British Army Pay Rates 1914

"In late 1914 and early ’15 there was this patriotic fervour which was designed to induce young men to enlist and join the army and go to France and fight the Germans. At that time, there was organised recruitment and on the fronts of public buildings – town halls and so on – there were replicas of thermometers, graduated, showing the number of men enlisting in the various battalions and formations. And there was competition amongst these to see who could push up the highest total in the given time. And I well recall on the Manchester Town Hall, for instance, these thermometers for recruitment in the pals, Manchester Pals battalions. And there were thousands and thousands of young men who joined up in that way."  Tom Bromley on IWM

Posters, films and public appeals urged the men of Britain to do their patriotic duty:




IWM PST 0311, PST 2734, PST 0961

1914 Minimum daily rates of pay for typical ranks or appointments of all arms. All rates in Shillings (s) and Pence (d):   Click Here (PDF)

This schedule of rates was later revised (13 December 1915)

British army war pay, 1917

The introduction of War Pay

  • Army Order 1 (1918) stated that of 29 September 1917 and for the remaining period of the war, the sum of one penny per day War Pay would be paid in respect of each complete year of the man’s service with the colours that had been rendered since the commencement of the war.
  • This was in addition to the man’s normal service pay.
  • By definition periods in reserve service did not count.
  • Any period of penal servitude or of imprisonment or detention of more than 28 days, and any period of continuous absence without leave exceeding 28 days, would not count towards the colour service accumulated.
  • War Pay did not apply to the men of the Non-Combatant Corps.
  • War Pay was not payable in arrears (that is, it began from 29 September 1917 and no pay was to be paid for prior periods).