HC Deb 20 July 1876 vol 230 cc1628-9

asked the Secretary of State for War, If it is the fact that no provision was made for religious ministrations by clergymen of their own church to the officers and men of the Louth, Longford, and Monaghan Militia Regiments (almost exclusively Catholic Regiments) composing the First Brigade, Second Division, of the Fifth Army Corps, now mobilised near Salisbury; whether these regiments would not have been left without Divine Service on Sunday last but for the exertions of Lord Arundel, who lives close by, and whose brother, Rev. Mr. Arundel, officiated for that day; whether it is true that a private in the Louth Militia, who died of sunstroke on Saturday, expired without any clergyman to administer to him the last sacraments of the Catholic Church, to which he belonged; and, what steps, if any, have been taken to remedy this state of things?


It was impossible to any large extent to spare the regular commissioned Roman Catholic chaplains from their ordinary stations to take part in the present mobilization. The War Office, therefore, applied to the Roman Catholic Bishops of the respective dioceses in which the two Army Corps were to be stationed to provide priests, giving at the same time all particulars as to the position of the camps, and stating what remuneration would be given. Mr. Arundel was, in consequence, nominated by Bishop Clifford, and duly appointed by the War Office to do duty with the 1st Brigade, 5th Army Corps. The War Office had no communication from or with Lord Arundel on the subject. No information has been received by the War Office with regard to any man having died from sunstroke. I am not aware that I can take any further steps in the matter than have been already taken.