HC Deb 06 March 1918 vol 103 cc1958-9
26 Mr. KING

asked the Under-secretary of State for War (1) whether, on 17th January, 1918, seven men of the 1st Western Non-Combatant Corps refused at Inceville, near Dieppe, to handle shells, were court-martialled on the 31st January, and sentenced to six months' hard labour; whether these men are now serving their sentences in France; (2) whether eight men of the 1st Northern Non-Combatant Corps at Rouen were court-martialled on 4th December, 1917, sentenced to field punishment No. 1, and, after serving part of their sentences, released with a clean crime sheet; whether these men are now doing their usual work; (3) whether seven men of the 1st Northern Non-Combatant Corps were at Rouen on 1st February, 1918, sentenced by court-martial for refusing to handle rifles; whether they are serving the sentence of fifty-six days' field punishment No. 1; whether it is in accordance with Regulations that they are tied up three nights out of four; (4) whether seventeen men in the 2nd Northern Non-Combatant Corps were, on 10th December, 1917, sentenced at Abancourt for refusing to handle military supplies; whether their sentences of two years' hard labour has been com muted to eighty days' field punishment No. 1; whether, while undergoing punishment, they were, contrary to Regulations, dragged round the square and thrown on the ground, picked up, and again thrown down and kicked; whether soldiers who watched these, proceedings made their disgust apparent; where these men now are; (5) whether in December, 1917, four teen men, being Seventh Day Adventists, were court-martialled at Abancourt for refusing to do military work on the Sabbath; whether they received sentences of nine months' hard labour; and whether any of these men are now in Wormwood Scrubs Prison or at Knutsford Work Centre?


If my hon. Friend wishes me to inquire into these cases, I should be glad if he would furnish me with the names and regimental numbers of the individuals concerned, but I would remind him that men of the Non-Combatant Corps can be called upon to carry out any duties other than those of a combatant nature—i.e., other than the bearing of arms or instruction in their use.

37. Mr. SNOW DEN

asked the Under secretary of State for War if a medical student attached to the Non-Combatant Corps is entitled under the new Army Council Instruction relegating medical students to the Reserves with a view to resuming their medical studies would be required to conform to the condition imposed, namely, joining an Officers' Training Corps, or whether, seeing that such a person has received a certificate of exemption from combatant duties on conscientious grounds, he will be permitted to substitute some other voluntary work of national importance instead of joining the Officers' Training Corps?


This is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of National Service.

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