HC Deb 21 May 1897 vol 49 cc1021-2
GENERAL LAURIE (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether the Secretary of State for War would reconsider his decision, as announced in a memorandum which appeared in The London Gazette of 7th May, with respect to Trooper Frank William Baxter, of the Buluwayo Field Force, in which it is stated that on account of the gallant conduct of this man in having, on 22nd April 1896, dismounted and given up his horse to a wounded comrade, Corporal Wiseman, who was being closely pursued by an overwhelming force of the enemy, he would have been recommended to Her Majesty for the Victoria Cross had he survived; and, in consideration of the self-sacrificing act of devotion to his wounded comrade which cost Trooper Baxter his life, would he recommend to Her Majesty that the Victoria Cross should be conferred on the late trooper on the date of his gallant action, and that the decoration so heroically earned should be forwarded to his nearest relative?


I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend of the full sympathy of the Secretary of State in his wish to commemorate the noble deed of Trooper Baxter; but the statutes of the Victoria Cross do not contain any provision under which a man who is already dead can be recommended for the distinction. Many cases have occurred in which the Cross would have been awarded had the soldier or sailor survived, but no exception to the rule I have stated has ever been made.