, subsequent to that date.
The gratuity issuable under the Warrant to soldiers of the South African Overseas Contingent, referred to in 12(a) will include the gratuity admissible under the regulations mentioned at 29 below, but not the extra gratuity payable from Union of South Africa funds under ACI 1809 of 1918.
A soldier who has rendered war service in more than one engagement will not be entitled to a minimum gratuity in respect of separate engagement. The gratuity will be assessed in such cases on the soldier’s total war service. Former service which the soldier denied when joining under a subsequent engagement will be allowed to reckon.
The exceptions from gratuity referred to in paragraph 4 of the Schedule are as follow:-Any coloured personnel enlisted in to the units therein mentioned at rates of pay which vary from those drawn by the European personnel serving therein e.g. coloured personnel from West Africa enlisted in the Island Water Transport Section of the R.E. (Transportation Branch) and coloured personnel from the West Indies enlisted in the RGA at rates of pay which do not include the increases granted by Army Order 1 of 1918.
The following will, if otherwise qualified, be eligible for the gratuity:-
(a) Soldiers of the South African Overseas Contingent (see 9 above) and soldiers of the South African and Rhodesian Contingents in East and Central Africa who, whilst serving therewith, were in receipt of either the full British rates of pay applicable to European soldiers or Union of South Africa rates of pay.
(b) Soldiers of Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps serving with the special contingent attached to the Lincolnshire Regiment.
(c) European soldiers transferred, or appointed, from units the depots of which are situated in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man to service with the following units, raised outside the United Kingdom:-
The Malta Division, Royal Engineers (Militia) The King’s Own Malta Regiment of Militia The Royal Malta Artillery The Hong Kong Singapore Royal Garrison Artillery The Sierra Leone Company, Royal Garrison Artillery The Bermuda Militia Artillery The Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps The West India Regiment The West African Regiment The King’s African Rifles The West African Frontier Force The British West Indies Regiment The Cape Colony (Infantry) The Cape Auxiliary Horse Transport Companies The Cape Coloured Labour Battalion The South African Native Labour Corps The Chinese Labour Corps
Maltese enlisted at the full British rates of pay in the Army Service Corps and coloured personnel enlisted in to units referred to in paragraph 4 of the Schedule at the full rates of pay (including the increases authorised in Army Order 1 of 1918) drawn by the European personnel of those units are entitled, otherwise qualified, to the gratuity under this Warrant.
The rank which will determine the minimum gratuity will be the substantive, temporary or acting rank held by the soldier on the termination of his war service, or in the case of those serving beyond the 11th November, 1918, on that date, if higher.
A non-commissioned officer who at the time of his discharge, demobilisation, transfer to the reserve, or death, was holding a rank or appointment (temporary, substantive, or acting) which, subsequently, under the Warrants published in Army Orders 70 of 1915 and 194 of 1918, entitled its holder to the temporary, substantive or acting rank of warrant officer Class II, will be eligible for the gratuity under this Warrant as though he were a warrant officer Class II at the time of his discharge, demobilisation, transfer or death, as the case may be.
A soldier who has at any time during his war service embarked for the service overseas outside the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, will be considered for the purpose of the war gratuity as having served overseas, subject to 25 below.
A soldier who was enlisted and discharged overseas without having embarked for service away from the place of his enlistment will not be regarded as having served overseas unless he served with troops under a General Officer Commanding-in-Chief in the Field.
A soldier who has served on the staff of a hospital ship or transport proceeding to or from a port outside the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man will be considered for the purpose of this Warrant to have served overseas, notwithstanding that he has remained on the strength of a unit at home.
The assessment of the qualifying service from the war gratuity in a case where part of the soldier’s total service during the war period does not reckon as qualifying service, will be made as in the case of war pay e.g. if a soldier who enlisted on the 1st January, 1917, was awarded 42 days’ detention on the 1st May 1917, the minimum grant under paragraph 5 of the Schedule will cover the period of 1st January, 1917, to 11th February, 1918.
