Was your soldier paid a bounty?

If you have been lucky enough to obtain a copy of a soldier’s service record it may include details of payment of a bounty. What was it all about?

Army Order 86 of 1916, published on 20 February 1916
Applied to soldiers of the regular army

Bounty to soldiers who have completed their original period of enlistment (12 years) or any further period for which they have re-engaged after completing the twelve years, together with the extra year for which they may be retained with the colours under Section 87(1) of the Army Act, and who agree to continue in service for the duration of the war.

It has been decided that a bounty of £15 will be paid to any warrant officer (class ii), non-commissioned officer or man of the above categories now serving who, subsequent to the date of this order, agrees, in accordance with Army Order 252 of 1915, to continue in the service for the duration of the war on completion of his present engagement (including the extra year’s service for which he is liable under Section 87(1) of the Army Act).

This bounty will not be payable to any warrant officer (class ii), non-commissioned officer or man who:

  • re-engages to complete 21 years service under Army Order 49 of 1916; [or]
  • re-enlists to complete 21 years service under Army Order 1 of 18 February 1916; [or]
  • has re-enlisted for before the date of publication of this order for the period of the war; [or]
  • has agreed before the date of this order, by signing Army Form W3125, to continue in the service until the end of the war under Army Order 252 of 1915.

Soldiers who continue in the service and draw bounty under this order will be eligible for the special privileges with regard to the retention of service pay and gratuity on discharge, or increase of pension granted under War Office letter 30/Gen No. 5244 of 30 October 1915.

The bounty will be payable to the soldier on his signing Army Form W3125.

Army Order 209 of 1916
Extended bounties to the Special Reserve and Territorial Force and cancelled Army Order 86

  1. Bounty to soldiers retained in the service or recalled to the colours under the provisions of the Military Service Act 1916 (Session 2) and to soldiers who have voluntarily undertaken to continue to serve, re-enlisted, re-engaged, etc. It has been decided that a bounty at the rates stated in paragraph 2 below shall be paid to any warrant officer, non-commissioned officer, or man, whether serving on a Regular, Special Reserve, or Territorial Force attestation the depot of whose unit is situated in the United Kingdom, who:
    1. on the expiration of his current engagement (including the extra year under Section 87 (1) of the Army Act, or, in the case of the Territorial Force, Section IX (5) of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907) is retained in the service for the duration of the war under the provisions of the Military Service Act 1916 (Session 2).
    2. has been discharged from the military service of 1916 the Crown since the commencement of the present war, on termination of engagement and is recalled to the colours under that Act.
    3. has already agreed to continue in the service for the duration of the war under the provisions of Section 87 (3) of the Army Act and Army Order 252 or 253 of 1915 or re-engaged under Army Order 49 of 1916, provided that if he has already received a bounty under Army Order 86 of 1916 such bounty will be taken in diminution of the amount admissible under this Army Order.
    4. has been discharged from the military service of the Crown since the commencement of the present war on termination of engagement and has voluntarily re-attested or re-enlisted for the duration of the war, or re-enlisted under the provisions of Army Order 79 of 1916 or may, if liable to service under the Military Service Act 1916 (Session 2), re-enlist before he is recalled to the colours under that Act, or, not having attained the age of 41 years before the date appointed under the above-quoted Act, but being ordinarily resident in Ireland and not therefore liable to recall under its provisions, has voluntarily re-enlisted or may in future voluntarily re-enlist.
  2. The bounty shall be at the following rates:
    1. For a warrant officer, non-commissioned officer, or man, whose original engagement on his current attestation (or, in the case of a discharged man re-enlisted or recalled to the service, on the attestation from which he has been discharged since the commencement of the war) was for a period of less than 12 years .. £15.
    2. For a warrant officer, non-commissioned officer, or man who has completed an original engagement of 12 years on his current attestation (or, in the case of a discharged man re-enlisted or recalled to the service, on the attestation from which he has been discharged since the commencement of the war) together with any subsequent period or periods of extension which do not bring his service on his last attestation (including the extra year under Section 87 (1) Army Act, or, in the case of the Territorial Force, Section IX (5) of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907) to a total of  22 years .. £20. Men of Section D Army Reserve, come under this heading.
    3. For a warrant officer, non-commissioned officer, or man who has completed an original engagement of 12 years on his current attestation (or in the case of a discharged man re-enlisted or recalled to the service on the attestation from which he has been discharged since the commencement of the war), together with such extension as will, including the extra year under Section 87 (1), Army Act, or, in the case of the Territorial Force, Section IX (5) of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907, complete a total of 22 or more years on his last attestation .. £25.
  3. In the case of a man retained in the service, or re-engaging, one-third of the bounty admissible as above is payable in cash on his commencing the extended period of service for which he is liable under the. Military Service Act 1916 (Session 2), ie, on completion of his current engagement together with the extra year for which he was liable under Section 87 (1)of the Army Act, or, in the case of the Territorial Force, Section IX (5) of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907. The balance with interest at 5 per cent is payable on the man’s discharge from the service, or will in the event of his death while serving be credited to his estate.
  4. A man recalled to the colours or re-enlisted and entitled to bounty as above will be given the option of drawing the whole or any part of the bounty in cash on being called up, any balance then undrawn being paid with interest on discharge or death as provided in paragraph 3 above.
  5. A man who has already re-enlisted, re-engaged or agreed to continue in the service will become entitled to any bounty admissible under this Army Order, on the date of this Army Order, if the engagement on which he was serving at the commencement of the war (including the extra year under Section 87 (1) Army Act, or, in the case of the Territorial Force, Section IX (5) of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907) has expired. If it has not expired he will become entitled to the bounty on his commencing the extended period of his service, as in paragraph 3 above. The bounty will be issued under the same conditions as those laid down in paragraph 3, except that the £5 or £10 due to a man who has already drawn £15 under Army Order 86 of 1916, will be paid with 5 per cent, interest on discharge, or on his death, as provided in paragraph 4.
  6. A man who on being recalled to the service is at once passed into the reserve or demobilised under the provision of Section 10 of the Military Service Act 1916 (Session 2), will not be eligible for the above bounty unless or until he is called to the colours for military service. A man who has been attested voluntarily shall not be eligible for the bounty until he is called up and finally approved for continuous service.
  7. The provisions of this Army Order do not apply to any warrant officer, non-commissioned officer or man:
    1. Who was not serving on an army engagement on 4 August, 1914.
    2. Who, having attained the age of 41 years before the date appointed in the Act, is not liable for service under the Act, but may after the date of this Army Order, voluntarily re-enlist for the duration of the war, or on the termination of his engagement agree to continue in the service for the duration of the war.
    3.  Who is serving in or recalled to a unit whose depot is outside the United Kingdom, except in the ease of a soldier transferred from a unit whose depot is within the United Kingdom, to serve with a unit whose depot is outside. Further instructions will be issued regarding other men retained with the Colours under the Act in units whose depots are outside the United Kingdom.
  8. Army Order 86 of 1916 is hereby cancelled.
  9. The privileges granted by Army Orders 49 and 79 of 1916 as regards re-engagement and re-enlistment to complete 21 years service with a view to pension will remain open to men dealt with in paragraph 1 of this Army Order, and their claim to the bounty granted by this Army Order shall not be affected if they re-engage or re-enlist under Army Orders 49 and 79 of 1916.

