From the Totnes Times
20 October 1900:
(Also printed in the Exeter Gazette)
POOR REWARD FOR A DEVON SOLDIER
"We have had our attention called to the circumstances of a wounded soldier who appears to have received very scant consideration from the War Office, and whose treatment is not calculated to popularise the Army.
The soldier in question is Private Charles Webber of Barnstaple, No. 4866, a member of the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment. Private Webber was in the famous charge of Wagon Hill, led by Colonel Parke - the charge which practically saved Ladysmith from being captured. Webber had his knee smashed by an explosive bullet, and as a result of the injury, the limb has been amputated well above the knee. Webber made soldiering the business of his life and, as a consequence, he has no trade and is practically helpless. We are informed that owing to some extraordinary circumstances he has been left without any pay for three weeks - a small matter to officials in Pall Mall but a very considerable hardship for a wounded man without any means.
The cruel part of the business is that although Webber has been incapacitated for life by an injury received on the field of battle, the War Office have intimated to him that he is simply to receive 1s 6d a day for 12 months. Anything more monstrously unjust it is impossible to conceive. A well-conducted man, who has served his time in the Army and is discharged in full bodily health receives a greater pension than this for life.
But here is a man who is permanently incapacitated and the intimation is that for 12 months he will get 1s 6d a day. Of course the Secertary of State for War is not personally cognisant of the circumstances of all the men who, unhappily, have to be dealt with. This miserably inconsiderate act is, no doubt, due to some subordinate in who red tape takes the place of common sense and who, as a consequence, does that which is calculated to bring odium upon the entire administration."