Monday, September 16, 2013

Great War Pension Records

The Western Front Association (WFA) has announced that it has secured the safe storage and preservation of over six million Great War soldiers' pension record cards after learning that the Ministry of Defence was no longer able to retain and manage this archive.  There was a possibility that the records would have had to be destroyed unless they could be passed for safe keeping to a reputable organisation. 

The WFA has made a study and catalogued the primary information for of each group of records in the archive, and arranged the safe transfer and storage of the records to the WFA's secure premises.

During the Great War, dependents of each serving British soldier, sailor, airman and nurse who was killed were entitled to a pension, as were those service personnel who were wounded or otherwise incapacitated due to the conflict. There is a card for each. These cards are categorised as follows:

  • Other Ranks Died (this contains nearly one million individual records)
  • Widows and Dependents of Other Ranks Died (in excess of one million records)
  • Other Ranks Survived: Requested/Rejected/Receiving Pension (over 2.5 million records)
  • Officers survived and Officers' Widows (approximately 150,000 records)
  • Merchant Naval Cards (about 5,000 records
The WFA is still working towards this online database, but prior to the records being digitised it will offer manual lookups upon application for a fee.

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