Widows’ pensions were a vital source of income following the loss of a spouse during and after the war. While soldiers enlisted with the promise that their families would be taken care of, accessing state assistance could be exceedingly difficult. In addition to proving their husband’s death was connected to their wartime service, widows also had to meet contemporary ideals about gender, sexuality and motherhood. These pensions provided more financial support than any other social welfare system available at the time. However, pension regulations governed widows’ daily lives and influenced major life events such as marriage and childrearing.