HC Deb 01 June 1865 vol 179 cc1120-1

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for India, Whether his attention has been drawn to a statement which has lately appeared in the newspapers with reference to casualties which befel a detachment of Royal Artillery ordered on the 11th of April last to set out on a march from Mhow to Kirkee, and whether he has received any Report on the subject?


said, in reply, that no official Report had been received on the melancholy occurrence to which the question of the hon. Member referred. He was, however, sorry to say there could be no doubt of its being true that a detachment of Royal Artillery had been ordered to march from Mhow to Kirkee, and that a great mortality had occurred in the course of the march. The number which had been mentioned included both women and children. There seemed to have been some misunderstanding between the military authorities and the officer of the detachment. On its coming to the knowledge of the authorities that there was cholera on the line of march, they at once countermanded the order for the march. He thought it only fair to say that the breaking out of cholera among troops on the march in India was by no means an uncommon occurrence. It by no means followed that in this case it was owing to the march taking place at a particular season of the year, as cholera in India broke out in most healthy seasons and in the most healthy districts.

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