HC Deb 06 April 1900 vol 81 cc1394-5
*SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty what, if any, is the official relationship between the Durban Naval Volunteers and the Royal Navy; and whether this force has any recognised status under the Admiralty; and, if so, why the names of the officers of this force do not appear in the Navy List. I beg also to ask the First Lord whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that while General Buller's despatch, dated 17th December last, relating to the action fought the previous day, makes special mention of the admirable manner in which the naval guns were served by the Naval Brigade and Durban Naval Volunteers, under Captain E. P. Jones, Royal Navy, this officer in his despatch to the Admiral reporting in detail and at length proceedings on that occasion omits any mention of the Durban Naval Volunteers; and what is the explanation of this omission.


The Volunteers in question, though called naval, are, it appears, trained as garrison artillery, and are practically for military rather than naval defence. They do not form part of the naval defences, and thus do not appear in the Navy List. I was glad to notice the paragraph in General Buller's despatch in which he refers to the good services rendered by these Volunteers, who were serving under the orders of the General Commanding in the Field. I cannot undertake to say why Captain Jones omitted any mention of these Volunteers in the Report alluded to. In a later Report he has referred to them as having been attached to 4.7-in. guns, and to the officers as being efficient.