Note.

    1. Claims for bounties authorised by this Army Order will be rendered on Army Form W3458. In the case of a soldier who has re-engaged or agreed to continue in the service, or who has been retained under the Military Service Act the claim will be rendered by the officer commanding the unit as soon as possible after the date on which but for such re-engagement, agreement or retention the soldier would have become due for discharge.
    2. In the case of a soldier re-enlisted or recalled to the service the claim will be rendered by the officer commanding the unit to which the soldier is posted.
    3. Army Form W3458 will be forwarded in the first instance to the officer in charge records, who will transmit the form to the regimental paymaster accompanied by. a statement on Army Form B200 of the soldier’s service, including service on any previous engagement.
    4. The paymaster will credit the soldier’s ledger account with the amount available for immediate payment and will inform the officer commanding the unit that he has done so. No payment in respect of the bounty will be made to the soldier until the notification from the paymaster is received.
    5. Cash issues in respect of the bounty will be included with issues of current pay in Form I of the pay and mess book or on the acquittance roll, as the case may be. If the soldier is paid on the pay book the portion of the bounty available for immediate issue will be recorded therein.
    6. The Army Form W3458, with the counterfoil certificate from officer in charge records of entry in the soldiers’ documents, will be filed in a separate series in the pay office. The initial and final credits to the man’s account will be recorded on the Army Form at the time they are given.
    7. Where a portion only of the bounty is authorised for immediate payment the charge against Vote 1E will be supported by a reference to the Army Form, and to the per contra credit to Vote 102. The charge against Vote 1E for the balance, or for the whole bounty if credited in one sum, will be supported by the Army Form itself.
  1. The bounties referred to in the above Army Order are admissible for a man coming under paragraph 1, who on retention or rejoining the colours is posted to an officer cadet unit with a view to obtaining a commission, but not to men who receive direct commissions (eg, as temporary quartermaster, etc), and are not therefore retained or recalled to the service as soldiers.
  2. Supplies of Army Form W3458 will be distributed to all concerned at an early date.

The expression termination of engagement wherever it appears in this Army Order shall be held to apply only to an engagement terminated under the provisions of King’s Regulations, paragraph 392 (xxi), (xxii), (xxiii), (xxiv), (xxvi) or (xxvii) or Territorial Force Regulations paragraph 156 (1) or (2).

Notes

Army Order 49 of 1916 authorised the re-enlistment in certain cases of non-commissioned officers and men of the regular army to allow them to complete 21 years of service with a view to pension.

The value of the bounty was considerable. £15 was equivalent to 257 days of the basic pay of a Private of the infantry; £20 to 342 days.

Links

A soldier’s life

Army rates of pay in 1914

King’s Regulations 392

Discontinuation of discharges on completion of engagement