Annuities have often be used throughout history as a means through which the widows of fallen soldiers could receive compensation after the deaths of their husbands. The practice began in England and continues to the present day. While soldiers' annuities are historically government based, many were funded by individual, wealthy citizens wishing to make a personal contribution to the war effort.

The Annuity Museum possesses in its collection a letter pertaining to a soldiers' annuity. This letter is addressed to the widows of captains, lieutenants, cornets, and ensigns of the British army and details the behest left by a deceased colonel, intended to fund an annuity program for fifteen such widows.