HC Deb 08 May 1916 vol 82 c279
36. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether men who went through the South-West African campaign, and have come over to enlist, have been subjected to the same training as the ordinary inexperienced recruit, instead of being accepted and at once sent to the front according as they desired; whether many of them have returned to Africa owing to their disappointment; and whether there is any reason why their previous war service should be ignored?


I believe that some men who went through the South-West African campaign have come over to this country and enlisted here, but I am not aware of any men having returned to South Africa owing to disappointment at not being sent without delay to the front. Such enlisted men would go through the ordinary training as recruits, which would naturally vary as regards the time devoted to it with the intelligence and military knowledge of the individual. I would remind the hon. Member that the fighting in Flanders has developed characteristics, i.e., trench fighting, which were not seen in South-West Africa, and that for this special training is necessary.