War widows denied pensions after remarrying to be compensated

Her thoughts were echoed by Mrs Morris, who said that the money would be welcomed as a safety net for ill health and any medical bills. “They were never going to give the pension back so to get a reasonable lump sum is really nice,” she said.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s a bonus because I never thought it would happen.”

However, she cautioned that it would not be until the money was in her bank account that she would truly believe it had happened. “I think what it says is that it’s an acknowledgement of what we’ve had to cope with over so many years,” Mrs Morris added.

“Sacrifices were made. My husband had been killed and it was just an added thing. After 18 years on my own I found happiness again and then that was taken away. I think for everybody it’ll be very nice, especially at this stage in life.”

‘Not what we’ve been campaigning for’

Moira Kane, chairman of the War Widows Association, said that while the payment would be welcomed it was not what they had been campaigning for.

She said: “We were campaigning for the reinstatement of a pension which we haven’t got. It is sad that we haven’t got that. However, as the Treasury keeps insisting there is no way they would consider that, some of these ladies are getting quite elderly so I think the majority will be happy to receive a lump sum.

“They are still hurt that they haven’t got their pension back and everything that goes with that, but this one off payment will help a lot of them.”

‘Only right that we honour their service’

Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, said: “We are enormously grateful for the sacrifice made by our war widows for our country.

“This recognition payment, something I have fought hard for in Government for the past two years, is an important step towards continuing to honour our commitment to supporting them in every way we can.”

The application window for the payment will open later this year and will remain open for two years with support for applicants provided by the Veterans UK Call Centre. There will also be welfare support available through the Veterans Welfare Service for those who require emotional support during the process.

John Glen, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “The legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country endures, and it’s only right that we honour that service by doing right by their loved ones.

“This government will always stand behind our armed forces, their families and veterans and this payment is a token of our continued commitment to them.”

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