HC Deb 01 February 1949 vol 460 cc221-2W
102. Brigadier Peto

asked the Secretary of State for war what were the conditions of award of the Military Medal in 1914–18 and in 1939–45: the amount of financial benefits carried in each case; the annual cost of these benefits; and what would be the estimated annual cost of including those awarded the medal in 1914–18 on equal terms with those of 1939–45.

Mr. Shinwell

The Military Medal was given in both wars for individual and associated acts of bravery in the field. Awards for service since 3rd September, 1939, carry financial benefits, but awards for earlier service do not. So far as United Kingdom troops are concerned, benefits comprise an addition of 6d. a day to any service or disability pension in issue and £20 for soldiers leaving the Army without pension. The annual cost of additional pensions at present is in the neighbourhood of £15,000, which will increase as further recipients of the medal are pensioned. If all the recipients of Military Medals in 1914–18 or their heirs Could be traced and £20 gratuities awarded to them the cost would be about £2,250,000. It is not known how many pensioners with medals awarded in 1914–18 are now living, but if these were awarded additional pensions instead of gratuities the total eventual cost would be increased above this figure.