HC Deb 14 February 1856 vol 140 c717

asked the Under Secretary for War whether it is intended still to restrict the distribution of commissions without purchase in the army to youths under eighteen years of age, and officers from the militia with the quota of volunteers, or if any change is contemplated?


There is no rule that officers must be under eighteen years of age on first receiving a commission in the army. There is a rule, however, that those who are above that age cannot be entered on the list of applicants for commissions without purchase. But the time frequently elapses before the commission is granted, and it not unfrequently occurs that officers are past the age of eighteen when they are actually appointed. A few exceptions are also made in meritorious cases, as where the fathers of applicants have been killed in action. With regard to ensigns from the militia with the quota of volunteers, they are appointed without any very strict inquiry being made as to their ago.