87 year old man dies – time for compo

A WOMAN has won the right to a war widow’s pension by proving her late husband’s death was linked to the excessive salt-eating habit he developed as a serviceman.

After serving in the tropics during World War II, Queensland cane cutter and farmer Clement Hutton loaded all his food – from apples to porridge and rice – with salt.

His widow Shirley Hutton, 83, of Maroochy River on the Sunshine Coast, told the Administrative Appeal Tribunal her husband, who she married in 1951, developed his taste for salt during his Army service.

Mr Hutton was diagnosed with hypertension in 1997 and died after a stroke in July 2012 aged 87.

Mrs Hutton claimed her husband’s stroke was linked to his hypertension which was linked to his excessive salt intake which began during his war service.

While the death of a loved one must always be traumatic it is hard to understand why the widow of a 87 year old man should be treated equally with those women whose husbands actually died during the war, or who bore the stress of having a husband fighting in the war. I wouldn’t have thought that 87 would be an unusually young age for a WWII veteran to have died.

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93 Responses to 87 year old man dies – time for compo

  1. Notafan

    I believe the same type of argument has been run in relation to smoking habits that commenced because of war time service. There have been plenty of widows becoming eligible for the war widows pension over the years but they must be miniscule in number now. My mother is a war widow and was granted the war widow’s pension in the late 1980s (My dad was WW II vet who had malaria related secondary illness).

  2. Alfonso

    Luvvie law touches up the taxpayers yet again…..because it can.
    Clement, under socially engineered Statist legal concepts, is never responsible for anything he does.
    Shirley would ideally want Mordy on the case for some extra nice little earners.

  3. jumpnmcar

    What’s the gap between her normal pension and the War Widow pension ?

  4. johanna

    This would be unprovable on any objective standard.

    What standard did they use?

  5. Chris M

    Not to mention the salt > hypertension link has been discredited, apart from a very tiny percentage of people there is no connection. The low salt diet on the other hand is quite dangerous, hundreds of old folk die in heatwaves from dehydration due primarily to their doctor prescribed low salt diet not to mention issues with reflux & intestine / colon trouble it can create in the longer term. Any dietary measure taken to extreme is likely to give you grief but yeah, not the Army’s fault. I hope it is appealed.

  6. She didn’t marry him till 1951.

    And she married him presumably fully aware of his salt-eating mania (unless it was a very whirlwind courtship).

    There are two options available to a woman in this situation:

    a) put a forcible stop to his salt-eating habit through fair means or foul;
    b) allow it to continue and thank God it’s only salt and not booze or loose women he has a taste for.

    I am assuming she took b), although she may have taken a) and failed.

    I would be now looking – if I were one of her kids – at taking her to court for helping to kill him by enabling his salt habit.

  7. From the article:

    “The evidence suggests Mr Hutton’s salt preference was not a product of his own mother’s cooking and that he was not an excessive salt user when he lived with her before the war,” a tribunal member said.

    Excuse me? Is his mother still alive, or did they use a Ouija board?

  8. Grant B

    The old man flew 71 ops over Europe in a Mosquito in WW2 and drank a lot of beer in the mess each time he successfully returned. This beer drinking continued post war until he died aged 80. Should my mother have put in a claim?

  9. Rabz

    A premature death at the age of 87?

    FFS, Perfessor, is this some sort of joke?

  10. Sinclair Davidson

    A premature death at the age of 87?

    Yep – shocking.

  11. Carpe Jugulum

    I think you would find that they may have applied the DVA Statements of Principles for hypertension.


    Clauses 5 to 7 outline accepted criteria.

    As callous as it sounds i may loook at upgrading my DVA pension with this.

  12. Faye

    I put salt in porridge, stewed apple and rice. Not a lot, just to round the flavour. My mum did it. Back then life wasn’t so complicated and ridiculous.

  13. Rabz

    allow it to continue and thank God it’s only salt and not booze or loose women he has a taste for.

    If he’d gone for the two latter indulgences he may not have lived for as long but I’d wager he would have had a far more enjoyable time!


  14. johanna

    Just dredged out of the memory banks – when I worked for the NSW government, many moons ago, we got a series of letters from a chap who claimed that the government had forced his mother to move from one public housing property to another, resulting in her death. She was 84, IIRC. He wanted compensation, not that it was about the money, of course. 🙂

  15. Carpe Jugulum

    and not booze

    Alcohol is included in the SOP for Hypertension.

