Mess Silver

Discussion in 'Seniors' started by emptyeye, Oct 14, 2005.

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  1. Open to all who can answer: Two questions bugging me all week
    1.

    What happened to all the Sgts Mess Silver and also unit silver sent back to the MOD over the years when messes were shut, disbanded etc, someone told me once its not broken down or even sold which implies, its sat in a storeroom somewhere gathering dust.

    I know a lot of it went to newly formed units but a vast number was just backloaded. Is it all sat in one of the major depots someplace doing nothing?

    Anyone know how it can be tracked down? or, anybody seen it?
    2.

    I paid into a Soldiers Widows Fund for 20 odd years, never thought about it, even paid my ones days pay thingy but every pay slip, there it was ...SWF £xxx
    So..question 2 is..what happened to that cash from zillions of squaddies, how much are we talking about over 20 years or so..and why didnt I get a rebate/refund when I left? We could be talking about millions of (taxed) cash sent back to the MOD to do what exactly?
    So pay experts out there..over to you....

    Pay and paybook isnt correct at this stage sir'
     
  2. When a Mess closes, the Mess is supposed to write to all Members who donated something and ask them if they would like it back. Not always easy to do - trying to track down the Sgt Smith who donated a statuette 30 years ago is nigh on impossible.

    If it's the Mess of a sub-unit, then the contents of that Mess are quite often shared amongst the remaining sub-unit Messes. Seems to be a common theme for TA units, as at least there's some continuity.

    As for Mess Silver, pictures, furniture and the like, then it gets put into Central Storage, and other units can then apply for items. They're held on the Mess Property book as loan items, and can be requested to be returned at any stage. This is why in a number of Messes you can see pieces of silver, such as cups and shields bearing the names of long since disbanded Battalions.
     
  3. Yes I know how the system works but, when a mess actually dies, ie no mess property book any more, unit gone, where exactly is Central Storage?
     
  4. Regarding your conributions to the (now defunct) Single Soldier's Dependents Fund and/or Soldier's Widows Fund (SSDF/SWF) - both , and the Army Officer's Funds have now been incorporated into the Army Dependents Trust, or ADT. The payments you made were a form of life insurance which pays a sum only on your death in service. As you didn't die - you don't get anything! But your contributions will have gone to the dependents of those that did die in service.

    You, like most people, probably signed up to the scheme on enlistment. It was(and still is) a voluntary scheme. Incidentally - the payments were not monthly, but an annual charge. The current version is paid in January but I can't remember if that has always been the case.

    Hope that helps!
     
  5. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    SWF and Days Pay Scheme completely different, Munineer in right on SWF but I would also add that you should look on it as a 'Whole of Life' Insurance policy (If you don't die you've wasted the money)! 8O

    The days Pay Scheme goes to the Benevolent Fund of what ever Regt or Corps you are in. That Benevolent Fund then makes a 'donation' to the ABF so that some can be redistributed to long defunct Regts. Not an exact science but the way to look at is by contributing you were helping ex-squaddies who had fallen on hard times.
    Don't you feel good about youself now? :) :)
     
  6. I guess nobody knows about the silver question then?

    Rgr on the SWF question, just curious and if it went any dependant of any brother KIA or died in service, Im happy with that....
     
  7. Know Woolwich has loads of Gunner silver in its basements from the 100's of Regts we used to have - a lot of it goes to Regts with little/no silver. Loads of it came from Indian Regts so units which have that heritage can claim it - as the Indian Regt have gone, it just sits there, collecting dust and going up in value. Not much help if you are not a Gunner unit - what comes from being such a massive organisation. Bit of a drama if you are in a small/county Regt.

    Actually, had a chat with some serving people. Perhaps defunct Regt's silver should be thoroughly photographed/moulds taken etc and then melted down and a new piece of silver made - listing names of Regts and personnel which "contributed." However, what if the Regts are merely put into suspended animation and not disbanded? What if one person/relative objects? Then the obvious answer is that it sits in a storeroom growing in value and gathering dust. However, it is our heritage, so is a difficult subject. Also, the value is in the sculpture/craftsmanship, not the silver (except fro some massive pieces which are around).

    My penny’s worth and I shall now retire from this forum as I am about to get tied to the bar and be made to drink!
     
  8. Isn't there a closed mess fund in the MOD?
     
  9. Rgr on that, good news, if the RA is doing it, you can bet others are too, and it implies that all mess silver isnt destroyed. Im with you on the 'new' silver idea, but as im old fashioned too, I would like to see old silver pieces stay as they are:
     
  10. Just a suggestion on disbanded regiments. But many county and infantry regiments have small museum collections maintained by the regimental association and/or successor regiments. I know of a dozen at least that have regimental silver displays.
     
  11. Taking moulds and getting (strike me down for saying this)Silver Lady to make a resin based, silver dipped copy of it (relatively cheap - probably costs less than silver for new piece) and then elt dow. Therefore, have two pieces of silver for the price of one.

    As for Regt musems, it would probably raise the cost of their insurance. Mind you, better on display than in a box. Actually, in the Regt HQ, what about having a Silver "Family History Room" - the Regts which formed the Regts get a piece of silver with a load of photos and text to tell the Regts/Bns History??
     
  12. Used to be the case that the silver went into disbanded units and to a place called the vault in London. The silver can be viewed here and purchased at a future time by other units, messes or establishments. Can't remember the name of the company who run the vault, but I'll dig out some old info and let you know. The RA at Larkhill also has a vault full of silver from disbanded units and messes, they have been trying to catalogue for the last 25yrs and have still not finished.