§ 21. Mr. HOHLER
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the gallant conduct of 17153, Bugler S. C. Reed, Royal Marine Light Infantry, who lost his life on the sinking of H.M.S. "Formidable," of whom it is recorded that, when advised to use his drum to keep himself afloat, he replied that he had thought of it, but had given it to one of the bluejacket boys for that purpose as the lad had nothing to keep himself afloat in the heavy seas then prevailing, and that he did not feel very nervous; and will he consider whether a medal or some other enduring record of this boy's fine example might be given to his parents?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
There is no medal which could be given for an act of this sort, but the relations will get the War medal. The Admiralty have already shown their appreciation of this boy's courage by sending to his father a special letter, which I will read:—
§ [Copy of letter sent to Mr. W. T. Reed.]
§ 14th March, 1915.
§ "I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to inform you that they have received through General Sir Francis Thomas, K.C B., Royal Marine Light Infantry, the enclosed statement made by Private Herbert Beal, R.M.L.I., of a gallant act performed by your son the late Bugler S. C. Reed, R.M.L.I., on the occasion of the sinking of H.M S. "Formidable" in the Channel on New Year's Day, 1915, in which he, unfortunately, lost his life.
§ My Lords desire me to convey to you their deep appreciation of the courage and self-sacrifice displayed by your son, and they trust that the knowledge of the facts may be some consolation to you in your bereavement."