HC Deb 11 March 1919 vol 113 cc1057-8

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can see his way to release from service without delay Sergeant Jesse Bird, No. 205334, A Company, 23rd Rifle Brigade, recently stationed at Bareilly, North-West Provinces, India, in view of the fact that he is over forty-seven years of age, has a large family, and an old father who requires him in the family business, that Sergeant Bird has been several years in India without leave, and that many men very much younger have been recently permitted to come home from his unit and from other units?

Captain GUEST

From the information given by my hon. Friend, Sergeant Bird would appear to be eligible for demobilisation on account of his age, and if so will, no doubt, be released in due course. Troops in distant theatres of war and overseas commands, who are eligible for demobilisation, are being brought home as rapidly as transportation facilities permit.


As a great number of young men have been demobilised will the hon. Gentlemen use his influence to get permission for these middle-aged men to return, if possible?

Captain GUEST

I will make that suggestion.


asked the Secretary of State for War the number of soldiers in India who have been there over two years and the date at which it becomes too hot to bring men home through the Red Sea?

Captain GUEST

The number of British troops now in India who have been serving continuously in the Far East for over two years is estimated roughly at 50,000. The trooping season in normal times ends in March for journeys to India, and in April for return sailings.

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