The Institution of Royal Engineers (InstRE)

Royal Engineers Officers' Widows Society

The Society was formed in 1785 by all 68 Officers of the Corps serving at that time. Over the years since then the Society has used the income generated by the subscriptions of Officer members to provide financial help for their families when they have died in combat or from other causes.

Today, the Society has some 1100 members and there are nearly 100 widows receiving annuity payments and children in receipt of benefits. The Society's Annuity fund has assets of around £6 million and the charitable Samaritan Fund has a further £0.5M.

Members – Regular and Reserve – pay subscriptions from the point of enrolment until their 60th birthday.   The closer to commissioning that Members join the less they will pay during the course of their membership.  Very generous incentives are available for those joining on the Troop Commanders Course.  Unlike most life assurance policies, death benefits are available for as long as the spouse lives and there is no small print regarding cause of death.
So, whilst Members are encouraged to join at the earliest opportunity it is never too late to join: significant milestones include:

  • Before an operational deployment
  • Before you turn 34 or 43 (subscription rates increase)
  • Upon marriage – Entitled spouses of Members will receive a tax-free lump sum upon the Member’s death and an annuity payment for the remainder of their own lives.
  • Having children – Members’ dependent children will receive an annuity until their 21st birthday.
  • House purchase – a very cost-effective way of providing life assurance to satisfy the terms of your mortgage provider.
  • Leaving the Army – when you are potentially more focussed than ever on ensuring your loved ones are provided for.

The Samaritan Fund
This Charity fund exists for the relief of hardship among widows of RE Officers, over and above the Society grants. At present the fund supports some 16 elderly widows, with some relationship to a deceased officer, and one divorced wife. The Fund currently has a small surplus, and the Committee are looking at ways to disburse this. A proposal will be put to the AGM to give respite care to those with dementia or any other severe medical condition, to give relief to their Carers, male or female, of Officer status. There would have to be some evidence of hardship involved. If anyone knows of possible cases worthy of a grant, please email Or Phone 01634 409110.

The Society is managed by a Council elected by members consisting of serving and retired Royal Engineer Officers who receive no remuneration.

For further information about the Society contact:

Lt Col (Retd) Nick Mifsud

Tel: 01634 409110

Registered Office:

The Royal Engineers Officers' Widows Society
c/o Regimental Headquarters Royal Engineers
Brompton Barracks

A Plea from the Secretary.   I am conducting a 100% review of REOWS membership.  You can help me with this process by ensuring I have your latest email address.  Also a reminder that the onus is on Members to inform the REOWS (me) if:

  • You get married:  I need the date, and the name and DOB of your spouse.  For those members who change their name I need your new surname.
  • You have children: I need their names and DOB
  • You retire: Although this does not affect your benefits it is useful for me to know.
Reminder:  Members’ subscriptions increase upon marriage and when Members reach their 34th and 43rd birthdays.  If your subscriptions have not increased then you will be underpaying and your benefits will be reduced.  If this is the case I will discuss options with you to resolve the situation in the most suitable way, options include:
  • Make a lump sum payment to cover any deficit and ensure immediate full cover.
  • Making an over payment on subscriptions for an agreed period.
  • Pay beyond your 60th birthday
  • Reduce the number of units held

To read the REOWS Brochure click the front cover below.


Key Documents

REOWS Application Form
REOWS Additional Units Form
REOWS Privacy Statement


REOWS AGM Agendas & Minutes

REOWS AGM 2019 Agenda
REOWS AGM 2019 Minutes

REOWS AGM 2018 Agenda
REOWS AGM 2018 Minutes

REOWS AGM 2017 Agenda

REOWS AGM 2016 Agenda
REOWS AGM 2016 Minutes

REOWS AGM 2015 Agenda
REOWS AGM 2015 Minutes


REOWS AGM 2014 Minutes


REOWS Accounts

Audited Account - Annuity Fund 2018.pdf

Audited Account - Samaritan Fund 2018.pdf

REOWS Samaritan Fund 2017

REOWS Annuity Fund 2017

REOWS Samaritan Fund 2016

REOWS Annuity Fund 2016