  16. manalive

    What’s the gap between her normal pension and the War Widow pension ?

    About $5 a week.

  17. My Mother-in-Law, No 1, divorced her husband and was given a widows pension even though he was alive and kicking. That was in Queensland too. Heck, have vagina, get a taxpayer reward.

  18. Rabz

    Alcohol is included in the SOP for Hypertension.

    Loose women? Presumably not.

  19. rafiki

    A large part of the explanation for such results lies in the way the veterans’ entitlements law strongly favours the grant of payments. What follows is difficult for even lawyers to grasp. To avoid a reversal on appeal, the AAT leans to the claimant, and it is rare for the government to appeal. In addition, the AAT in such cases often has two retired defence personnel on the 3 member panel. Read what follows at peril of scrambling your brain. In Bushell v Repatriation Commission [1992] HCA 47 [10]-[11] the High Court said:
    “… the case must be rare where it can be said that a hypothesis, based on the raised facts, is unreasonable when it is put forward by a medical practitioner who is eminent in the relevant field of knowledge. Conflict with other medical opinions is not sufficient to reject a hypothesis as unreasonable. As we have earlier pointed out, it is not the function of s.120(3) to require the Commission to choose between competing hypotheses or to determine whether one medical or scientific opinion is to be preferred to another. This does not mean, however, that in performing its functions under s.120(3) the Commission cannot have regard to the medical or scientific material which is opposed to the material which supports the veteran’s claim. Indeed, the Commission is bound to have regard to the opposing material for the purpose of examining the validity of the reasoning which supports the claim that there is a connection between the incapacity or death and the service of a veteran. But it is vital that the Commission keep in mind that that hypothesis may still be reasonable although it is unproved and opposed to the weight of informed opinion.
    11. If the material does raise a reasonable hypothesis of a connection between the service and the injury, disease or death, the claim must be dealt with in accordance with s.120(1). That is to say, the Commission must determine that the injury, disease or death was war caused “unless it is satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that there is no sufficient ground for making that determination”. The use of the terms “the material” and “raise” strongly suggests that sub-s.(3) is not concerned with the proof or satisfaction of a claim but with whether there is some “material” which calls for a determination under s.120(1). The phrase “(i)n applying subsection (1) or (2)” (emphasis added) in s.120(3) also suggests that s.120(1) is the governing provision”.
    Proving a negative beyond reasonable doubt is not easy.

    All this is the result of deliberate government policy. Lawyers have not made it up.

  20. David

    My dear old now departed at the age of 95 Dad started smoking during WW2 as a Digger in New Guinea. He developed emphysema as a result of his addiction to the weed. When his GP suggested he apply for a TPI pension on the basis of his addiction [started due to the stress of war according to he medico] he became most irate and told the GP to invest in sex and travel.

    He died an independent and self supporting old curmudgeon.

    Sometimes the “World owes me a living” meme really is unbelievable.

  21. Econocrat

    My grandfather was classified as 100 per cent incapacitated after WWII.

    He got about 40 per cent because he was posted to the US Air Force, and got their standard weekly ration pack that included two cartons of cigarettes, one pouch of tobacco, and a box of cigars.

    When we were replacing his water tank the Department of Veterans’ Affairs rang and he yelled out to by grandmother to not tell them he was 15 metres up the tank stand!

    However, if there were any people who deserved largess from the State it would be returned service people; including our most recent returnees.

  22. Carpe Jugulum

    What’s the gap between her normal pension and the War Widow pension ?

    The war widows pension is $840.20 with an income support supplement of $247.60. nearly double.


  23. Rabz

    “… the case must be rare where it can be said that a hypothesis, based on the raised facts, is unreasonable when it is put forward by a medical practitioner who is eminent in the relevant field of knowledge …


  24. Craig Mc

    What a load of crap. My dad spent the war in the ABC Orchestra, and he laced all his food with salt – even black bean sauce for gawd’s sake. That’s just what blokes did back then.

  25. candy

    Maybe she just likes the status of “war widow” amongst the RSL crowd or her late husband’s friends, “i’m a war widow” kind of thing.

  26. Rabz

    He died an independent and self supporting old curmudgeon.

