Example calculations – war gratuity

The calculation of an enlistment date from the war gratuity can be difficult as we do not always have the full information which is required to be able to easily make the calculation. The calculation is usually only possible for deceased soldiers as very few records remain for the gratuity of those soldiers who survived.

A spreadsheet has been developed to estimate the payable gratuity however we will look at the actual calculations behind the gratuity here. On this basis a technique, detailed below, has been established to allow the enlistment date to be estimated and we shall look at some examples.

What we must be aware of is the two different entry types which are shown in the soldiers effects records. We shall look at examples for both types of entry’s as the calculation is different for each type. Type 2 records are generally much easier to work with than Type 1 records and so we shall look at these first.

Some records are marked as ‘supplementary gratuities‘ however this makes no difference to the calculation and should be dealt with as a usual Type 1 or Type 2 record.

Examples with Type 2 effects records

Private C C Greenacre, died 2 March 1916
Received a £8 10s war gratuity

As this is a ‘type 2’ entry the full war gratuity has been paid and we can calculate a possible enlistment date.

For the first 12 months a flat rate £5 was paid followed by 10s for each further month of service. This gives us a service period of 19 months in total, an enlistment date of September 1914.

Acting Serjeant H Appleby, died 16 December 1919
Received a £32 war gratuity

As this is a ‘type 2’ entry the full war gratuity has been paid and we can calculate a possible enlistment date.

For the first 12 months a flat rate £8 was paid followed by 10s for each further month of service. This gives us a service period of 60 months in total, the maximum period of service.  On this occasion we can say that he enlisted no earlier than August 1914 and not later than January 1915 to have a minimum of 60 months service at the date of his death.  A check of service records for men with surrounding service numbers would be required to confirm the date.

Private Herbert Maynard, died 8/12 April 1918
Received a £14 war gratuity

As this is a ‘type 2’ entry the full war gratuity has been paid and we can calculate a possible enlistment date.

For the first 12 months a flat rate £5 was paid followed by 10s for each further month of service. This gives us a service period of 30 months in total, an enlistment date of November 1915.

Private Josiah James, died 24 September 1915
Received a £5 war gratuity

As this is a ‘type 2’ entry the full war gratuity has been paid and we can calculate a possible enlistment date.

He received the minimum war gratuity of £5 which tells us he had no more than 12 months service at the time of his death.

Private Horace Young, died 19 October 1917
Received a £18 10s war gratuity

As this is a ‘type 2’ entry the full war gratuity has been paid and we can calculate a possible enlistment date.

For the first 12 months a flat rate £5 was paid followed by 10s for each further month of service. This gives us a service period of 39 months in total, an enlistment date of August 1914. Note that as the war gratuity only accrued from August 1914 he may have been a pre-war territorial and already enlisted at the outbreak of war.

Examples with Type 1 effects records
For the Type 1 effects records the amount of war gratuity paid is net of a deduction which has been made for the service gratuity and therefore, to get the gross war gratuity, we have to add the value of the service gratuity back on to the net war gratuity. The problem in these cases is that we do not generally know how much service gratuity was due and we have to work this in to the calculation.

Corporal #664 E. Ackerman died 26 April 1915
Received a £4 war gratuity

We need to start by looking at the minimum war gratuity which was due for payment to a Corporal , £6. We can see that less than this was paid and we know, as a Type 1 effects records, that it was paid net of any service gratuity.

We now need to look at what amount of service gratuity he was eligible for.

Knowing he died on 26 April 1915 and that entitlement for the gratuity started no earlier than August 1914 we can confirm the following possible service gratuity amounts based on a maximum service of 9 months

Period                          Amount of service gratuity             Notes
1 to 12 months            minimum £2 service gratuity         Possible as served for 9 months or less
13 to 24 months         minimum £2 service gratuity          No applicable as didn’t serve long enough
25 to 36 months         maximum£3 service gratuity          No applicable as didn’t serve long enough
37 to 48 months         maximum £4 service gratuity         No applicable as didn’t serve long enough
49 to 60months          maximum £5 service gratuity         No applicable as didn’t serve long enough

As we can see the only possible service gratuity he could have received was the minimum of £2. Adding the £2 service gratuity back to the £4 war gratuity paid give us a gross figure of £6. The £6 war gratuity was the minimum figure for which a Corporal was due for service of 12 months or less.

Using additional records which are available we can confirm that Corporal Ackerman was a pre-war territorial.

WO2 #14508 Claughan died 10 July 1916
Received a £14 10s war gratuity

We need to start by looking at the minimum war gratuity which was due for payment to a WO2, £12. We can see that m0re than the minimum war gratuity figure was paid out and we know, as a Type 1 effects records, that it was paid net of any service gratuity. This tells us that Claughan must have served for more than 12 months.

We now need to look at what amount of service gratuity he was eligible for.

Knowing he died on 10 July 1916 and that entitlement for the gratuity started no earlier than August 1914 we can confirm the following possible service gratuity amounts based on a maximum service of 24 months

Period                          Amount of service gratuity             Notes
1 to 12 months            minimum £2 service gratuity         Possible as served a maximum of 24 months or less
13 to 24 months         minimum £2 service gratuity          Possible as served a maximum of 24 months or less
25 to 36 months         maximum£3 service gratuity          No applicable as didn’t serve long enough
37 to 48 months         maximum £4 service gratuity         No applicable as didn’t serve long enough
49 to 60months          maximum £5 service gratuity         No applicable as didn’t serve long enough

As we can see the only possible service gratuity he could have received was the minimum of £2. Adding the £2 service gratuity back to the £14 10s war gratuity paid give us a gross figure of £16 10s.

We know that a WO2 received a basic war gratuity of £12 for 12 months service. Deducting this from the gross war gratuity of £16 10s leaves a remainder of £4 10s. £4 10s is equivalent to 9 months, at 10s per months.

We can therefore estimate that Claughan served for 21 months in total. This gives an enlistment date of November 1914.

Special Cases
Men with less than 6 month home service
Post Office employees in receipt of civil wages
Conscientious Objectors
Regular enlistments
Boy soldiers

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