HC Deb 08 May 1879 vol 245 cc1963-4

Sir, there is a Question in my name on the Paper with reference to the claims of Army medical officers to distinctions. I think it but right, in order that the House may understand the Question, to state that in the present campaign in South Africa, out of a small contingent of medical officers five have been killed, many of them wounded, and several of the remainder have taken part very gallantly in some of the most trying engagements, especially in the defence of Rorke's Drift, and no mention has been made of their services in Despatches, in General Orders, or in The Gazette. I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether any recognition has been or is to be made of the service and sacrifices of the members of the Army Medical Department engaged in the campaign in South Africa?


Sir, in answer to the Question of the hon. Member, I have to say that I think it is premature to consider what rewards or honours should be given in regard to the present campaign; and this applies to the Army Medical Department, as well as to the combatant branches of the Service. There is an Exception to this in respect to the defence of Rorke's Drift. In that case, Surgeon Reynolds was promoted to be Surgeon Major; but his promotion, like that of Lieutenants Chard and Bromhead, was a special one.