    Just like my dear ol’ pop, a WW2 veteran who spent three and half years in the army and passed away at the age of 80.

  27. rafiki

    Understood Rabz, but it’s because non-lawyers give up trying to work out what statutes mean that so much bad law stays on the books. It is not primarily a matter of having of plain English laws – that just increases judicial legislative power. It is a matter of restraining the use of statutes as a social engineering tool. That’s not easy. I hope that the LDL Senator – using a network of support – might make some progress. What committee’s he joins will be critical.

  28. jumpnmcar

    The war widows pension is $840.20 with an income support supplement of $247.60. nearly double.

    Thanks Carpe
    By the look of her he may cost an extra $5k, big deal.
    The pieces of filth housos in my street cost ( at my conservative estimation ) over $ 300,000 per year to remain less than useless.

  29. JB

    For goodness sake, give the old lady the money. She’s in her 80s for God’s sake. Her husband actually served his Country, which is far more than the millions of bludgers we are supporting already. I include a vast number of retired pollies in that list.

  30. steve

    Rafiki……so lawyers are just pawns in the governments grand game of chess?

  31. Dan

    I’m with jumpnmycar…
    Stepping back a bit I guess I assumed that widows of servicemen got widow’s pensions routinely. With the amount of money this country flushes down the toilet (800,000 on DSP) I don’t feel very strongly about this one. Maybe it’s routine to concoct elaborate and hugely tendentious theories to obtain these pensions, a hoop-jumping exercise.

  32. johanna

    The issue is, what is a “war widow”? Just because your deceased husband was a serviceman at some point, surely doesn’t mean that his death was due to military service. It is bitterly fought over, because war widows get more than ordinary pensioners.

  33. rafiki

    Steve – they’re like plumbers who on payment design a drainage system to tip effluent into the local park. If the money’s right, or the prospect of public service promotion or survival, there will always be someone to do the job, no matter the social or economic consequences. On the other hand, they have a role in restraining the misuse of government power.
    They can’t do much about what goes into legislation (constitutional challenges are rare). But a politician on the right kind of committee might be able to exert some influence in the direction of restraining regulation and preserving basic freedoms, even if he/she was a lone dissenter. As for the Senate. I’m thinking of the Scrutiny of Bills Committee. I could expand on this, but that would put Rabz into a deep sleep.

  34. entropy

    If anyone is going to be a leach, it should be someone whose husband served in an overseas wartime posting.

    Hell, think what Numbers wife has had to put up with for forty years. It would be pretty had to begrudge her for that.

  35. Aliice

    What I love about the war widows pension (and wish I was a war widow) is – its not means or assets tested for life. Really its gone a bit far and too long hasnt it?

  36. Aliice


    What a load of crap. My dad spent the war in the ABC Orchestra, and he laced all his food with salt – even black bean sauce for gawd’s sake.

    I still lace my own food with salt and freshly ground black pepper and woe betide me if the salt isnt on the table for hubby. I dont think it killed my grandparents, parents or me.

  37. candy

    I think it says he loaded all his food with salt – even desserts, everything, so he was addicted. Obviously didn’t heed his doctors’ advice at all or didn’t care.

  38. calli

    From what I recall of my mother in law’s war widow pension, unlike payments by Centrelink, the full benefit was paid regardless of any other income. There are also other benefits/discounts, and that’s what makes the WWP so desireable, apart from the fact that it is administered by Veterans Affairs.

  39. Alfonso

    ” its not means or assets tested for life.”
    90 year old mother qualifies in spades for war widow pension, Desert Airforce Nth Africa etc, but is ineligible because she is a company director and dividend recipient.

  40. Rabz

    Obviously didn’t heed his doctors’ advice at all or didn’t care.

    And yet he lived to the ripe ol’ age of 87.

    Sounds like death by natural causes to me.

  41. .

    LDL Senator…erm yes we must fight the Government’s war on nutrition such as the discredited salt–>hypertension notion, but alas, David is from the LDP.

    Anyway…I’d put a lifespan of 87 years in part to his high salt consumption. How can you sue for damages if you beat the average lifespan?

    Rafiki has explained it: The Guv’mint has engineered it this way. The taxpayer is a schmuck and Guv’mint knows it to boot.

  42. ar

    Any reason this salt link wasn’t established before he died?

  43. Kev

    The difference is the Gold Card. If she gets that then it’s free medical and dental for life.

