Separation allowance for a wife in the asylum

A soldier had difficulties paying for the keep of his mentally ill wife.

10th June 1919

Charles Hicks of Appleton is interviewed by the board with reference by him of the sum of £43.13.10 due to the Guardians for the maintenance of his wife in the Asylum whilst he was away from home on active service, as during a part of the time was being so maintained no Separation Allowance was paid by the Army Authorities, and he asked to have the amount incurred during this period £17.3.2 remitted. And it was resolved that the payment of the £17.3.2 be suspended pending an application to be made by him to the Army Paymaster for payment of the amount and the Clerk is instructed to give him any help he may require in making the application and Mr. Hicks agreed to pay the sum of £26.10.7 the cost of his wife’s maintenance in the Asylum for the period during which Separation Allowance was paid.

The following letters were read and ordered to be filed for future reference namely:-

1. From the Local Government Board…(b) enclosing amended scale of war bonuses recently authorised by the Treasury for permanent Civil Servants

Minutes of Abingdon Board of Guardians (G/A1/33)

Advertisements

Down with Capitalism, Militarism, and War!

Advertisements for local left wing parties reveal a lesser known aspect to local life including attitudes to the war.

The Independent Labour Party
is an International Socialist Party. Down with Capitalism, Militarism, and War! Up with Socialism and the Brotherhood of all nations!

National Socialist Party, Reading branch.

All unattached SOCIALISTS are invited to join the above branch, the members of which recognise the necessity of the success of the Allied Forces in the present struggle to ensure the early realisation of Democracy and Socialism.

British Socialist Party
is opposed to Imperialism, Capitalism, and war, and is working for an immediate peoples’ peace.

The Voice of Labour Is like one crying in the wilderness. It is crying out against High Prices: it is crying out for more wages by which to pay the high prices: it is crying out against the people who are making the prices high. These people do not heed the cry, they meet the demand for more wages then just put a little more on the goods than they have paid in extra wages.

Give up crying out and do something!

The people must –

Control raw material.
Control production.
Control prices,

For the benefit of the whole community.

The only way – join the Co-Op.
The Stores that are owned and controlled by the Members, and do your duty.

The National Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers
125 Friar Street

The Reading Branch, in conjunction with many others, is demanding that the Government shall increase the separation allowance to soldiers’ and sailors’ wives and their dependants owing to the increased cost of living; also that discharged men should be more fully represented on Pension Committees and other bodies dealing with such matters. Lord Rhondda on his death-bed sent this message to the Natioanl Baby Week. “The care of the children is a sacred duty.” How can the wives left at home to keep the home fires burning feed and clothe the babies on the present miserable allowance? We want all discharged men to join us to help us in this good work. Also to wake up the Pensions Ministry. A member speaking in the House of Commons said, “There are 2000 clerks at Chelsea dealing with 12000 pension cases weekly. That means one case per day for each clerk, yet it often takes twelve to fourteen months to get a man’s case settled.” Come along to help us to get a move on.

The Reading Worker: The Official Journal of Organised Labour in Reading and District, no. 21, September 1918 (D/EX1485/10/1/2)

The question of the employment of women as Clerks and Chauffeuses is under consideration by the Berkshire Constabulary

More Berkshire policemen were called on to join the army, leading to the county considering the drastic step of recruiting females for support roles.

20 April 1918
Identity books issued to Aliens

In March 1916 Identity Books were sent to the Acting Chief Constable from the Home Office with instructions for same to be issued to Aliens, for which a fee of 1/- each was to be paid, the same to be retained by the Police.

The Acting Chief Constable has recently written to the Under-Secretary of State for directions as to the disposal of the sums so received, and has been informed that it is left to the discretion of the Police Authority, the general practice being to credit such sums to the Police Fund or the Police Pension Fund.
… The sum of £38.16s.0d has been paid to the Pension Fund.

Application for Allowances to Wives

Application has been made by four Constables now serving in the Army for allowances to be made to their wives under the Police Constables (Naval and Military Service) Acts, 1914 to 1917.

These and 13 other Constables have (after first obtaining the permission of the Acting Chief Constable in accordance with the Regulations of the Force) married since joining the Army, and as in all (or nearly all) these cases applications to get married was only made after the Constables were selected to join the Military Forces, and no homes have been provided by the Constables for their wives, who are in receipt of the Army separation allowance, the Sub-committee recommend that the application be not acceded to.

