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Did Colonial casualties receive War Gratuity payment? 5 months 1 week ago #81061

  • Moranthorse1
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While researching the casualty records of those who died during the Anglo Boer War and were in the service of Imperial regiments etc., many records are to be found in the Deceased Soldier's Effects books. Payment of War Gratuity and any monies that may be left in a deceased soldiers account are distributed between beneficiaries such as parents, wife or children.
The amounts can be substantial especially for the more well off men.
I wondered if the families of the men who were serving Short Service in the colonial units would receive anything similar from the Imperial Government in the event of their death in service? While perusing the Deceased Soldiers Effects ledgers I find no evidence of reference to a casualty from a colonial unit. I would say that I have not covered every entry however!!
Perhaps the fact that most of them enjoyed a far greater rate of pay than Tommy Atkins meant that the Crown had no further obligation within the terms of service?
I would appreciate any comments very much from the learned forum.

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Did Colonial casualties receive War Gratuity payment? 5 months 1 week ago #81071

  • Trev
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Hi Steve,

From your subject heading, I would like to say 'yes' due to some of the relevant information that I have found. In reality, if it is as hard as it is today for serving soldiers to get there just entitlements for there service and sacrifice that they have provided to their Country by serving in war zones, I would hate to guess what it would have been like 120 years ago.

Having a quick look online, this is the relevant information that I was able to find with regards to Imperial Gratuity or Pension Scheme benefits which are directed towards Colonial Units. This particular article is reflected towards the New South Wales Contingent, but I dare say that it would be likewise to all the other Colonial Contingents in Australia and if not other supporting Countries of the Empire.

The article also outlines payments of pensions from non-commissioned officers to privates and some of the conditions outlined. Surprisingly there is no information with regards to payments to Officers.


(Evening News, Sydney NSW, Tuesday 23 July, 1901)

Some other interesting information that I was able to find about the Imperial Pension was with regards to unworthy conduct which would disqualify a widow from the pension, the War Department states this may be taken to mean conduct of a character to create public scandal, such as the birth of an illegitimate child, cohabitation with a man to whom the widow is not married, disorderly habits leading to neglect of children, etc. It is also stated that no question of restoring a suspended pension can be considered until at least 12 months subsequent good behaviour has been proven.

I have also read many examples where this pension is paid in conjunction by either State or regional Patriotic Funds, where depending on either death or permanent or partial disability, a person could receive a one-off lump sum or regular assistance as the committee see's fit. An example is Queensland, who with the early Contingents were insuring their troops for death at the rate of £250 which was paid to the next of kin. This amount was later matched by the Queensland Government and also made available to the Imperial Bushmen Contingents when they went away from insuring troops.

What is disgusting, is that it took nearly another 40 years (1 November 1941, in fact) until Boer War veterans in this country were recognized and thought worthy enough to be paid a Veteran's Pension. Not all Boer War soldiers had the opportunity in signing up again in WW1 which would have given them some sought of earlier guarantee in receiving military benefits.


(The Courier-Mail, Brisbane Qld, Tuesday 21 Oct, 1941)

Trev
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Did Colonial casualties receive War Gratuity payment? 5 months 1 week ago #81073

  • QSAMIKE
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Good Morning......

I check the service documents for 5 Canadian casualties and according to their service documents none received a gratuity payment..... Their estate did receive the Land Grant that they would have received had they survived and returned to Canada.....

Mike
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Did Colonial casualties receive War Gratuity payment? 5 months 1 week ago #81082

  • Moranthorse1
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Trev and Mike,
Many thanks for the information, just the sort needed to find the answer to my question.
Pretty appalling that men would travel out from Canada to fight for the Empire never to return and their families receiving no recompense!
Cheers Steve

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Did Colonial casualties receive War Gratuity payment? 5 months 1 week ago #81083

  • QSAMIKE
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Hi Steve.......

I have found this...... I was under the impression that they only received a grant of 320 acres of land but I dug further and they were offered the land or a cash grant.....
See below.....

Mike


About Canada, South African War Land Grants, 1908-1910

During the South African War (or Boer War) of 1899–1902, for the first time, Canada sent troops to fight in a war overseas. About 7,300 Canadian troops and 12 nurses served in South Africa. Veterans of the war were became eligible for 320 acres of Dominion Land (or a payment of $160 in scrip) under the 1908 Volunteer Bounty Act. This database contains applications for these bounty land grants.
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Did Colonial casualties receive War Gratuity payment? 5 months 1 week ago #81084

  • Moranthorse1
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Hi Mike,

On the face of it, that seems a pretty generous parcel of land that you could actually make a living off.
However, I wonder what the quality of the land was and if the individual veterans had any choice of location. After all there was (and still is!) plenty of land in your country.
Cheers Steve

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