  44. Leigh Lowe

    If the Grim Reaper should send me an offer of “guaranteed 87 or take your chances” I’ll be signing up to the fixed term contract expiring at 87.

  45. Alfonso

    In fact , 90 year old mother is funded by me 100%….not even the aged pension is available for such social derelicts.

    It’s a values thing…..the State can fuck itself.

  46. stackja

    The Administrative Appeal Tribunal

    The AAT welcomes feedback.
    The AAT is committed to preventing fraud.

    President – Justice Duncan Kerr Chev LH
    The President of the Tribunal must be a judge of the Federal Court of Australia.
    Justice Kerr was appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Australia on 10 May 2012. He was appointed President of the Tribunal on 16 May 2012 for a term of five years.
    Before his appointment he practiced as a barrister and specialised in public law; constitutional and administrative law; refugee and human rights law and appellate work. Justice Kerr was appointed Senior Counsel in 2004.
    He was also Adjunct Professor of Law, QUT and President of Greening Australia Ltd.
    Justice Kerr served in the Commonwealth Parliament as the member for Denison for 23 years (1987-2010). He was Attorney-General (1993) and Minister for Justice (1993-1996) in the Keating Government and Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs (2007-2009) in the Rudd Government.
    Before his election to the House of Representatives he had served as Crown Counsel for the State of Tasmania, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Papua New Guinea and Principal Solicitor for the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW).

    electoral division of Denison (Tas
    Wilkie, A (IND) 2010–
    Kerr, D (ALP) 1987–2010

  47. candy

    And yet he lived to the ripe ol’ age of 87.

    Sounds like death by natural causes to me.

    Yeah, pretty much I think, Rabz. I reckon he took his chances like anyone else. 87 is a fair achievement.

  48. mareeS

    Salt. War widow. There you go.

    Mine own spouse has all the returned from active service stuff, badges, some good medals for his efforts in the field of combat, plus served his time in the psych bin.

    He’s not dead yet, so I’m not a war widow.

    What’s this salt thing? Can I have what she’s having if I kill him tonight?

  49. mareeS

    I probably should say that, even if he fell off the twig tonight, I would be eligible as a war widow because he has a TPI allowance (not through salt intake, mainly through being shot at quite often and having a period of general craziness in the ensuing decades).

    War widows are wives of dead TPI servicemen, otherwise they’re just widows. This one seems to have been very keen to pursue a war widow pension, or else she’s under the age of the general pension.

    Whatever. She sounds like a trougher.

  50. Martyrow

    Grant B – Yes, your mother should have submitted a claim for war widows pension, and it’s not too late now, assuming she is still alive. Contact an ex-service organization such as the RSL or Legacy for assistance.

  51. duncanm

    Hang on,

    according to this, if the guy survived past 65, his life expectancy was then about 18 years. ie: 83.

    She should pay the government for his 4 years better-than-average stretch.

  52. Some of you need to be a little bit more thoughtful. This is not a case of someone choosing to live on the dole or choosing to become a sole parent just to get off the dole and live on easy street. Similarly, it is not a case of an illegal coming here and grabbing the cash as soon as they can, and nor is it a case of a refugee coming here legally and then parking themselves on welfare. All of these are things we should legitimately object to.
    WWII veterans are a different issue. Conscription was compulsory for young men, meaning that many were sent off to battle in some very nasty places and they had no say in the matter. You need to read a little about the ordeal of the troops in Japanese prison camps and the torture, mutilation and murder inflicted on them more generally at the hands of the Japanese. Get yourself a copy of the Webb inquiries into Japanese atrocities against Australian troops and also against Australian and PNG civilians. To give you a small glimpse, you will read about Australian troops being used for bayonet practice, including having a bayonet rammed up the anus. You will read about the rape and mutilation of local PNG women. The mutilations were similar to those inflicted on the Chinese at Nanking, giving the lie to claims that Nanking was an isolated incident involving rogue soldiers. Enough – read it for yourself.
    Because most of the troops engaged in WWII were conscripts, there is, I believe, a bit of a nod and wink done with war service entitlements for war veterans and their widows. Perhaps in part it is atonement for what they suffered and the fact that they suffered it involuntarily. Troops today are compensated very well upon retirement. Perhaps the war widows pension is also part compensation for such benefits not being available to spouses of WWII veterans.
    Furthermore, many people returned from service in WWII with deep psychological scars that they carried throughout their lives, often to the detriment of their careers and marriages. This shouldn’t be compared with veterans of more recent wars, for whom self-pity often masquerades as a war-service-induced psychological injury.
    And, please, don’t come back at me with all that ‘everybody was in it for god and country’ rubbish. In New Guinea the troops had to be lined up to take their weekly malaria pill as many saw malaria as an easy way to get shipped home. Closer to home, an uncle once told me of the unseemly scramble in Darwin as people sought to evacuate before an expected Japanese landing. It wasn’t a case of women and children first. People were offering bribes to air crew to get moved to the front of the queue.
    So, please, a little bit more thoughtfulness on this matter. Sure, there may be some pretty exotic claims for benefits, but there are reasons behind it all.

