The Minister for Defence, Mr Simon Coveney, T.D. today announced the latest release of material from the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection (MSPC) online. This latest release of records is the thirteenth release of material under the MSPC Project and it comprises of over 5,010 files representing records relating to over 1,835 individuals. This is the second release of material this year.
Significantly, this release sees all remaining service pension claims lodged by women/Cumann na mBan members being fully catalogued and digitised. This brings the total service applications lodged by women to 6,445 active service claims. The majority of these claims were lodged under the Military Pensions Act 1934, with just two claims lodged under the Military Pensions Act 1924.
Taking into account all the MSPC file series, over 113,500 files have now been catalogued and approximately 46,000 are now fully digitised and available online.
Speaking in relation to this latest release, the Minister said “I am delighted to announce this latest release of historical records contained in the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection. This latest release of files is the second biggest release of the project and completes the service applications by over 6,400 women highlighting the role they played in the struggle for independence.”
The release of material is now available to view on www.militaryarchives.ie
Note for Editors:
Origins and scope: The archives contained within the Military Service Pensions Collection were once active administrative files generated through legislation enacted by the newly formed Saorstát Éireann from June 1923. In post-conflict conditions, various legal acts were sanctioned to compensate members of certain organisations and their widows, children and dependents. Over time, legislation was enhanced and broadened to include more veterans, including the members of Cumann na mBan.
Two streams of legislation are relevant for the Military Service Pensions Collection:
- The Army Pensions Acts, from 1923 to 1953: dealing with the wounded participants and deceased participants’ dependents.
- The Military Service Pensions Acts, 1924, 1934, 1949: dealing with the surviving participants who could prove active service.
Applicants were assessed by the Army Pensions Board, a Board of Assessors and later by a Referee and an Advisory Committee. The files are the result of the verification process and contain material submitted by the applicants in respect of their claims.
MSPC publications “Guide to the Military Service Pensions Collection” and a guide to the “Brigade Activity Reports” are available to download on the Military Archives website.