I believe that the title explains the question quite well however I will elaborate.

We know that soldiers, even conscripted ones were indeed paid during their service in the two different armies. However, is there any difference to how they were paid? Was one paid better than the other?

I have fumbled through many archives and googled the question phrased in many different ways to no avail.

Sources would help greatly, thanks.

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    Showing results of the research you have already done enables others to work forward from it, instead of merely duplicating it. Also by CEF do you intend "Canadian Expeditionary Force"? Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 10:09

2 Answers 2


This article discusses several aspects of life in the CEF, including pay scales in effect:

enter image description here

According to this site the exchange rate between CAD and GBP in 1916 was

1 CAD = 0.57431 GBP ~ 11s 6d = 11 shillings 6 pence

which should allow meaningful comparison to British pay rates once they have been tracked down.


War Office Instruction 166 (1914) detailed the rates of pay for all ranks in the various arms of the British Armed Forces as of 1914.

I've listed the pay scales covering infantry only, but even within this limitation, you'll notice that Foot Guards were paid more than Line Infantry.


Lieutenant-Colonel  28s 0d
Major               16s 0d
Captain             12s 6d
Lieutenant          8s 6d
Second Lieutenant   7s 6d
Quartermaster       10s 0d


Foot Guards/Infantry of the Line
Sergeant-Major                  5s 2d/5s 0d
Quartermaster-Sergeant          4s 2d/4s 0d
Company Sergeant-Major          4s 2d/4s 0d
Company Quartermaster-Sergeant  3s 8d/3s 6d
Colour-Sergeant                 3s 8d/3s 6d
Sergeant                        2s 6d/2s 4d
Corporal                        1s 9d/1s 8d
Private                         1s 1d/1s 0d

additional proficiency pay is payable if the soldier fulfils certain conditions as to service and qualification: rates 3d or 6d per day, according to proficiency.


I have been able to do some verification on these figures as they appear on several websites (Such as Tommy1418 and "Innovating in Combat") but I've not been able to find a digital image/copy of War Office Instruction 166 (1914) yet to fully check the figures.

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