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Queen’s Gunner

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Just chewing the fat with one of the Arty Diggers down here (Oz) yesterday and he dropped into conversation something about the ‘Queen’s Gunner’ – a title given to any Gunner who completed his full pensionable service, without charge but also without any promotion, and as a result, received the pension of a WO1.

This guy has never met such a beast, could not elaborate and could not qualify his statement in any way yet he was fairly certain that it was (at least at some stage in history) a genuine thing.

I’d heard similar things said about 22-year Privates (with clean conduct sheets) on more than one occasion during my time in the British Army (although I’ve never met one) and while I’m certain that the Army would not reward such clear incompetence and buffoonery with a pot of gold seen only by the contrastingly successful career soldier, nevertheless, the myth seems to be there.

Can anyone shed any light on the origins of this story?

Yes - it is simply not true.