§ MR. CHARLES HOBHOUSE (Bristol, E.)
To ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that William Simmonds, late No. 1,669 Royal Field Artillery, was enlisted on 8th June, 1858. and served twelve years in the Army and five years in the Reserve; that the Articles of War at that time stated that any soldier serving his first period may, on the recommendation of his commanding officer, at the age of fifty become entitled to a pension of 6d. a day; and that applications by William Simmonds to be recommended for this pension have been refused on the ground that he only served twelve years with the colours; and whether, seeing that Simmonds is now sixty-seven years old and unable to obtain work, he will consider the desirability of granting him a pension of 6d. a day.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Arnold-Forster.) This man's application for a pension was considered by the Commissioners of Chelsea Hospital in June, 1904, and he was then informed that his service did not render him eligible for any pension from Army funds. In order to qualify for a deferred pension the Royal Warrant of 1st July, 1848 (not the Articles of War) required a minimum of fourleen years actual service with the colours, whereas Simmonds gave twelve years one month only. As he took part in no campaign he is not eligible for a special campaign pension, and there is no other class of pension for which he can be considered.