  53. mareeS

    Currently, war widow pension through DVA is $840.20 per fortnight plus gold card for all extras. Better than the general pension. For the spouse at TPI rate it’s $1300ish for him, and gold card, and nil for me, plus I pay for my own health insurance.

    She has done alright for herself getting the benefits, but hey, whatever, I’d rather have my man alive and more years together.

  54. Empire Strikes Back

    My late grandfather, a WWII vet, died a painful death as a result of renal failure at 82 years of age. Was his kidney disease related to his service? Perhaps.

    As a veteran he was entitled to the best medical care available and was offered dialysis in his late 70s. He refused. When asked why he responded “why would you waste that shit on an old man who will die soon anyway? Give it to a sick kid whose parents can’t afford to jump the queue.”

    He certainly had his faults, but self pity wasn’t one of them.

  55. mareeS


    I hope you are reconsidering what you have posted. Nil military service is evident.

    Most WW2 troops were voluntary. My husband was conscripted in 1965, aged 19, and considers it the making of his life, apart from the things that happened inside his head in the aftermath.

    Those things that happen while you are still a young person do affect you and the people around you, but it’s what you make of it (or, more to the point, what we have made of it out of his wartime experiences). Good friends, lessons in life, a happy and close family.

    Take comfort from your second-hand thoughts, but you are talking nonsense.

  56. MacBeth

    I receive a small DVA pension, and have developing health problems not all war related (as far as I know) but at 90, who cares? The Gold Card is what has made my old age livable and is the best benefit I could wish for. I feel for those who still suffer from their experiences. Frauds who “work the system” (and I know one or two) are beyond contempt.

  57. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Barry – Maree has put it far better than I ever could, but after reading your smug, patronising remarks about “self pity”, all I can say is that I envy you your f####ing ignorance.

  58. rebel with cause

    If the tribunal wanted to thank this fellow for his service by giving his widow a full military pension after his death then they should say so, rather than granting the pension on extremely tenuous health grounds. Moreover, if they feel that his widow should be compensated for his service perhaps they could reach into their own substantial pockets to do so – it’s easy to be generous with other people’s money.

    As an aside, I’ll wager that most of the people on the disability pension these days haven’t suffered even a half of what some of the returned servicemen went through and the injuries they bore, yet the vast majority went on to live full and productive lives, raised kids, paid taxes and contributed to their communities in innumerable ways beyond their service. By comparison, modern society is made up of a bunch of appallingly selfish whiners.

  59. mareeS

    MacBeth, The spouse and his friends in VVA have worked tirelessly to get benefits for WW2 and Korea vets in our area, because the RSL didn’t lift a finger for a lot of you, let alone our boys after Vietnam. Ours are still assisting people from the Gulf and Afghanistan to access not only benefits but networking to help the new vets get their heads on straight. Speaking as a wife, it’s a lifelong task, and wives are taking part in the process more than in the past. I hope the girls stick with these young men.

  60. H B Bear

    I’m surprised Shirley hasn’t put in a claim for passive salinity.

  61. candy

    I feel for those who still suffer from their experiences. Frauds who “work the system” (and I know one or two) are beyond contempt.

    Hi MacBeth

    I remember you commented here a few months ago. Still travelling along pretty good then, nice to hear from you!

  62. James B

    Taxation is stealing.

    Anybody disagree? Why?

  63. Ian

    Some pretty harsh comments here.

    You need to understand Veterans Law.

