Chapter

‘No such useless appendage’ – the state and service families before 1939

Barbara Hately-Broad

in War and Welfare

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780719078545
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702352 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719078545.003.0002
‘No such useless appendage’ – the state and service families before 1939

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This chapter provides an outline of the historical development of service allowances and their administration in the period to 1918, their further development during the interwar period and the changes brought about by the advent of the Second World War. Britain was almost half a century late to acknowledge state responsibility for service families compared with its major protagonist in both World Wars. The study elaborates how the government and the armed services ignored any responsibility to provide continuing support for the families of those fighting for their country. Gradually, a slow change took place; provision for families became a particularly important issue when length of service was taken into consideration. The problem now became one of administration rather than conviction.

Keywords: service allowances; interwar period; Second World War; service families; state responsibility

Chapter.  14700 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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