The mode of assessing the additional gratuity in respect of the period beyond the 12 calendar months’ war service mentioned in paragraph 6 of the Schedule, for the soldier referred to in paragraph 7 of the Schedule will be as follows:-5s ( or 2s6d) for each complete calendar month or portion of a calendar month in the whole of the additional period, plus 5s, (or 2s6d) similarly reckoned on such portion of that additional period as may have elapsed before the date from which pension was issuable or would have been issuable had an election to draw pension under Army Order 1 of 1918 been made.
The special gratuity referred to in paragraph 10 of the Schedule is that provided in paragraph 12 of Army Order 283 of 1914.
As regards paragraph 11 (a) of the Schedule the gratuity will not be issuable to any soldier who on or before the date on which the gratuity is issuable is discharged under paragraphs 392 (x), (xi) or (xii) King’s Regulations, or who on that date is undergoing a sentence of penal servitude, imprisonment or detention at the expiration of which he is discharged under either of those paragraphs.
Paymasters will be furnished by the War Office with nominal wills of the soldiers who are excluded under paragraph 11 (c) of the schedule from eligibility for the war gratuity. No soldier will be excluded under this paragraph except on the authority of these lists.
Paragraph 11 (f) of the Schedule refers to the classes mentioned in ACI’s 806 and 1040 of 1917, as ineligible for gratuities under the regulations referred to at 29 below.
As regards paragraph 12 (a) of the Schedule, where the whole of the soldier’s war service isperformed at home or in the place of enlistment abroad (see 17 above) he will be eligible only for the gratuity on the scale laid down in paragraphs 6 to 9 of the Schedule, for a soldier with no overseas service, notwithstanding that he may during a portion of the period of his service which does not reckon as war service have served overseas or embarked for service overseas. Thus a soldier who after the date of his conviction or of the order dispensing with his trial for desertion has not subsequently served or embarked for service overseas will be assessed as though he had not served overseas, notwithstanding any previous overseas service. Similarly, any soldiers referred to in 27 (iii) below, who have war service at home only, will not be entitled to the overseas scale shown in paragraphs 6 to 9 of the Schedule. Other similar cases will be dealt with in like manner.
Paragraph 12 (a) of the Schedule will not apply to cases in which, where trial for desertion had been dispensed with, the soldier had not at that time, or subsequently been ordered to forfeit pay for the period of absence. In such cases previous war service will reckon.
Paragraph 12 (c) of the Schedule refers to service spent in the following categories :-
(i) Soldiers enlisted for Forage Department, Royal Army Service Corps.
(ii) Civilian staffs of war hospitals enlisted at civil rates of pay for home and local service.
(iii) Soldiers serving with the Expeditionary Force Canteens and drawing civil rates of pay. (Any period during which the soldier was attached to the Expeditionary Force Canteens and drawing Army rates of pay will reckon as war service).
(iv) Soldiers released for civil employment as munitions workers.
(v) In the case of a soldier in agricultural employment, the whole of any continuous period of more than 8 months during which he may have been so employed and in receipt of civil pay under the conditions of ACI 1155 of 1917.
(vi) In the case of a soldier released from military duty under Army Order 229 of 1918 the whole of any continuous period of more than 8 months during which he was not entitled to Army pay and allowance. Soldiers of the Transport Workers Battalions and of the Dock Battalions, King’s Liverpool Regiment will be eligible for the gratuity.
No period of service in any part of the Army Reserve will reckon as war service.
The gratuity referred to in Paragraph 18 of the Schedule is that laid down in Articles 1117 to 1119 of the Pay Warrant and Army Orders 427 and 502 of 1914, 24 and 168 of 1915 and 181 of 1916.Any gratuity for which the soldier may be eligible under the regulations mentioned above may, if more advantageous, be issued in lieu of the gratuity admissible under this Warrant.
