16 May 2017

The Day Wilfred Received his Prize Money

On discharge from the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserves Wilfred Tait was entitled to a War Service Gratuity, a Victory Medal, a British War Medal, a Class A Navy Service Badge (No.1622), and a share in the Prize Money.

Up to and including WWI, the crew of navy ships were awarded prize money for destroying or capturing enemy vessels during times of war. The Canadian scale of payout was the same as that approved by the British Navy. You can check out the Navy Prize Manual here.
The prize value per vessel was decided by a prize court. The money was put into a Prize Fund and paid out in three installments at the end of the war.

There would be a notice placed in the newspapers that the shares were being distributed and the ex-naval men would have to apply for it.

Request for share in prize money

The memo stating his service on the high seas, and therefore eligible for a share in the prize money fund...

Here is a closer look at what the Navy calculated as Wilfred's share, according to his rank of wireless telegraph operator...

5/30 of 12 = 2 shares for a value of £5

This is a copy of the accompanying letter he would have got with his cheque for the first payout in November 1920.

Wilfred received a cheque for the second payout in April 1923...

Amount was calculated to £7 10s

Receipt signed and returned to Dept of National Defense

This is the notice he saw in the Montreal Gazette for the third and final payout..

For the third and final payout Wilfred received a cheque for £1 in February 1924.

Wilfred Tait was born 2 July 1897 to John Thomson Tait and Martha Elizabeth Singleton, fairly new immigrants to Canada from Liverpool.
Wilfred is my great-uncle (brother of my paternal grandmother).

See the rest of the WWI Navy Service Record of Wilfred Tait

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