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Rates of Pay in WW2

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#1 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 04:05 AM

I am by nature a diarist and when asked a sticky question about WW2 can usually refer back to notes I have previously written and provide an answer.

Usually, but not in this case :(

Has anyone come across a link to a definitive list of Army Pay in WW2 ?

Wartime friends have given me some clues (the consensus of opinion is about two shillings a day) but I'd like to see it in print somewhere.

Answers to this thread please.

Many thanks

Ron
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If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Rabbi Hillel circa 30 BCE


:peepwalla:

 

I was "called-up", as a 19 year old, on the 1st of Oct 1942 and was one of 5 serving brothers, one of whom, Jack, was in RAF Bomber Command and was killed on March 16th 1945.

I served as a Driver/Op (Wireless Operator) with the 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt. (78 Div) from Apr 1943 to Dec 1944 (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt). The Regiment was disbanded in Dec 1944 and I was retrained (in Italy) by the Royal Armoured Corps.

 

Finally, I served as Loader/Op with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (6th Armd.,78th & 56 Div) from Mar 1945 to Dec 1946 (Italy, Austria, Germany) finishing up as Tech Cpl. for "A" Sqdrn.  I was "De-mobbed" in Apr 1947

http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503


#2 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 12:13 PM

I've got rates of pay for cooks etc from a 1945 manual of military catering: would this be of interest to anyone?

H
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#3 von Poop

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 01:51 PM

Nice question, and I see the problem now as it doesn't appear to be a well-covered field at all. Lots of grumbling about others being on a higher scale but very hard to find decent info outside of the anecdotal. Been an interesting hour reading about pay corps of the world though ;). I thought George Forty's usually excellent British Army handbook might help but sadly not. Still, reasonably sure someone here will already have the definitive info.

Best I've seen yet is this sheet, for 1925+, somewhat marred by overenthusiastic copyright marking, which is presented as relevant to ww2, they seem high but presumably the figures are before deductions:
WW2_Pay_Rates.
& this for the Yanks:
GI Intelligence Dept - Pay.


One chaps memory of US Privates pay:
WORLD WAR 2 PAY.
A snippet from Peoples war:
BBC - WW2 People's War - Infantry rates of pay
A WAAF Clerk on 2s/2d a day:
WWII Stories

Cheers,
Adam.
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#4 spidge

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 02:58 PM

Thought I would throw in the Australian rates of pay which seem to be on par with the British.

Pay rates for the 2nd AIF
1939 - 1945

On 20th October 1939, the Government of Australia announced new rates of pay for the members of the 2nd AIF.

<table border="1" cellspacing="1" width="80%"><tbody><tr> <td colspan="2" bgcolor="#ffffcc" valign="middle">

The new rates were:

</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="13%">2nd A.I.F. Privates
</td> <td valign="middle" width="87%"> Privates: 5/- a day (unchanged) deferred pay 2/-(up from 1/-) 3/- extra if married Allowance for dependent children unchanged,
remaining at 1/- a day per child

</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="13%">Militia
</td> <td valign="middle" width="87%"> 8/- a day for 3 months camp (up 3/-) Married men 8/- a day plus 1/- a day for each child under 16
</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="13%">Compulsory trainees
</td> <td valign="middle" width="87%"> Privates: 5/- a day
</td></tr></tbody></table>
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Spidge,


My project is the collection of over 11,400+ RAAF Headstone/Memorial photos located in 70 countries during WW2 and the 360+ from WW1. Can you assist? Do you know someone that can?
-------------------------------------------------------
My Signature photo is the Battalion history of WW2 and the patch of the 2/8th battalion. (Blood & Bandages)
My Avatar is my dad, Gunner Frederick Edwin Swallow "C" Company, 2/8th Battalion, 19th Brigade, 6th Division AIF. Critically wounded on the first attack on Tobruk, January 21st 1941.



 


#5 Kyt

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 03:13 PM

RAF 1940 pay rates (this changed over the course of the war):

Recruits selected as suitable for air crews are first mustered as Aircraftmen 2nd Class with pay at the rate of 2s. a day during training. Pilots are then remustered and reclassified as Leading Aircraftmen and paid at the rate of 5s. a day plus flying instructional pay at the rate of 2s. a day.

Air observers under training are also remustered as L.A/C. and paid 5s. a day plus flying instructional pay at the rate of is. 6d. during training. Other members of air crews remain A.C.2S during training with pay remaining
at 2s. a day.

