Oswald Bastable wrote:Hi all, I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of resources on Army pay circa 1870, more specifically officers though information on NCOs would also be of interest.
drailton wrote:I have heard it said that in the 19th century officers could not live the sort of life they expected on their army pay and that it may not have even covered their mess bills and it was therefore necessary for them to have a private income. If this is correct how did those commissioned to the ranks managein the army and in retirement? I have two instances. First, a Royal Horse Artillery NCO who was made Riding Master and who retired as a Honorary Major. I understand 'Honorary' to mean unpaid but surely not in this case. This man lived in the Officer's Mess and mixed with the gentlemen officers. How could he afford to live this life? When he retired would he, as an ex Honorary Major, have received the pension of a retired major? He seemed to live the life of a gentleman when he retired even though it may not have been a particularly prosperous one. Second, an RA quartermaster commissioned as an Honorary Lieutenant who, when he retired, had enough for his family to live on without taking other work and sufficient to pay for his son to attend a reasonably good school.
colsjt65 wrote:Can anyone tell me what the actual base pay scales were for officers? I'm particularly interested in 1850s-60s.
I know all about the cost of purchasing a commission and Queen's Regulations also regulates the proportion of pay that must be contributed to the mess each year.
I know what other ranks were paid, as I have a copy of a pay book of the period.
I've also picked up snippets like the fact that while in command of troops building the Great South road in New Zealand in 1862, officers received, in addition to pay - Captain - 10s, Subalterns and Quartermasters - 6s. per day.
But information of the base salary of each officer has eluded me.
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