Police for Military Service

The Acting Chief Constable has received a letter from the Home Office to the effect that, in view of the new emergency which has arisen, it has become necessary to make a further call on the Police to release at an early date a further contingent to join the Army. The quota … for Berkshire is 13….

As regards filling the vacancies caused by the Constables joining the Army, the question of the employment of women as Clerks and Chauffeuses is under consideration.

Recommended: That the Acting Chief Constable be authorised to make arrangements for such employment at 35s pay per week, and also for the calling up of further Police Reservists for regular police duty if necessary.
Adopted.

Col. Poulton has offered to release PC Wheeler (whose services as a Chauffeur the Committee allowed him to retain) for police duties.
Recommended: That his offer be accepted and that the 1/- per day hitherto paid to the County by Col. Poulton for PC Wheeler’s services be discontinued after 1 May.

I regret to report that PC 219, Alfred F. W. Davis, was killed in action on 20 January last. He joined the Force on 1 November 1913, and the Army on 19 June, 1915. He was 22 years of age at the time of his death…

PC 192, H. Boshier, rejoined the Force on 11 February, 1918, having been discharged from the Army as medically unfit. He has been examined by the Police Surgeon, who has provisionally passed him as ft for Police duty.

PCs 158, Sidney H. Giles, 55, Percy Sellwood, and 71, George H. Wheatcroft, have I understand been wounded, but at present I have no information as to the extent of their injuries – except in the case of PC Giles, who is now convalescent.

Berkshire County Council and Quarter Sessions: Standing Joint Committee minutes (C/CL/C2/1/5)

Delays in forms for war allowances

Administrative red tape and confusion over parish boundaries caused problems for some families.

It often happens that a delay occurs in attending to the many forms, which have to be filled up in connection with Soldiers’ allowances, pensions, &c., owing to persons giving “Winkfield” as their Parish. “Winkfield” is the proper Postal address, but for persons living in this Parish it should be stated that they live in the Parish of Cranbourne, and not Winkfield.

Privates P. Wye, F. Douglas, and H. Edmonds have been home on leave. We hear that Stanley Stratfull has been made a Corporal.

Cranbourne section of Winkfield District Magazine, October 1917 (D/P151/28A/9/10)

Some disabled ex-soldiers are refusing to work

Berkshire County Council found the war coming close to home when its Deputy Clerk, who had joined the army soon after the start of the war, was reported killed. Meanwhile they had begun to tackle the problem of those men who had returned home from the front with a permanent disability as a result of wounds. How might they be retrained?

DEATH OF THE DEPUTY CLERK

Resolved on the motion of the Chairman [James Herbert Benyon]: That a vote of condolence be forwarded to the widow of Lieut-Col H U H Thorne in her bereavement, and that it be accompanied by an expression of the great loss sustained by the Council in the untimely, though gallant, death in action of their Deputy Clerk.

Report of the Berkshire War Pensions Committee

The War Pensions Committee commenced their work on the 1 October, 1916.

The County, in accordance with the Scheme arranged by the County Council, has been divided into twelve Sub-committees, being, for the main part, one Sub-committee for each petty sessional division; but there have been certain adjustments, for the convenience of working, between the divisions of Wokingham and Easthampstead, while the Lambourn division has been divided between Wantage and Newbury division, with the exception of the parish of Lambourn itself, which is being worked by a Secretary and Treasurer.

Almoners have been appointed for each parish throughout the County, and the Almoners and Sub-committees respectively have had powers given them to deal with all urgent cases of wives and dependants of soldiers and sailors requesting financial assistance, each case being reported to this Committee for approval or revision as the circumstances may require.

During the six months alterations have been made in the amount of the State Separation Allowances and valuable additional powers have been given to the Pensions Committee in the way of making additional grants to meet to some extent the increase in prices, and the work has been now thoroughly organised.

Since the 1 October, 1916, up to the 30 April, 1917, the Finance and General Purposes Sub-committee have dealt with 1326 cases of Advances, Supplementary and Temporary Allowances, Temporary and Emergency Grants, etc. The payments made up to the 30 April, in respect of these Allowances and Grants, amount to a sum of £2299 2s 11d.

In addition to this the Sub-committee have dealt with 33 cases of Supplementary Pensions, which have been recommended to the War Pensions etc Statutory Committee.