When their training is complete airmen are remustered and reclassified or' promoted according to the percentage of marks they obtain on passing out of training. An airman pilot becomes a sergeant with pay at the rate of 12s. 6d. a day. An observer may be either a sergeant or an acting sergeant. If the latter, he receives pay at the rate of 9s. a day.

A wireless operator may be classified on completing training as a L.A/C, an A.C.i or an A.C.2 with pay at the rate of 5s., 4s. 3d. or 3s. 6d. a day respectively, plus air crew pay and air gunner pay of is. 6d. a day.

An air gunner is classified in the same way but receives pay of 4s., 3s. 6d. or 2s. a day, plus the air crew and air gunner pay of is. 6d. a day. In all instances pay is for a seven-day week. A certain number of airman pilots and observers are selected for commissions on the results they obtain in the examination at the conclusion of their training. The wives of married airmen are paid a family
allowance varying from 17s. to 23s. 6d. a week according to rank with
additional allowances for children.

At the same time airmen receive free accommodation, food and clothing (or money allowances instead) and medical attendance.


http://www.flightglo...1940 - 1395.pdf
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#6 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 04:43 PM

Thanks everyone for your most interesting input.

Because I'm strictly a "belt & braces" man I posed the same question on Peter G's WW2 Blog:
WW2 - The Second World War
and you might be interested to see the thread that developed.
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If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Rabbi Hillel circa 30 BCE


:peepwalla:

 

I was "called-up", as a 19 year old, on the 1st of Oct 1942 and was one of 5 serving brothers, one of whom, Jack, was in RAF Bomber Command and was killed on March 16th 1945.

I served as a Driver/Op (Wireless Operator) with the 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt. (78 Div) from Apr 1943 to Dec 1944 (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt). The Regiment was disbanded in Dec 1944 and I was retrained (in Italy) by the Royal Armoured Corps.

 

Finally, I served as Loader/Op with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (6th Armd.,78th & 56 Div) from Mar 1945 to Dec 1946 (Italy, Austria, Germany) finishing up as Tech Cpl. for "A" Sqdrn.  I was "De-mobbed" in Apr 1947

http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503


#7 51highland

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 07:32 PM

Always remember Dad saying he was paid 14 bob (14 shillings, about 70 pence today) a week when he joined up. though he seldom received the full amount, as there always seemed to be deductions for barrack room damages. The damages usually visible when they entered and, no doubt, the same deductions were made to the previous tenants. By the time he was a Sergeant he said he then received an extra 3d (1.5 pence) a day. Of course he also got bed and board. Unfortunately I cannot substantiate those figures. Was part of the pay paid into a savings account? as I remember he had a account with £84. 10 shillings when demobbed.
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Na diobair caraid's a charraid
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Mairidh an cliu beo gu brath.
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May their Fame live on forever)

#8 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 04:50 AM

Thanks for that 51H

One item that always used to rankle with me , and I'm sure with others, was having to buy our own Blanco from the NAAFI despite the Army's own insistence that all our webbing equipment had to be painted with the stuff.
During our Div's brief stay in Egypt it was nice to have this changed to having the webbing blancoed white and we soon realised we could get the same effect by washing the webbing, coating in sand and leaving it to dry in the sun.
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If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Rabbi Hillel circa 30 BCE


:peepwalla:

 

I was "called-up", as a 19 year old, on the 1st of Oct 1942 and was one of 5 serving brothers, one of whom, Jack, was in RAF Bomber Command and was killed on March 16th 1945.

I served as a Driver/Op (Wireless Operator) with the 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt. (78 Div) from Apr 1943 to Dec 1944 (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt). The Regiment was disbanded in Dec 1944 and I was retrained (in Italy) by the Royal Armoured Corps.

 

Finally, I served as Loader/Op with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (6th Armd.,78th & 56 Div) from Mar 1945 to Dec 1946 (Italy, Austria, Germany) finishing up as Tech Cpl. for "A" Sqdrn.  I was "De-mobbed" in Apr 1947

http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503


#9 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 12:39 PM

Right, this one is for the specialists out there. I have a copy of the Manual of Army Catering Part 1 - General, dated 26th July 1945. It appears to have a document ref. number of 22377. Section 7, page 16 observes that Non-tradesman cooks (regimental personnel) receive additional pay up to 6d per day, and that Unqualified cooks recieve up to 3d per day additional. Unhelpfully, it does not indicate what the normal rates of pay were, although I imagine that is a bit of a minefield anyway. Absolutley fascinating little book, with all sorts of stuff on nutrition, mess administration, 'Prevention of Waste', and the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of serving food. Bullets and POL are all very necessary, I know, but this is the sort of stuff that is absolutely critical to morale and good health of all troops. OK, I'll step away from the soapbox now...
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#10 von Poop