The gratuity or balance of gratuity admissible under this Warrant in the case of a soldier not already discharged or deceased will be issuable at the end of the period of war service on which his gratuity is assessed or on the date on which the soldier’s colour service terminates on demobilization, if later.
For soldiers discharged, other than as insane, on or after the 9th December, 1918, the Paymaster will take the necessary action for issue of any sum payable under this Warrant.
In the case of a soldier deceased or discharged as insane, for whom Army Form O1815 (Or equivalent report) has not yet been rendered to the War Office, the Paymaster will credit the soldier with any gratuity or balance of gratuity before reporting the balance. Particulars will be given on Army Form O1815 showing how the gratuity or balance of gratuity is arrived at.
In the case of deceased or insane soldiers in respect of whom Army Form O1815 (or equivalent report) has already been rendered, and of men who have died or become insane since discharge, Army Form W5070 will have been forwarded by the War Office to the Paymaster for insertion of the gratuity or balance of gratuity due. A recapitulation of the credits notified each day on Army Form
W5070 will be forwarded to the Secretary of the War Office, Imperial Institute, London, SW7 with the relative forms. The charge against Army Votes in these cases will be made by the War Office direct.
Soldiers discharged before the 9th December are being instructed by public notices to render claims on the Army Form W5063 (to be obtained at any post office) for the gratuity or balance of gratuity due. Where the soldier, if not discharged as insane, renders the claim himself, the Paymaster will verify the particulars of service and assess the amount for issue. If a claim is received from a soldier who was discharged insane it will be transmitted to the Secretary, War Office, Imperial Institute, SW7.
Where the discharged soldier is unable to make a claim himself, his next-of-kin or legatee will render Army Form W5063 to the War Office and the Paymaster will be instructed as may be necessary.
Subject to any special instructions that may be issued, and to the exceptions specified below, the amount available for payment will be deposited in the Post Office Savings Bank. Deposits in the Post Office Savings Bank will not be made in the case of :-
(a) Soldiers deceased or discharged insane, or who have died or become insane since discharge.
(b) Discharged soldiers who are resident overseas when the gratuity or balance of gratuity is ready for issued.
(c) Soldiers whose claims to repatriation abroad on demobilisation have been established, and who have elected to embark at the first opportunity, remaining in the service until passages are available.
The Paymaster will obtain from the Office i/c Records any particulars of service required for the assessment of the gratuity or balance of gratuity due. Where a soldier claims former service, qualifying for war gratuity, in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines or Royal Air Force, the Paymaster will obtain a statement of the qualifying service allowed to reckon from the officers specified below :-
Naval ratings (including Royal Navy Volunteer Accountant-General Admiralty (AG 9) Reserve, other than those of the Royal Naval Division and Royal Fleet Reserve) Royal Marines The commandant of the Division concerned Royal Naval Division Officer i/c Royal Naval Division Records, 47, Victoria Street, London, SW1 Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Naval Registrar - General of Shipping and Seamen, Reserve T Tower Hill, EC8. Royal Air Force Officer i/c Records, Royal Air Force.
Except in the case of the Royal Air Force, the respective officers specified in 37 will state the amount of any gratuity already paid which has to be reckoned in the assessment of the balance. In the case of the Royal Air Force, particulars of any gratuity already issued will be obtained from the Central Pay Office, Royal Air Force, Woking.
Special instructions will be issued in regard to the assessment and mode of issue of the gratuity or balance of gratuity due to soldiers of the South African and Rhodesian contingents.
All issues of the gratuity or balance of gratuity or notifications to the War Office on Army Form O1815 or Army Form W5070 will be recorded in the soldier’s ledger sheet or in the pay sheet in which the last charge for his pay is made as the case may be. Note: Army Forms W5063 and W5070 referred to above are in preparation and will be available as soon as supplied are received from the printers.