HC Deb 16 November 1914 vol 68 cc230-1W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that some ex-quartermaster-sergeants, Royal Marines, who, since being discharged to pension, have been serving in the Royal Fleet Reserve as colour-sergeants, have, on mobilisation, had to retain the rank of colour-sergeant, while ex-quarter-master-sergeants who have not served in the Royal Fleet Reserve have been given their former service rank of quartermaster-sergeant, thus placing them in a senior position, both as regards rank and pay, to those ex-quartermaster-sergeants who have maintained their interest in the Service with the Royal Fleet Reserve; and will he give consideration to the facts with a view to removing a grievance keenly felt by the non-commissioned officers concerned?


Marine pensioners who do not belong to the Royal Fleet Reserve are entitled when called out for active service to resume the pay of the rank they held on discharge to pension. Pensioners in the Royal Fleet Reserve, however, are in common with other Fleet Reservists required when called out to serve in the rank they held in the Reserve, and it is a condition of enrolment in the Reserve that Royal Marines above the rank of colour-sergeant shall revert to that rank on enrolment. It is not practicable or desirable to vary this condition of service in the Reserve on the outbreak of war, and it is not considered that the non-commissioned officers concerned have any legitimate grievance in the matter, since their service in the Reserve, whether they are called out or not, qualifies them for an increase of pension at the age of fifty years. Pensioners, other than Reservists, are eligible for a similar pension from Greenwich Hospital funds at the age of fifty-five years, but as the amount of money available for these Greenwich Hospital pensions is limited, awards are not usually made to men until they have attained the age of about fifty-nine, or are even older than in the case of men with large naval pensions.