HC Deb 26 February 1901 vol 89 cc1183-4

I beg-to ask the Secretary of State for War will he explain how it happened that two privates of the Royal Irish Regiment, who were reported by th3 War Office as killed at Stormberg on 10th December, 1899, were on 1st February, 1901, fourteen months after, reported by the War Office as alive and serving with their regiment; and what steps do the War Office propose to take in the future to prevent such reports being made and not corrected.


The information to which the hon. and gallant Member alludes was furnished by the officer commanding on the 31st January, 1901, and was to the effect that three privates of the Royal Irish Rifles who had been reported as killed at Stormberg were still alive. It is inevitable that such mistakes should occur in a campaign, especially in the case of a reverse. Every effort has been made by the casualty department at Cape Town to clear up such matters, but owing to the constant movements of the various regiments and the distances and difficulty of communication, it has been found very difficult to secure greater accuracy and earlier correction of mistakes.