HC Deb 19 June 1884 vol 289 cc802-3

asked the Secretary of State for War, If the following complaint is well founded:— That James Cushley enlisted, in August 1850, in the Artillery, and served the regulation period of twelve years; that on the 3rd January 1863, he was enrolled in the Army Reserve, under War Office Circular 514A, of 9th December 1859; that, after serving in the latter force for sixteen years, and having only one year more of service to make up for the full pension, he was, on the 8th January 1879, informed by the Staff Officer at Magherafelt that he was dismissed; that he had never undergone any medical examination previous and with a view to such discharge; that, on application to the War Office for a pension, he received a reply to the effect that he was Discharged for physical unfitness before having completed the equivalent of twenty-one years' service, and therefore not eligible for any pension under the gratuities; whether he will inquire whether, as a fact, the man was perfectly fit for the service at the time; and, whether he will quote the authority under which a Staff Officer of Pensioners can, of his own discretion, discharge an Army Reserve man (not an enrolled pensioner), so as to deprive him of a claim to pension twenty-nine years after his original enlistment?


In 1878 a Regulation was made for removing from the strength, of the Reserve men who were physically unfit for duty. At the time it was not observed that such a Rule could not be made applicable legally to men enrolled under the Reserve Act of 1859, and when this was found out the discharges of such men were cancelled in all cases which were brought to notice. The case of James Cushley was not brought to notice; but as it clearly comes within the same Rule steps have now been taken to cancel his discharge in 1879, and to re-discharge him at the time when his service will count as 21 years. He will thus become entitled to pension.