Army's £433 claw-back from dead soldier

If the British Army ordered you to return a few hundred 'overpaid' pounds due to your son being shot dead in Afghanistan, you would probably be stunned. Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft, 25, was killed last August, having also served in Iraq. But the army are now asking for £433.13 back from the Bancroft family, due to Jordan being paid a month in advance.

Lack of respect?

The request for repayment, taking into account annual leave, is made even more indefensible given that the Bancroft family had previously raised £10,000 for the Duke of Lancaster Regiment, which Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft had been a member of.

"When I read the letter," Jordan's father Tony told the Mail, "you could have knocked me down with a feather. When it sunk in what it said, it felt like I'd been poked in the eye with a stick. I want to make it clear that this is in no way a question of money, but one of respect."


Technically, the army has a point: it paid out money to a dead soldier; army personnel are generally paid up to their date of death, if killed in service. "However, where a further salary payment or credit is made at a later date, the final payment is adjusted to reflect the correct amount," the army is reported as saying.

The Department of Work and Pensions has similar rules. If you die after being paid your pension, there is an obligation for the family to repay the money. "A payment for someone no longer qualified," as the DWP puts it.

But whatever way you look at it, it appears a contemptible move, given the family's loss, not to mention their own efforts to fundraise for the army. Yes, rules are rules. But sometimes they are best ignored. Jordan Bancroft gave up his life. He was due to marry girlfriend Lauren O'Hara after returning from Afghanistan.
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