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 12:41 PM

Right, this one is for the specialists out there. I have a copy of the Manual of Army Catering Part 1 - General, dated 26th July 1945. It appears to have a document ref. number of 22377. Section 7, page 16 observes that Non-tradesman cooks (regimental personnel) receive additional pay up to 6d per day, and that Unqualified cooks recieve up to 3d per day additional. Unhelpfully, it does not indicate what the normal rates of pay were, although I imagine that is a bit of a minefield anyway. Absolutley fascinating little book, with all sorts of stuff on nutrition, mess administration, 'Prevention of Waste', and the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of serving food. Bullets and POL are all very necessary, I know, but this is the sort of stuff that is absolutely critical to morale and good health of all troops. OK, I'll step away from the soapbox now...

And back to the field kitchen?
Maybe one day ;)....
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#11 spidge

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 01:09 PM

Bullets and POL are all very necessary, I know, but this is the sort of stuff that is absolutely critical to morale and good health of all troops. OK, I'll step away from the soapbox now...


Not everyone could be or even wanted to be at the front line. One thing is for certain that in most cases if there is no rear logisitical support the front doesn't stay the front for long.

I remember a friend at college who was somewhat ashamed that his father was a truck driver and not a front line soldier.
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Spidge,


My project is the collection of over 11,400+ RAAF Headstone/Memorial photos located in 70 countries during WW2 and the 360+ from WW1. Can you assist? Do you know someone that can?
-------------------------------------------------------
My Signature photo is the Battalion history of WW2 and the patch of the 2/8th battalion. (Blood & Bandages)
My Avatar is my dad, Gunner Frederick Edwin Swallow "C" Company, 2/8th Battalion, 19th Brigade, 6th Division AIF. Critically wounded on the first attack on Tobruk, January 21st 1941.



 


#12 Slipdigit

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 08:09 PM

Not everyone could be or even wanted to be at the front line. One thing is for certain that in most cases if there is no rear logisitical support the front doesn't stay the front for long.

I remember a friend at college who was somewhat ashamed that his father was a truck driver and not a front line soldier.

At least he came home, a lot of 'front line' men didn't. If I had a choice between a dead hero and live father, I'll take the father.

Either way, he was a hero just for going.
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Warmest Regards,
Jeff


#13 spidge

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 10:29 PM

At least he came home, a lot of 'front line' men didn't. If I had a choice between a dead hero and live father, I'll take the father.

Either way, he was a hero just for going.


Me too!

My father used to tell me, "I don't care what you do in life as long as you do it well".

This can be related to war as well.
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Spidge,


My project is the collection of over 11,400+ RAAF Headstone/Memorial photos located in 70 countries during WW2 and the 360+ from WW1. Can you assist? Do you know someone that can?
-------------------------------------------------------
My Signature photo is the Battalion history of WW2 and the patch of the 2/8th battalion. (Blood & Bandages)
My Avatar is my dad, Gunner Frederick Edwin Swallow "C" Company, 2/8th Battalion, 19th Brigade, 6th Division AIF. Critically wounded on the first attack on Tobruk, January 21st 1941.



 


#14 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 08:01 AM

If I could find a nice, genuine one then very probably yes, Adam. All I have found on the internerd over the last 4 years or so have been post war Czech copies and the like. Mind you, I could be persuaded to do a French Colonial set-up c 1950 something somewhere in the Far East....
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#15 von Poop

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 10:48 PM

I know the specific request is Army, but there's excellent, complete even, detail on Naval pay in this scan of the appendix to the 1942 Navy list from Naval history:
Ranks, Professions, Trades, Pay & allowances.

Cheers,
Adam
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#16 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:22 AM

Adam

Many thanks for that, Im sure that it will be of great interest to anyone researching a member of the Senior Service.

Ron
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If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Rabbi Hillel circa 30 BCE


:peepwalla:

 

I was "called-up", as a 19 year old, on the 1st of Oct 1942 and was one of 5 serving brothers, one of whom, Jack, was in RAF Bomber Command and was killed on March 16th 1945.

I served as a Driver/Op (Wireless Operator) with the 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt. (78 Div) from Apr 1943 to Dec 1944 (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt). The Regiment was disbanded in Dec 1944 and I was retrained (in Italy) by the Royal Armoured Corps.

