HC Deb 29 June 1920 vol 131 cc220-1

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Private George Cubitt, No. 115,463, King's Liverpool Regiment, was demobilised on 21st October, 1919, and given a protection certificate at No. 1 Dispersal Unit, Prees Heath; that it was afterwards found he had been demobilised in error and notice was sent to him to rejoin his regiment; that the secretary of the Haslingden branch of the National Association of Discharged Soldiers applied, on behalf of Private Cubitt, to his headquarters for an explanation, and that no reply was forthcoming for a considerable time; that the local police authority advised Private Cubitt to remain at home pending further information; and that when he was arrested and court-martialled he was awarded field punishment and had to forfeit 90 days' pay; is he aware that the facts have been placed before his Department to obtain a remission of the sentence, as the mistake was occasioned solely by the War Office, and that this request has been refused; and will he have the case reconsidered?


I am informed that this soldier enlisted on 20th December, 1918, for a period of seven years with the Colours and five years with the Reserve. In October, 1919, he was sent from France to the United Kingdom to serve at home. In accordance with the usual practice he passed through a dispersal station on arrival home, and was sent on 28 days' furlough. He was issued with a protection certificate at the dispersal station in error. When this was discovered orders were twice issued for him to rejoin his depot, and as he did not comply with these orders he was eventually apprehended by the civil power. He forfeited 90 days' pay by Royal Warrant for the period of his absence. He was not court-martialled, but was awarded 96 hours' detention by his commanding officer. He did not undergo field punishment.


Would the right hon. Gentleman say which is the most facile way of getting these cases settled—by question, or by letter to the War Office?