Pension Award 1947

t14936 t14937This letter was sent to my great Uncle John Brodrick in 1947 advising him of his old age pension award of 10 shilling. Although not in the best of condition I think it is readable, some of the pension disqualification remarks on the back of the letter make interesting reading. The pension award must have been of significant importance in those days after the war because the information was sent by registered letter.

Images and details courtesy of John Robson.

5 thoughts on “Pension Award 1947

  1. Thank you Frank for your very informative comment. At the time of his pension award my mother’s uncle and my great uncle John lived with our family in Buxton Street. However as the family grew John moved to Elliott Street to live with his sister, my gran. He did serve in the army during the first world war so I am not sure if that had a bearing on his frailty and poor health during the years afterwards. He died in Portrack hospital when I was in my teens.

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    • John you are probably correct in thinking your Great Uncle a war victim. We all know of the thousands who died in the Battles of WW1 though as I discovered for myself for every one who died there would be several wounded. Some were patched up and sent back in the line others progressed through Hospitals in Britain to be finally discharged on a small pension and sent home. Two of my Mothers Uncles were sent home with open wounds that were tended by the family members for years, one of her Uncles died from war wounds in 1927 and the other in 1935, they never worked again. In my childhood it was common to see disabled men who unable to work often begged or played some instrument on Market days. In a time fit working men could not get a job the disabled did not have a chance.
      Relatives took them in and cared for them as even the pittance they got as a pension put bread on the table. People who were around after WW2 would see similar sights though efforts were made to help some of them, not all.
      It was a hard cruel world and your relative would be very glad of the ten shilling help, when the pension was lifted much later it would be like winning the pools along with free glasses and tooth care the world became suddenly a better place.

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  2. This seems a bit odd.

    As far as I can determine the standard pension was 42 shillings (£2.10), when I would guess the average wage was in the £8 range. Perhaps this chap did not have enough National Insurance contributions. This could have happened to someone who was in late middle age in the prewar years of the depression. But I think for people in this situation there were additional benefits, though these would be means tested.

    Much of the ship building in Stockton was deliberately shut down before the war. Things got better during the war itself. My grandmother had some kind of light labouring job in the Malleable at that time.

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    • Not odd Fred, the way it was. The Labour Government brought in the NHS and Pension Scheme in 1948-9 and it took time to get it all sorted. Pensions were very poor before that time although Ten Shillings would buy your weeks food, many people had Grand Parents or old Aunts living in the back room, their pension helped families in need and they got shelter.
      The poverty pre-war was horrific many of the factories around closed down for long periods, children went to school in torn clothes no shoes and empty stomachs I saw some of that for myself and realised how lucky I was to have two working parents. The run up to war and the wartime period gave full employment although women with men in the Forces did not get a living wage if they had children. They were drafted into war work, grand parents or nurseries looking after the children who even then were badly clothed and shod or some were.
      People who hanker after the good old days were not there to see them, some were lucky, house building was in full swing for those who could afford them, some Factories ICI for one never closed down, Railways, Council run projects kept running and drivers for Stockton had good long lasting jobs. For some good times for others misery, go back?? No way.

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