Oxford MailWidows make equal pensions call (From Oxford Mail)

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Widows make equal pensions call

Oxford Mail: War Widows Association members, from left, June Harrison, Ena Mitchell and Sylvia Street at Christ Church Cathedral Buy this photo War Widows Association members, from left, June Harrison, Ena Mitchell and Sylvia Street at Christ Church Cathedral

WAR widows ended a four-day event with a service at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford.

More than 100 members of the War Widows’ Association of Great Britain attended their annual general meeting at the Oxford Belfry Hotel in Milton Common, near Thame, before attending the service on Sunday.

The event came as the group lobbies the Government over more equal pension rights for widows of soldiers killed in action or in the line of duty.

Under rules introduced in 2005, widows who remarry may continue to receive their pensions. However, many are part of an older scheme, which bars them from receiving further pension payments if they take a new spouse.

Campaigners say the system is unfair and leads to different generations being treated unequally.

In December the Government said it had no intention of amending the older scheme.

Ena Mitchell, 95, who was widowed in 1944, said: “We all hope to gain better pensions.

“The association has worked tirelessly for us, and it has a wonderful committee.”

Her husband, William Mitchell, served as a staff sergeant in the East Yorkshire Regiment, and died in Belgium in September, 1944, when the tank he was in exploded.

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Mrs Mitchell, who lives in Abingdon, added: “When my husband died I had just 26 shillings. We are much better off now than we used to be.

“I liked having the service in Oxford on Sunday – it was like a home from home.”

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