The other section of the work of the committee is the very important and constantly increasing work of dealing with discharged and disabled soldiers and sailors. The principle adopted has been that so soon as the notification of the discharge of a man into the county has been received, the particulars are sent down to the Secretary of the Sub-committee in whose district the man proposes to live; enquiries are made in the district as to the man’s physical condition with a view of ascertaining whether he needs further medical treatment or training for some form of employment other than that to which he was accustomed prior to his disablement, and further inquiries to ascertain whether he needs financial assistance of either a temporary or permanent character, other than that provided by his pension, if any.

Considerable difficulty has been found in many cases where men have refused to work for fear of endangering the continuance of their pension, or because they are satisfied to remain as they are for the time being at any rate with the pension that they hold. The new Royal Warrant, however, will considerably strengthen the hands of the committee, as the Ministry of Pensions are entitled to withhold a portion of a pension if a man refuses to undertake treatment which the Pensions Committee, acting on medical advice, consider necessary for him, and the Pensions Committee will be enabled to grant a Separation Allowance for the wife and children where the man is undertaking training, and, further, to pay the man a bonus for each week of a course of training which he has competed to their satisfaction.

The provision of training is a difficult matter, as the necessary organisations are few and far between. In Berkshire the committee have three Schemes in course of formation. (more…)

Suddenly discharged with TB

Berkshire County Council was concerned about the position of men released from the army because they had contracted TB – a highly contagious and often fatal illness.

Report of Public Health and Housing Committee, 30 September 1916

Treatment of discharged soldiers

After considerable experience it is found that the treatment at the Sanatorium of discharged soldiers is not as successful as it ought to be, owing mainly to the arrangements made by the Military Authorities. It appears that a man suffering from tuberculosis is suddenly discharged from the Army with instructions to at once proceed to a Sanatorium for treatment. With regard to his finances the separation allowance [to his wife] automatically ceases while facilities for the man to visit his family or friends before going into the Sanatorium are not accorded.

In the opinion of the Medical Officer of the Sanatorium these circumstances are not conducive to good results, as to receive the full benefit of treatment a patient must be freed from all worries, financial and otherwise. The Medical Officer suggests that a man should be allowed to visit his home before going into the Sanatorium, and that he should know definitely what his financial position will be whilst undergoing treatment. The Committee desire to draw attention to this matter, with the hope that publicity will result in improved arrangements being made by the Army Authorities.

Berkshire County Council minutes (C/CL/C1/1/19)

“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)

Helping policemen’s families

Berkshire County Council’s Standing Joint Committee, which oversaw the police, met on 4 December 1915 to consider possible extra allowances for the wives and other dependant relatives of policemen who had joined the armed forces.

4 December 1915
Enlistment of Police under Police (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1915
In accordance with your instructions permission has been given to the following constables who have enlisted, viz:
PC 203 Harris
PC 213 Wheatcroft
PC 204 Harris
PC 141 Potter
PC 78 Thompson
PC 186 Newman
PC 210 Wicks
PC 215 Jeffcock
PC 41 Vile
PC 158 Giles
PC 55 Sellwood
PC 71 Wheatcroft
PC 123 Chipp
PC 65 Pottinger
PC 209 Read
PC 147 Rowland
PC 111 Offer
PC 32 Bates
PC 83 Bennett
PC 190 Irving

PC 32 Henry Bates has been contributing £2 per month towards the support of his widowed mother. The Sub-committee recommend that an allowance of 5/- per week be made to [her].

PCs 78 Thompson and 215 Jeffcock have been granted permission to marry, but this will not involve any allowance to their wives, as they will be entitled to the separation allowance from Army funds.
In regard to the allowance made to the mother of PC 36 George Eales, which was adjourned at the meeting in October for further enquiries, PC Eales having now stated that he had not regularly contributed to the support of his mother before his enlistment, the Committee have no power to continue the allowance to Mrs Eales, and it is accordingly recommended that it be discontinued.

The following are the allowances now granted…
Constable Recipient Rate per week
PC 58 Brown Mrs D. Brown (wife). 8/9
PC 105 Siney Mrs H. Siney (wife) 12/7
PC 214 Easton Mrs J. Easton (mother) 7/-
PC 216 Sparkes Mrs E. Sparkes (wife) 10/1
PC 163 Hubbard Mrs M. Hubbard (wife) 12/7

Standing Joint Committee minutes (C/CL/C2/1/5)