Rates of Pay in WW2

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Ron Goldstein, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    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.
  2. Franek

    Franek WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    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
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    What did you earn, Franek?
  4. Franek

    Franek WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    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.
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    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?
  6. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

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

  7. Franek

    Franek WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

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


    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


    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.
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    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.
  9. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Senior Member

    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.

  10. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    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)
  11. RJL

    RJL Senior Member

    Hi Franek, great topic.

    When you were fighting in the war, was it possible for soldiers to put some of their wages into savings accounts etc?

    It's probably a bizarre question and I, myself, am thinking, "How could you be worried about that when you're fighting and trying not to get killed?"

    The reason I ask is that I found among some stuff a couple of old post office savings accounts books of my grandparents, his&hers. Much to my surprise one was a Naval Savings book and my grandfather deposited a few pounds in it, once each in 43, 44 and 45. The "bank" stamp is HMS St Angelo. Another bonus was that in 1953, £54 1s 10d was transferred from an HMS Pembroke account. Not a bad little sum of money. Just in time for Christmas too. :)
  12. IvanR

    IvanR Junior Member

    Hey Franek, enjoyed reading your biography there. Amazing how people just got on with life back then. Nowadays i don't think the majority a people would survive.
    Plus amazing how war has the habit a beating any recession!!!
  13. Franek

    Franek WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

  14. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Pay rates for the Second AIF

    2nd A.I.F. Privates
    Privates: 5/- a day (unchanged WW1 rate) deferred pay 2/-(up from 1/-) 3/- extra if married Allowance for dependent children unchanged, remaining at 1/- a day per child

    8/- a day for 3 months camp (up 3/-) Married men 8/- a day plus 1/- a day for each child under 16

    Compulsory trainees
    Privates: 5/- a day

    The Militia got paid more!

  15. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    2nd A.I.F. Privates
    Privates: 5/- a day (unchanged WW1 rate) deferred pay 2/-(up from 1/-) 3/- extra if married. Allowance for dependent children unchanged, remaining at 1/- a day per child

    2 shillings (2 bob) was worth 20 cents when Australia converted to the decimal system in 1967.

    So that 50 cents a day + 20 cents deferred.

  16. Passchendaele_Baby

    Passchendaele_Baby Grandads Little Girl

  17. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    I thought that was the ANZAC's in general ;)

    That's about 3 Bob New Zealand
  18. ambler

    ambler Junior Member

    :pcan anyone help me again,,fathers RAF service records show he recived Crw pay for 11 months of 1940, his servcie records show his duties for most of his war service as ACH/GD,Aircraft hand general Duites,,surley this would qualifiy him for crew servcie pay..he has passed away now and cant ask him direct but for the family history would like to know if he ever flew as a Bomber Crew,there is evidence he went to Manby and 2 other Gun Training units but, his records dont show him as being a part of a crew
    other than getting crew pay

    thanks you once again
  19. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    ACH/GD.I would think that at In 1940 he started out as aircrew u/t (under training). This was the trade that aircrew u/t recruits entered the service as.

    He would have entered the service with the rank of AC2 Aircraftsman 2nd Class and assimulated to the "trade" of ACH/GD.The General Duties tag indicates that he was an aircrew trainee.The Aircraft Hand 'trade" was still used in the post war RAF and was in reality a general labouring dogsbody on the squadron who would assimulate his duties through "on the job training". but in your father era,any airman inducted from outside the service, intended for aircrew training would have the tag "General Duties".Even now you will find commissioned ranks,say one of F/L (General Duties) for example, which indicates a F/L aircrew status.

    Have you got his service number then I can furnish further information?.It will be interesting for you to see his pay rates.I can tell you that the pay rates did not change for the better in the immediate post RAF service.Very poor at the lower end of the ranks for those on operational flying.
  20. ambler

    ambler Junior Member

    Hi there harry Serial No 612457,,service started 18-05-1938," Depot Cardington,/1AAS Manby,after manby he was posted to RAF ACKLington 14/3/40, however written on his service record is Crw pay from 30-01-1940 to 27-12-1940

    I have the service records which was sent to me from Raf records,,lots of squibbles but have made sense of most of it. hope this helps

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