Pension Record Cards and Ledgers index system
The ledger books are divided into 5 classes:
- Disabled soldiers, naval ratings and airmen
- Alternative Pension - disablements
- Alternative Pension - widow
The subcategories were then further divided by region
Once a ledger was written for an individual, an index card was created as a finding-aid giving a unique reference for the ledger. Not all ledgers survive, but the card record is intact.
The region codes used were
- Region 1 - Scotland
- Region 2 - Northern
- Region 3 - North West
- Region 4 - Yorkshire
- Region 5 - Wales
- Region 6 - West Midlands
- Region 7 - East Midlands
- Region 8 - South West
- Regions 9 and 10 - Eastern and Metropolitan. Not allocated, seems to have been merged into Region 11
- Region 11 - Eastern/Metropolitan/South East [some types of ledger in this region are not in existence, probably destroyed]
- Region 12 - Ulster
- Region 13 - Southern Ireland
For all categories, the index number will start with the Region number.
This is followed by a letter code and then a sequential individual number.
The letter coding is quite complex
Disabled soldiers, naval ratings and airmen
For those men who served in the Army the first letter is M (for Military), followed by the first letter of the man's surname. The first entry in an individual ledger in a series is thus
[Region code]/MA/[Individual Number] e.g. 1/MA/001 was allocated in Scotland to a Private James Anderson of the MGC.
For Sailors, the Letter code will be N, and there is no coding corresponding to individual's surnames. Similarly for Airmen, the Letter Code is AF and no coding for surname is provided.
The coding of these records is [Region code]/W (for widow)/[Sequence number]
The coding of these records is generally [Region code]/D (for dependent)/[Sequence number]
However, for unknown reasons, dependent's records in Region 11, were not encoded 11/D/xxxx but 11/PP/xxxx.
Again these are encoded starting with the [Region Code]. Alternative disabilities pensions were then coded [APD] and alternative widow's pensions [APW]. However there are some gaps in these records for some regions.
The payment of these 'alternative pensions' is complicated. In summary there seems to have been two schemes that disabled veterans (or their widows) could apply for in certain circumstances. The APD scheme seems to have been designed to grant to successful applicants (specifically the disabled soldier) a larger pension to take account of his not being able to earn as much as he did prior to the war. The APW scheme similarly seems to have been an attempt to boost the widow's income. As the 'Alternative' Pensions were to be paid instead of the existing pension, there should normally be two ledgers in these cases - one for the 'original' payment and another for the 'alternative' pension which may or may not have been agreed.
Movements of pensioners
As men moved around the country after the war their records were kept up to date. However if they transferred between Regions, new Ledgers may have been started and some information about follow-on ledger numbers seems to have been recorded on some ledger pages.