    It is ‘beneficial legislation’, that is, the veteran only has to have a reasonable hypothesis that his disease was war caused and the Repatriation Commission has to disprove the hypothesis beyond reasonable doubt. The reverse onus of proof.

    Along the way they must jump through plenty of hoops including meeting the Statement of Principles for that particular disease.

    It is not as easy as the article suggests – 212,000 war widows have been refused the war widow’s pension.

    Maybe that is the story you should be covering.

    Volunteer Advocate for War Veterans.

  64. James C

    James B perhaps you could develop your hypothesis a bit and we can take it from there.

  65. Wayne H

    According to A.W.M. records Mr Clement Hutton was born in 1920 Texas QLD. Died July 2012.

  66. rafiki

    “If the tribunal wanted to thank this fellow for his service by giving his widow a full military pension after his death then they should say so, rather than granting the pension on extremely tenuous health grounds”.

    This is a good point, but the AAT can’t do this. But governments in the past could. They didn’t, probably because that would have appeared to the public too generous, and there were too many who benefited from the complexity. On the other hand, they felt had to accommodate the powerful RSL lobby, who also insisted on very few limits to claims and levels of tribunal appeals. Convoluted proof provisions meant that very few understood the reality. The system gave the RSL a rationale for its existence. The public sector union liked this, because it lead to a bloated DVA staff. Lawyers liked it, because it created a new area of practice. (The Victorian Law Institute once described the administrative law reforms of the 1970s – and especially the AAT – as a ‘sunrise industry’.)
    The system is a great big joke for which the taxpayer pays. I take Barry’s point, but it’s the system that is expensive and irrational (eg, why should a woman who marries the aged veteran get the pension?)
    There is one side benefit that keen Catallaxy military historians might appreciate. Some DVA employees became very knowledgeable about military history, about such matters as who fought for whom in the partisan fighting in the Balkans. That knowledge should be preserved and made available.

  67. Ros

    I am usually a fan of you folks here but not this time. For my Dad and my Father-in-law it was the full five years. Dad from Tobruk to Tarakan. My Father-in-law airforce at 17 (cheated) and then full five years for RAAF (gunner) Middle east etc. He was so young and he was 70 before he could speak of it at all or attend marches. I am glad for them they can’t read this stuff.

    They were made promises then by their country, that their service was very gratefully received and they and their loved ones would for be well looked after for their lives. yes their loved ones, should they have just gone for the lives of others.

    Five years of war, and we cannot bring ourselves to graciously acknowledge that debt and provide a decent life for those that they loved. They received very little for that service at the time, the promises meant a lot.

    This time you are really being a truly lousy lot. What kind of society says so you sacrificed so much, well more fool you, now you have no power we say get lost. Those that you loved deserve no more than anyone else. How easily it seems they and their sacrifices are forgotten by the free and safe.

    They do deserve special treatment for their loved ones and I have not forgotten or dismissed what they gave. Five years for god’s sake, but even a week is so much more than so many of you have, or will ever give. Time to cancel ANZAC Day if the mean spirited begrudging remarks here are symptomatic of Australians, it is obviously now just another occasion for the morally vain to strut about themselves.

  68. Ros

    For what it is worth the War Widow’s pension is actually

    “The War Widow Pension is a form of compensation benefit ”

    “something, typically money, awarded to someone in recognition of loss, suffering, or injury”.

    The old boys and girls not worth it? Compensation paid to their loved ones too much to ask of Australia?

  69. .

    I don’t udnerstand Ros. How is the salt related to being a war widow again?

    You don’t actually believe this claim, do you?

    If veterans need more money, just say so. Don’t infect the legal system with this bogus reasoning about salt etc.

  70. Ros


    Legacy is encouraged to believe that its work in honouring the debt that Australia owes its deceased servicemen and servicewomen is well recognised. –

    Apparently not

  71. Yon Toad

    Dead at 87! Cut down in the prime of his dotage for God’s sake. Show some compassion you heartless pack of bastards.

  72. Tel

    This time you are really being a truly lousy lot. What kind of society says so you sacrificed so much, well more fool you, now you have no power we say get lost. Those that you loved deserve no more than anyone else. How easily it seems they and their sacrifices are forgotten by the free and safe.

    Just out of curiosity, what do you believe this woman sacrificed?

  73. .

    Ros I just can’t accept the death of an 87 year old for what an employer did 65 years ago is actionable.

