Collection of the Allotment for Naval Wives transferred from the Dockyard Cashier to the Post Office - 1894

Following consultation, e.g., amongst married ratings and their appointed representatives and discussion with their wives during the last year or so, with the many pros and cons being kicked around, the Hampshire Telegraph, in its edition for the 3 Nov 1894, announced that a new system of paying naval allotments at Post Offices had been introduced, instead of at the Dockyards, which came into operation on Wednesday, and at Portsmouth it was taken advantage of to a large extent.

Sailor's wives may now obtain their allotments at any Post Office in the borough on presenting their allotment notes, with their marriage certificates. If the Post Office officials have any doubt as to the identity of any person so presenting herself, they may insist on a witness being produced who can give testimony that she is the person she represents herself to be.

Everything passed off very satisfactorily and at no Post Office was any attempt at imposition reported. From all accounts the women were much pleased with the alteration, as a journey to the Dockyard and back to receive their payments in all weathers was by no means pleasant.

The allotments will now be paid at the Post Offices on the last day in each month.

At Devonport over 300 persons presented themselves for their allotments at the head office, on Wednesday, out of 600 who have expressed their desire to be paid monthly at that place.

Mr. F. Pennell, Deputy Accountant General of the Navy, visited the office during the morning, and found that the system was working most satisfactorily. At the various sub-offices matters also worked smoothly, and general satisfaction is expressed at the change.

The routine adopted preparatory to the cash being handed over is very similar to that used in the case of the naval and marine pensioners, the only difference – and this involves a saving of time – being that the Post Office receives no advance note.

The allottee presents a “ring” paper and Post Office order, both bearing a number corresponding to that of the allotment paper. Both are handed in to the pay clerk, who, having obtained the signature of the bearer of the Port Office order, retains the same, and hands back in return the necessary cash together with the ring paper, the latter now bearing the stamp of the office, together with the date. The bearer is then free to leave, and as he or she does so the cancelled Port Office order is lodged in a pigeon hole, a series of which has been arranged alphabetically, and the clerk enters up the name and the sum paid over on a huge sheet kept before him, so that almost instantaneously it is possible to check the number and amount paid.

Note : It is perhaps interesting to note that in earlier times, allotments to dependents were paid quarterly at the Collectors of Customs and Excise : the weekly payment of the allotment to dependents, introduced with the advent of the Great War, in 1914, was discontinued in the 1970s when fortnightly pay ceased and pay for all ratings was sent to their bank accounts.

From looking at the newspapers for 1900 it would appear that Army reservists, called up for active service during the Boer War in 1900, were entitled to the Separation Allowance mentioned below, so at least as far as the Army was concerned it wouldn't appear to have been anything new, but I've not been able to find anything similar for RN personnel prior to the Great War.

September 1914 - Notice to Soldiers and Sailors. The Soldiers and Sailors Families Association (SSFA - later to become SSAFA) issued the following notice to all men who have joined the Army or Navy in any capacity :- [N.B. the instructions given applied to Army personnel, so I've amended them slightly to reflect the appropriate officer for Naval personnel, although the Pay Office would probably be where the allotment forms would be completed and signed by the rating.

If you are a married man, directly you are settled with a Unit go to your Divisional Officer and see that your wife and children are registered for separation and allotment of pay. Recruits should take with them their marriage certificates and birth certificates of their children.

The separation allowance and qualifying allotment from soldier's pay are as follows, respectively :-
For wife : 7s. 7d. and 3s. 6d.
For wife and one child : 8s. 9d. and 4s. 1d.
For wife and two children : 9s. 11d. and 4s. 8d.
For wife and three children : 11s. 1d. and 5s. 3d.
For wife and four children : 12s. 3d. and 5s. 3d.

[Editor's Note : In other words a rating was required allot a qualifying element of his pay in order to qualify for the separation allowance, later known as marriage allowance, and whilst this appears to be standard per the above it depended on other factors - see separation allowance.

If you are a single man with a parent dependent on your wages, go as soon as possible to your Divisional Officer and make a weekly allotment of pay to your father or mother or other dependent.

Write to your relations as soon as possible with details of your address etc

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