Essex Regiment & Essex Militia History

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Army pay varied amongst the Corps with an Infantry Unit such as Essex Regiment being one of the lowest paid with other more skilled Corps like the Royal Army Medical Corps being paid more money.

Pay was determinate on Rank although even with Ranks in the same Corps there was a variance with skilled men being paid at a higher rate.

Men who signed onto a long contract were also paid more than those on shorter contracts.

Good conduct badges denoting a period of at least two years without being disciplined also led to an increase in pay.

While on a home posting, pay was issued directly to the soldier at a pay parade.

In the field it was not practicable for this to take place so each soldier was issued with a pay book and was able to withdraw money from the Regimental Paymaster against this book as required.

In practice during the Great War, or other active service campaigns, there was little chance of spending much money which meant that wages owed could build up.

After the Great War many of the men who spent several years on the front line had accrued sums of money that eased their way back into civilian life.

A percentage of a married soldiers pay, called an allotment, was taken for his wife. In some cased unmarried soldiers with dependents made a similar allotment.

Allowance such as lodging, fuel and rations were payable at times as was a family allowance if a soldier lived with his family at or near a base.


Pay Rates per day  at the start of the Great War

Private - one shilling

Lance Corporal - one shilling & three pence

Corporal - one shilling and eight pence

Lance Sergeant -  two shillings

Sergeant - two shillings and four pence

Bandmaster - five shillings

Sergeant Major - five shillings

Second Lt - seven shillings and six pence

Lieutenant - eight shillings and six pence

Captain - twelve shillings and six pence