 

Finally, I served as Loader/Op with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (6th Armd.,78th & 56 Div) from Mar 1945 to Dec 1946 (Italy, Austria, Germany) finishing up as Tech Cpl. for "A" Sqdrn.  I was "De-mobbed" in Apr 1947

http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503


#17 von Poop

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 10:22 PM

Not specifically 'Army', but ground troops, pay related, and a very nice desk:

Posted Image

Title: ROYAL AIR FORCE: 2ND TACTICAL AIR FORCE, 1943-1945.
Collection No.: 4700-19 <!-- [View Collection Summary]-->
Description: The first pay day for an RAF beach unit in Normandy. A captured German 'Beetle' tank serves as a desk as the Adjutant, Flight Lieutenant W S Smith, accompanied by his pay clerk, Corporal C Woodbridge, hands Flight Sergeant F W Riches his money.
IWM Collections Online: Search Photographs Archive

Cheers,
Adam.
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Cake?

 

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#18 4th wilts

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 05:32 PM

my mate reckons he was liberally pissed up most of the time,but not very much when he was fighting.he is in his 80s now,and not much has changed on the drinking front.he reckons he was skint most of the time,over there.yours,4th wilts.
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#19 sapper

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 06:37 PM

WW2 was a team effort, I simply loath it when men say "I was only a truck driver" We all contributed to that team work more than any time in our countries history.

Ron, I have an excellent memory, but for the lfe of me, I cannot recall the pay rates. probably as we never drew any.
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#20 Paul Reed

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 07:06 PM

Didn't draw pay? Surely you must have done while On Active Service?
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#21 sapper

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 11:40 AM

Hi Paul. No we seldom drew pay... Where in heavens name would you spend it. and on what? In the active areas there are no shops or civilians EVER!

Plenty of buildings that looked like they had been steamrollered. Utter devastation. A great many of the towns and villages they we fought around were completely deserted NOT a soul...And who would want to be there anyway?

We seldom got away from the "front" The sappers were always in demand. Some of those deserted active areas towns and villages were very creepy places to be. the odd cat and dog, and that was all. (and they were well fed. plenty of dead to feed on!)
I did an article on a completely deserted town in Holland. That was the queerest place I have ever been. A town without a soul, and not damaged. Not even a cat or dog. Just utter silence, I shall not forget it! Still got it somewhere.
The "Compo" pack had everything we needed, food, sweets, toilet paper, cigarettes. The only time I can recall drawing money was when we captured Weert in Holland. I recall that for there was a little shop there, two of us went in with the Guilders Invasion money. I had a two and half guilder note, about the equivalent of a working mans wages for a week.The old lady asked us if it was GOOD?. We bought something for a few cents, But the old lady gave us the change out of a large sweet bottle about 240 one cent pieces. I took it outside where a little boy was sat with his back to the wall. Took off his hat and poured 240 cents into it, and gave it back to him.
I tried to trace that little boy, but never found him. I would have thought that he would recall an English Soldier giving him what was then.... a small fortune?

Its very difficult spending money amongst the destruction we and the enemy inflicted on the Norman people.
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#22 Franek

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:41 PM

HOW MUCH DID PEOPLE EARN DURING WWII ? Below are some typical wages that people would earn during war time. Wages did vary from area to area and of course from company to company, but they do give some indication of the average wage The Average wage for a coal miner in Sheffield, working on the pit face was £2.10s (£2.50) a week (married man with a family of 4)

A male Factory worker in Preston in 1941 making tubing for Aircraft would earn £2.3s (£2.15p) for a 48 hour week.
A male 14 year old trainee typewriter mechanic/office boy in his first job after leaving school earned £1.5s a week (£1.25)
A male RAF volunteer in 1944 got £3. 10s. a week (£3.50)

A male school leaver training as a Apprentice Cycle Mechanic working 8.30 to 4.30 with Sunday off earned 12/6 a week (62.5p)
A male 14 year old working in a leather factory could earn 14/- (70p) for a six-day working week
A male 14 year old Instrument maker in January 1941 earned 19/6 (97.5p) a week of which his Mother kept 17/- (85p) for house keeping.
Early war pay for a single RAF Aircrew member was 21 shillings a week (£1.05) 7 shillings (35p) of which went to his parents. He also received an extra 1/6 (7.5p) a day flying pay.
A young woman working with the Women's Land Army would earn £1.2s 6d
(£1.12p)
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#23 Slipdigit

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:54 PM

What did you earn, Franek?
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Warmest Regards,
Jeff


#24 Franek

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 03:06 PM

At the age of 16, I went to work in the Aircraft industry, helping to build the B26 Marauder medium bomber. At the Glen L Martin Co in Baltimore Md. For this I was paid 45 cents an hour.. This was a lot of money in them days.. There were no raises, unless you were promoted. During the war years wages were frozen. Food was cheap.. 45 cents an hour went a long way.
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#25 Slipdigit

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 03:50 PM

Is that 45¢/hr for a 40 hours a week? Was overtime a common thing?