    Do veterans need more in their allowances? I don’t know.

    Getting it through the court system is not desireable IMO.

  74. Tel


    To the best of my understanding, Legacy is a charity and operates independent of government pensions. I don’t see the relevance in bringing it up here.

  75. Gab

    In 65 years he didn’t once think to reduce his salt intake? He was addicted to salt? How is this even remotely the taxpayer’s responsibility?

  76. .

    His salt intake increased his lifespan. This should not be actionable.

  77. tomix

    Going back awhile, heard this from a few old diggers- “Salt- you can’t live without it”

    Alternatively, Clem may have been a passive-aggressive type.

  78. boy on a bike

    WWII and strange dietary throwbacks:

    I have one relo who can’t eat rice pudding. It’s all they had on his ship to eat for a 3 month cruise in the Middle East – tinned rice pudding. He can’t even look at the stuff.

    One of his mates was on Malta during the siege. He can’t face tinned carrots.

  79. Mater


    Notwithstanding my personal thoughts about this particular case, I think you should reconsider what you posted.
    You seem to be advocating favourable treatment to WWII Widows over more recent ACTUAL veterans. Whilst I don’t disagree with your description of some of the horrors experienced by the WWII veterans, how exactly is that relevant to the future wife? Yes, she may have had to deal with some of the side effects but probably no more than any other wife before or since. I can assure you that the horrors you describe would be adequately delivered on any soldier captured in Iraq or Afghanistan…and after the women had finished, the men might even start!
    As for your statement about troops today being very well compensated upon retirement…misguided and misinformed. After WWII, much of the population were either veterans or had suffered as a result of the war. Consequently, favourable treatment of veterans had popular support and the conditions reflected this. Today, this is not the case.
    Warfare has evolved and changed. Every war is, and will be, different. This does not reduce the horrors experienced and damage done to either the service personnel or their families. Every time someone ‘works’ the entitlements system, it makes it harder for genuine claimants to access these desperately needed services.

  80. Ros

    I haven’t mentioned salt. I have acknowledged their sacrifice, the promises made including those to always care for their loved ones. Her husband gave, for his loved ones. I assume following that reasoning we would owe nothing special to the children of veterans either.

    “honouring the debt that Australia owes its deceased servicemen and servicewomen”. That debt included, a fundamental belief of Legacy, to provide above the usual for their loved ones.

    Promises were made to men and women who suffered temendously on their contemporaries and our behalf. That we feel that this is a promise that can be discarded is monstrous. Or symptomatic. And what kind of call to arms would work in the aftermath of we owe nothing to those they cared for, so nothing to them.

    “Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well. ”

    How can you not feel as Ataturk did. Dead or alive, we honour them, and in honouring them we provide to them or their loved ones some special treatment. The compensation paid is hardly huge, a little old lady gets 800 plus a fortnight, not a pension, compensation for giving so much for so little. by their loved ones. It would seem from the generosity of spirit here their sacrifice is also viewed as so little.

    Get out of your minds the image of some ancient crime queen. I doubt that it was even her idea to make the salt claim, as many here obviously realise. Just an old lady whose dead husband is owed much, those who care do what they can to facilitate that thankyou to him and her.

    You are miserable sods. Sneering and jeering at a dead veteran and his old widow.

  81. .

    #1132845, posted on January 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I haven’t mentioned salt.

    Then you are off topic.

    Carry on.

    You are miserable sods. Sneering and jeering at a dead veteran and his old widow.

    No. You are lying.

  82. MacBeth

    Candy: Thanks for your note. I recall you had some comforting words around Remembrance Day. No longer in office at the RSL, but have instead some editorial and publishing tasks this year which will (hopefully) keep me sane. BTW, the late Mrs MacBeth was a four year veteran of WW2, but I don’t think I’d qualify as a War Widower.

  83. tomix

    Back to the 70s again-TPI was hard to get, the rest got the War Pension, a mingy payment compared to TPI.
    The numbers would be interesting for, say 1960, compared with todays 820.000 DSPer army on $951.10 p/f.

  84. candy

    … words around Remembrance Day

    Of course, it was Remembrance Day, sorry to have forgotten to mention that important part. What a gentleman you are, MacBeth.

  85. 1735099

    treated equally as those women……..

