HC Deb 18 July 1881 vol 263 cc1123-4

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether it is true that three Subaltern Officers of the Worcester Militia, anxious to present themselves for examination for the Line in September, are debarred from so doing by reason of not having completed their second training previous to 1st July; whether these officers were informed by the Adjutant of the Regiment that he had distinct instructions from the War Office to the effect that they might be permitted to train with their Regiment in July, and present themselves for examination in September, this having been done in a similar case in the previous year, and that consequently they need take no steps to train with another Regiment at an earlier date; whether the adjutant has since written to the War Office acknowledging that he was the cause of the whole mistake; and, whether these young officers are to suffer in consequence of the mistake of their superior officer, notwithstanding that they took the proper course and made the necessary inquiries?


This is a very peculiar and difficult case. Under the plain directions of the Army Circular, dated January 1 last, subaltern officers of Militia desiring to compete for direct commissions must complete two trainings before the date at which their applications should be received, and this date for the September examination is the 1st of July. The colonel and adjutant of the Militia battalion of the Worcestershire regiment appear to have acted in direct contravention of this Regulation, and to have misled the officers concerned, who have represented that they made every inquiry, and who seem to have been prepared to complete their training with other regiments. Under these circumstances, I have decided that if, on further inquiry, the Commander-in-Chief should be satisfied that the allegations of these officers are borne out, and blame attaches solely to the colonel and adjutant, the latter shall be severely censured, and the Regulations will be relaxed in this as a very special and exceptional case.