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  1. #1
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    Default Employee allowances in First World War

    My grandfather was an employee of the South Derwent Coal Company in Stanley, County Durham, before the First World War. He was also an ex-soldier and was in the Reserves for the Royal Garrison Artillery. As an employee of the company he benefitted from rent-free accommodation and a coal allowance. When he was called back to the Army in July 1914 he was told that his wife and children could continue to live at their home rent-free for the period of his military service, and that his job would be waiting for him when he returned home.

    Is anyone able to confirm whether the family's coal allowance would have continued too, and if so, what it would likely have been please?

    Any help gratefully received.

    Paul

  2. #2
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    Hi
    I am not sure if this is helpful or not. My grandfather was a miner in the Stanley area (not sure which pit) and was killed during WW1. I know that my grandmother received coal/coke and a miners pension from the NCB until she died in 1977

    regards

  3. #3

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    Lichfield Mercury Fri 21 Aug 1914
    At a previous meeting Colonel Williamson announced that the representatives of the coal owners had agreed upon the following proposals
    (1) That the wives of Territorials and Reservists should receive free coal allowance during the absence of the men;
    (2) That they should live rent free in houses belonging to the colliery companies and
    (3) In those cases where men did not live in colliery company houses, and were entirely responsible for the payment of rent, the colliery companies would be responsible for the rent up to 4s 6p a week.

    Doesn't indicate if this was a national or local agreement but have seen a separate mention about something similar applying during the Boer War period.

  4. #4

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    The Newcastle Courant, Tue, 6 July 1915 published an extract of a letter from the President and Secretary of the Follonsby Lodge of the Durham Miners' Association to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Munitions. The main thrust of the letter concerned miners' wages but concluded -
    "In places again, the privilege of free coal to dependants of fighters who left while in receipt of coal allowance has been cut off almost together, or greatly curtailed. Is this likely to stimulate the patriotism of mine-workers?"

  5. #5
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    Gentlemen - Thank you all.
    From your replies, it looks like at least one of the coalfields in the Lichfield area adopted a different policy to those in some parts of the Durham coalfields during the Great War. It also seems that (at least some) mine owners in Stanley were more generous than others in the same county. It doesn't look as if there was any form of national agreement on the matter, which shouldn't surprise anyone as the employers were all individual companies before 1947.

    Thanks again,

    Paul

  6. #6

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    Re the value of the allowance have found the following references-
    July 1910 - "... the average earnings of the stallmen were 8s 7d per day with a coal allowance worth 2s per week..."

    May 1914 - In an arbitration case the individual had earned 40 9s in wages and "There was also an annual coal allowance amounting to about 4 4s 6d"

  7. #7
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    Thanks Helachau,

    That's what I was hoping to get - an indication of the allowances' financial worth. In today's decimal currency it'd be about 8p a week. Using the

    https://www.
    measuringworth.com/ppoweruk/ website to get an equivalent value for 1914, that'd be about 2.10s.0d.

    Paul
    Last edited by Procat; 02-04-2013 at 7:16 AM. Reason: Link removed. Site asks for donations

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