    How is paying this widow a pension disadvantaging war widows who lost partners during the conflict rather than many years after?
    This is a small and insignificant issue seen across the enduring obscenity of disregard and denial of the plight of those who fought for the country, whether volunteers or conscripts.
    “Don’t worry boys, youse will all be looked after no matter what” has to be the oldest lie of all.
    The real cost of military conflict is never properly measured. I am one of only two of my ten man section not TPI or deceased. One shot to death by Tasmanian police (the subject of an enquiry which covered up more than it revealed), one suicide, more than half suffered broken relationships. Those that haven’t acknowledge the stocism and support of their partners.
    Isn’t it about time that a purveyor of that pseudo-science “economics” spent some research time in toting up the real financial cost?
    You could start with the loss of productivity, and move through the medical costs, the pensions, many paid for fifty years plus, the infrastructure costs of the many agencies, the counselling for not only the soldiers, but their partners and offspring.
    Then there’s the intergenerational costs. The Vietnam Veterans’ Morbitity Study reveals a horrendous cost in terms of depression and suicide in children of veterans.
    How do you measure the costs of stillbirth and congenital malformations, the incidence of both in children of Vietnam veterans far exceeding that of the general population?
    The whole study could be wheeled out – complete with dollar costing – and carefully and publically considered every time a pollie advocates a military adventure to shore up waning public opinion.

  86. Robert TG

    Died at 87….. The lucky bastard. I’ll have to add more salt to my diet to preserve myself.
    While most war veterans die at an earlier age, my real sympathies go to those soldiers who died in their teens or early twenties. As for his widow, well she is just taking what the system will give her. If there is a fault, it is with the system.

  87. Yon Toad

    To all you hand wringers: This is a bullshit claim on her part that is being treated with the contempt it deserves.

  88. Harry Won A Bagel

    My late father in law was advised by a RAAF doctor in 1944 to start drinking alcohol, at least two or three beers before his evening meals, to aid in digestion. He had consulted the doctor because he was having “tummy aches” and difficulty keeping food down before bombing missions against the Japanese in the Pacific theatre. Apparently the doctor thought the stress of people trying to kill him every time he flew may be the cause. Prior to this he was a strict Baptist and teetotaller. His mother would not even let him have a drink with his course mates when he received his wings. It started a life long religious habit of two king browns before every meal. I must let my mother in law know that she probably has a cause of action due his premature death at the age of 90.

  89. .

    How is paying this widow a pension disadvantaging war widows who lost partners during the conflict rather than many years after?

    69 years after is a stretch.

    The real cost of military conflict is never properly measured.

    Then the correct amount of compensation is literally $x.

    If you want to say veterans deserve more money, then do so.

    The cause of action in the case noted is rather fatuous.

  90. James

    What is the difference between a normal and war widow pension, according to my mum a little more than $5.00 but the biggy is the Gold Card.

    My dad came back from the Burma Railway and like all his mates was discharged medically fit so getting his TPI was a massive battle.

    When they were finally liberated these blokes were held up from going home, they say this was so the people at home would not be traumatised by site of these poor souls.

    For the 19 years I knew him illnesses and mental trauma were his constant companions and he was often bed ridden for long periods.

    There were times when he would go for 3 months without saying a single word at home, he certainly lived with some horrible personal demons.

    He managed to get his TPI 6 months before his 50th birthday after a length battle with Vet Affairs, it was only Jim Killen assistance that justice was done.

  91. 1735099

    If you want to say veterans deserve more money, then do so.

    That’s not what I’m saying.
    I’m suggesting that the real cost of turning young men into veterans has to be factored into decisions making before sending them to war.
    Those who consider themselves economic oracles are almost always silent on the issue.
    Too often in this country, these decisions have been made with xenophobia, fear and jingoism as the deciding factors, not the interests of national security.

  92. vivendi

    From Wikipedia: ‘Essential hypertension is the form of hypertension that by definition, has no identifiable cause. It is the most common type of hypertension, affecting 95% of hypertensive patients, it tends to be familial and is likely to be the consequence of an interaction between environmental and genetic factors. Prevalence of essential hypertension increases with age, and individuals with relatively high blood pressure at younger ages are at increased risk for the subsequent development of hypertension.
    Prior to Australian cardiovascular physiologist Paul Korner, in the 1940s, little was known about essential hypertension.’

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