HC Deb 30 January 1918 vol 101 cc1526-7
8 and 47. Mr. HOUSTON

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the number of Voluntary Aid Detachment or other nurses who lost their lives on or about 31st December last, when the two large British ships were sunk by enemy action in the Eastern Mediterranean; (2) and the Prime Minister whether he is aware that a number of Voluntary Aid Detachment and/or other nurses lost their lives by enemy action on or about the 31st December last, when two large steamers were sunk in the Mediterranean with loss of life; whether he will arrange that the names of these and other nurses who have lost their lives under similar circumstances will be published in a special roll of honour, seeing they died on active service; and whether, with a view to alleviate the grief of parents and relatives, posthumous honours of a suitable class or order will be conferred upon these brave, patriotic, and self-sacrificing women and girls who have given their lives for their country?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Macpherson)

I have been asked to reply to these questions. I very much regret to say that eight nurses lost their lives. The names of these ladies will appear shortly in the casualty lists. There has been some delay in checking the lists, but the next-of-kin have all been informed There is no order which can be conferred on them posthumously, but their nearest relatives will receive in due course the commemorative medallion which will be issued in respect of all who have fallen in the War.


While thanking the hon. Member, may I ask him whether it is possible for the War Office to write sympathetic letters to the relatives of these deceased nurses?


I think in all cases we endeavour to do so.


Will the next of kin of these nurses receive any pension or financial consideration from the State?


It. all depends. I think my hon. Friend should address his question to my right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that nurses saved from these vessels have written letters home giving an account of what took place, and the Censor has declined to allow one word of the letters to be published?


The hon. Member must give notice of that question.