You took a bit of a pay cut when you went in, didn't you?
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Warmest Regards,
Jeff


#26 Smudger Jnr

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 03:58 PM

Leaving the key aircraft industry to go on the armed service. Does that mean you were called up?

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#27 Franek

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 05:46 PM

Leaving the key aircraft industry to go on the armed service. Does that mean you were called up?

Regards
Tom


Yes Tom. I wrote a biography of my early life
for my Grandaughter to show her children. You and Jeff will find it very interesting . It covers my life during the great depression and life in the Army during WW2

http://franek.webs.com

Jeff, this will answer a lot of questions that you asked me before.I found my discharege papers and telegrams advising my Mom of my being missing in action. My daughter has my scanner. As soon as she returns it I will post them.
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#28 Ron Goldstein

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 05:47 AM

Hi Frank

Many thanks for giving us a sight of what life was like for a civilian in the US of WW2.

I've always been interested in the cost of living in "those days" particularly when it is commented on by someone younger than myself :)

I went back to my own family's book to see if their were any references to wages and I came across this short piece. I was sixteen years old at the time having been born in 1923, and my father had sent the younger members of the family off to the South Coast in anticipation of the bombing that was universally expected in the early days of the war. Note my wages !

Within days of arriving in Hove I was out looking for a job and decided that it was a good time to break away from the rag trade. I walked the length of the promenade and seeing no obvious signs of job vacancies, went instead to the local Labour Exchange and took the first job that was going for a sixteen-year-old. This turned out to be a Junior Porter at the Queen's Hotel, live-in, and for about three months I saw another side of life that the East End had not prepared me for.

For seven and six pence per week (37p in today's money) plus all the tips I could make, I was on call from six in the morning until ten at night, six days per week. As a junior porter, or, as I was often referred to, as a page boy, I was at everyone's beck and call starting with the guests and continuing down until to the lowliest kitchen hand.


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If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Rabbi Hillel circa 30 BCE


:peepwalla:

 

I was "called-up", as a 19 year old, on the 1st of Oct 1942 and was one of 5 serving brothers, one of whom, Jack, was in RAF Bomber Command and was killed on March 16th 1945.

I served as a Driver/Op (Wireless Operator) with the 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt. (78 Div) from Apr 1943 to Dec 1944 (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Egypt). The Regiment was disbanded in Dec 1944 and I was retrained (in Italy) by the Royal Armoured Corps.

 

Finally, I served as Loader/Op with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (6th Armd.,78th & 56 Div) from Mar 1945 to Dec 1946 (Italy, Austria, Germany) finishing up as Tech Cpl. for "A" Sqdrn.  I was "De-mobbed" in Apr 1947

http://www.blogger.c...947129038825503


#29 ozjohn39

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 06:30 AM

Australian soldiers in WW2 were called "six bob a day tourists".

That was 6 shillings, which equated to 60c as a direct exchange but I cannot give the 1940 exchange rate I am afraid.

That was a total of 2 pounds 2 shillings, which MAY have been about US$8 a week. I have vague memory that an Australian Pound was worth US$4 at that time.


I started work as a 16 year old in 1954 on $700 a year.



John.
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#30 51highland

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 07:58 AM

My Fathers pay as a Private soldier in early 1940 was 14 shillings (70p) a week. That total was seldom received as 'Barrack room' damages would invariably be subtracted. He did of course get bed and board.!!!!!! Prior to joining up he worked as a 'Mule Spinner' in the local wool mill in Gomersal, Yorkshire. earning £1. 17 shillings and 6 pence (£1. 87.5p) for a 60 hour week. A married man doing the same job would get £2 -10shillings (£2-50p)
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51 highland "Don't leave me Sarge" & Keep 'em Moving

Là á Bhlàir's math na Càirdean

(Friends are good in the day of battle)


Na diobair caraid's a charraid
(Forsake not a friend in the fray)

Cuimhnichibh na suinn nach maireann .
Mairidh an cliu beo gu brath.
(In memory of the Heroes who are no more.
May their Fame live on forever)




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