HC Deb 14 February 1917 vol 90 cc622-3

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether the War Office have received any further information regarding the number of men of the London Rifle Brigade who were missing in the attack of the 1st July last; whether he is aware that no intimation of their being killed or wounded has been forthcoming; whether no letters have arrived from any of them; and whether there is any reason to suppose that there are a number of our prisoners compelled to work behind the German lines and forbidden to write home?


I regret to say that there is a large number of men of the unit named who were missing on 1st July of whom nothing has since been heard. It is feared that the only conclusion that can be drawn is that they are now dead, and steps will shortly be taken to accept their death officially. There is no evidence before the Department to suggest that prisoners are over long periods of time prevented from writing home.


In this particular case may I assume, for the assurance of the parents of the men, that every possible inquiry has been made?


I think my hon. Friend may assume that.