War widows’ pensions were rarely covered the most basic living costs for widows and their families. Many women relied on savings and the help of their family to weave together a patchwork of incomes. This meant that war widows frequently faced the grief of having lost their husband as well as the trials of severe financial hardship. Sadly, the interwar period saw a significant number of reports of war widows’ suicides, which are often directly linked to poverty, debt, grief, and a fear of being a burden to family, friends or the state. The article below reports one such case. Mrs Irene Glendinning had savings, but lost all her money to a fraudster (a scenario which is reported several times in papers of the period. If you’d like to know more about war widows during and between the World Wars, please take a look at our History section. You can also find more items related to this period in our Library.
“War Widow’s Desperation: Suicide after She Had Been ‘Fleeced’ of her Money”, Manchester Guardian (26 January 1922), p.4