HC Deb 15 April 1890 vol 343 cc550-1

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if his attention has been called to the following paragraph in the Times, of the 11th April, in reference to the funeral of the distinguished veteran, General Sir William Jones, G.C.B.; and if he can explain the circumstances of this painful case— The deceased officer recently expressed an earnest desire to receive the last honours paid to a soldier, and intimated his wish to His Serene Highness Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, who immediately communicated with the War Office. A military funeral was then sanctioned, and the necessary instructions to the troops now in Dublin appeared on Wednesday, in the garrison orders. The funeral was arranged to start yesterday morning from the late General's residence, Lansdown Lodge, and at the hour appointed a force of police was drawn up outside, and a number of people assembled to witness the ceremony. After a delay, however, it became evident that some hitch had taken place. It appeared that on the previous evening a telegram had been received from Lord Wolseley countermanding the military funeral. The remains were conveyed to Mount Jerome Cemetery.

*THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. E. STANHOPE,) Lincolnshire, Horncastle

Nothing is known in the War Office of any arrangements having been made by the General Officer commanding in Ireland, as stated by the Times. On the 8th inst. a telegram was received from the General Officer commanding in Ireland asking if a military funeral could be given to the late General Sir W. Jones, but as the officer was not at the time of his decease "on full pay, employed on the staff, or in the exercise of any military command," a reply was sent expressing regret that the regulations did not admit of a military funeral being granted.


Is it the fact that a General Officer of distinction, although be may not have been in full employment at the time of his death, is not to have military honours paid to him? Is the statement in the Times true, that the Quartermaster-General has authority to prevent military honours being paid, although permission has been given by the War Office?


The right to grant a military funeral rests with the War Office, but this case did not come within the rules. The Adjutant-General has absolute power to deal with all such cases, and he adopted the ordinary rule laid down.