HC Deb 09 February 1900 vol 78 cc1047-8

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether two officers and 128 men invalided home from South Africa disembarked from the deck of the "Sumatra," on 7th December last, on the quay of the Royal Albert Docks, and were left for upwards of an hour in the rain in their khaki; whether some of the invalids who were landed amid these surroundings were victims of ague, consumption, and dysentery, while several had become insane from the hardships of the war; and will he state what steps he proposes to take in the matter.


The "Sumatra" arrived on the 6th December, at 12.30; being one and a half hours before the time at which the steamship company had notified that she was to be expected. The ambulances arrived at 2 p.m., and the invalids who had remained on board were landed at 3 p.m., and placed immediately in a shed close by on the wharf. They all had great coats on and were never left in the rain. They were then removed without unnecessary delay in ambulances to Herbert Hospital, Woolwich. There were on board six cases of insanity, three cases of dysentery, one of tubercle, and one of phthisis, the remainder being of ordinary character.