§ MR. T. SKEWES-COX (Surrey, Kingston)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that notwithstanding the death of Private Brockwell of the 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, on the 1st April last, the Accountant General wrote to Brockwell's father on the 1452 15th May stating that his son was effective and serving with his regiment in Gibraltar on the first-mentioned date; that the Adjutant of the 5th Regimental District wrote to Brockwell's father on the 19th May stating that no information having been received regarding his son's death, therefore up to the present time he is all right; and that the first official intimation of Brockwell's death was communicated to his family by the War Office on the 16th July inst.; and who is responsible for withholding for so long a period the knowledge of Brockwell's death?
§ MR. BRODRICK
I regret to say that the facts appear to be as stated in the Question. The officer commanding a battalion is bound by regulation to notify immediately the death of a soldier to the next-of-kin. The General on the spot has reported that an investigation is taking place into the case, and into the cause of delay.
§ MR. SKEWES-COX
asked whether Mr. Brodrick was aware that between April and June, Mr. Breckwell and the Revd. Geo. I. Swinnerton, Vicar of St. Luke's, Kingston, each wrote two letters to the commanding officer of the regiment as to the rumour that the said soldier was dead, and that no reply bad been received to either of such communications, and that the letter which Mr. Swinnerton wrote to a chaplain at Gibraltar on the same subject had been returned unanswered?