HC Deb 20 May 1867 vol 187 cc771-2

said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is true that the depôt companies of the 98th Regiment were ordered to embark at Tilbury Fort, about the middle of April last, to proceed by sea for Portsmouth, and were two days and nights on the voyage, instead of proceeding by railway in six or seven hours; and, whether it is true that on board the transport, though conveying between 200 and 300 persons, there was no medical man; that one of the 98th Regiment broke his leg during the voyage, and remained with the limb unset till his arrival at Portsmouth; and that the Officers of the Regiment on their arrival were exposed to great inconvenience from no quarters having been provided for them?


said, in reply, that he was happy to inform his hon. Friend that the Question which he had asked embodied a very exaggerated statement. The detachment which embarked, including women and children, numbered only 196, and instead of having been two days and nights at sea, was less than twenty hours. It was, unfortunately, true that the evening she sailed one of the privates broke his leg, and that owing to there being no medical man on board, some hours elapsed before it could be set; but the injured man received from his comrades great kindness and effectual assistance, and the leg was immediately placed in splints. It was not usual on short passages of this kind to send an army surgeon with such a small detachment; but he was happy to state that the fracture was set a few hours after the accident occurred, and the man was now convalescent. Quarters were provided for the officers, but, being scattered about, they were inconveniently placed, and consequently they preferred not to occupy them.