The provisions of the Royal Warrant with regard to discharged disabled Soldiers and Sailors

The porter of Abingdon Workhouse, wounded on active service, returned to work – but stayed on the army’s books.

11th June 1917

A circular recently issued by the Local Government Board calling attention to the provisions of the Royal Warrant with regard to discharged disabled Soldiers and Sailors was read and it was resolved that the same be filed for future reference.

A letter was read from the Local Government Board stating that the Workhouse Porter, E. J. Bradley, had been transferred to Class W. of the Army Reserve to enable him to resume his duties under the Board and requesting in the event of Bradley ceasing to hold Office, the board might be immediately acquainted with the fact. Resolved that the request of the Board be complied with.

Minutes of Abingdon Board of Guardians (G/A1/32)

What if discharged disabled soldiers and sailors apply to the workhouse

There was fear that wounded soldiers unable to work might find themelves in the workhouse.

5th June, 1917

A circular letter from the Local Government Board was read with reference to discharged disabled soldiers and sailors asking the Guardians to communicate at once with the Local War Decisions Committee should any become changeable.

A letter was read from the Local Government Board offering no objection to Dr W H Bush’s duties being carried out by D.A.B. Gemmell during the former’s absence on military service.

Wantage Board of Guardians minutes (G/WT1/23, p. 239)

Unfit for General Service

The porter at Abingdon Workhouse had joined up like so many others. After being wounded, he planned to return to his old job.

30th April 1917

The following letters were read viz:-

From J Bradley, the Porter, stating that he had been discharged from Hospital and was returning to his Regiment, and as he was unfit for General Service suggesting that he might return to his duties as Porter if it could be arranged. Resolved that the Board do apply to the Local Government Board to take steps for the discharge of Bradley in order that he may resume his duties as porter.

Minutes of Abingdon Board of Guardians (G/A1/32)

An increasing number of discharged soldiers are suffering from tuberculosis

The County Council’s Public Health and Housing Committee had to face the problem of men sent home as they had been diagnosed with TB – a very infectious, often fatal illness.

Accommodation at Peppard

The question of providing additional accommodation at Peppard has been raised in view of the increasing number of discharged soldiers suffering from tuberculosis requiring treatment, and a prelimnary inquiry at Peppard, in conjunction with representatives of the Bucks County Council has been suggested.

Military and National Service

The Committee have considered the effect of the new Military Service Act (which provides for the re-examination by the Military Authorities of men discharged from the Army) and of the National Service Scheme, as regards men who have recently suffered from tuberculosis. There appears to be some danger of such men being taken into the Army or sent to unsuitable work, and a communication has been sent to the Local Government Board expressing the hope that the arrangement for not calling up men notified as tuberculous and men discharged from the Army on account of tuberculosis for further military service for a period of three years, would be confirmed – and extended with modifications to National Service.

Report of Public Health and Housing Committee, 14 April 1917 (C/CL/C1/1/20)

Paupers of military age

Able bodied men seeking overnight accommodation in the workhouses were to have their military eligibility checked.

5th February 1917

The following letters are read and ordered to be filed viz:-

1. From the Local Government Board with regard to the notification of the Casual Paupers of Military Age received in the Casual Wards being given to the nearest Recruiting Officer unless such pauper holds a statement signed by a Recruiting officer shewing that his position had already been investigated and that he was not liable for Military Service and that such notification should now be sent in the case of married as well as single men. The something having reported that something had notified such cases with Recruiting Officer at the Recruiting Office Abingdon.

2. From the same body with reference to the New War Loan.

Minutes of Abingdon Board of Guardians (G/A1/32)

“There is a very great difference between the cases of men who have earned promotion abroad and of men who have been promoted when merely engaged in semi-civilian work at home”

The County Council Finance and General Purposes Committee report of 22 July 1916 dealt with the Council’s continuing financial support for employees who had joined up.

WAR ALLOWANCES

Promotion money

Your committee recommend that as regards Non-commissioned Officers and Privates who obtained promotion (other than promotion in Commissioned rank) prior to 6 November, 1915 … they shall continue to receive the full benefit of such promotions [in the added allowance made by BCC]; and that all other cases be dealt with on their merits. The Committee feel that there is a very great difference between the cases of men who have earned promotion abroad and of men who have been promoted when merely engaged in semi-civilian work at home. There are cases also of men who obtained Commissions shortly after enlistment, which equitably might not perhaps be considered cases of promotion….

Separation allowances

Your committee recommend that full separation allowances be deducted except in the cases of men who, having enlisted between 15 May and 6 November, 1915, may be considered by the Local Government Board … to have been induced to enlist by the resolution of the Council of 15 May 1915. In these cases, it is recommended that only half separation allowances be deducted, but where men have married after enlistment and subsequent to 15 May, 1915, full separation allowance be deducted….

No employee who joined prior to 9 November, 1915, shall in any case receive less in allowances, plus Naval or Military pay, plus family or separation allowances than than his civil pay prior to enlistment.
The Committee have been informed that there are a number of men marrying after enlistment who have not informed the Treasurer of the fact, and have been receiving the full County allowances without deduction of separation allowances. It is recommended that the necessary adjustments be made from future payments, if any; and that all payments hitherto made under such circumstances be ratified.

In the case of employees who die or have died on active service, leaving a wife or other dependants, the committee recommend that they be authorised to continue the payment of the dependants’ allowances for such period, not exceeding three months in all, as the circumstances of each particular case may require….

BCC Finance and General Purposes Committee report (C/CL/C1/1/19)

Should price rises mean OAPs got extra help?

The Berkshire branch of the National Relief Fund met again at Shire Hall, Reading, to discuss applications for financial support due to the circumstances of the war. The committee would go quiet after this with a minor meeting on 3 June 1916 with no substantive matters discussed, and no other meetings until 1917.

4 December 1915

Miss Pott reported that no further application had been received from Mrs Pounds of Peasemore; that Mrs Forrester had found employment in one of Boots’ supply stores in the London district & was also in receipt of an allowance from the Central Bureau for the Employment of Women; & that the grant of £100 asked for had been received from the Government Committee of the NRF.

Applications for relief were reported from
Brandon, Maidenhead. The applicant being resident in Buckinghamshire, his application had been refused.
Chapman, Theale. Reported that the local Committee recommended that no further relief be give,
Patterson, Maidenhead. The Chairman reported that he had authorized a further grant of 10/- per week for 2 weeks so that the allowance would continue until January 2, 1916, after which the applicant would be in receipt of other monies. The Committee confirmed the Chairman’s action.
Turner, Wantage. Resolved that the case be referred back for further information, and be decided by the Chairman upon the facts supplied by the Local Secretary.

Miss Pott reported that the Abingdon Secretary had written to ask whether the Committee would give relief to Old Age Pensioners in consideration of the rise in cost of living. That she had laid the letter before Mr Nisbet, the Local Government Board Inspector, who had replied that the Government Commission of the NRF had decided against relief being given on such grounds; & that a copy of Mr Nisbet’s letter had been sent to Abingdon.

National Relief Fund Berkshire Committee minutes (C/CL/C6/4/1)