HC Deb 30 November 1908 vol 197 c1053

To ask the Secretary of State for War whether it would be possible to make arrangements for promising musicians serving with battalions out of the United Kingdom to have the advantage of training at the Kneller Hall School of Military Music; is he aware that musicians with regiments abroad are in many cases during all or almost all their term of service deprived of this advantage where they join a corps just going or that has recently gone on foreign service or that is sent on foreign service soon after they join; and is he aware that in many cases the men would be willing to contribute to any extra cost involved in their going home for some musical training.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Haldane.) In making selections of soldiers for training as bandsmen at Kneller Hall the claims of those belonging to units serving abroad are not overlooked, and, at the present time, more than one-fourth of the total number under training belong to such units. In the case of boys enlisting at home for the band of a unit serving abroad endeavours are made to have them trained at Kneller Hall before they are sent abroad. Bandsmen serving abroad, on completing six years service abroad, can, if they have nine years total service, apply to be sent to the home battalion, and their places are then filled by bandsmen from home who have probably undergone a course at the school. During the past year forty-three men belonging to units abroad have been trained at the school.