HC Deb 02 December 1926 vol 200 cc1372-3
69. Mr. W. BAKER

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that it has been laid down that the authorities of Chelsea Hospital shall in all pension cases regard the age given at the first attestation as being the correct age; and whether, when an error on enlistment has the effect of depriving a pensioner of an increased pension at 65 years of age, he will consider the possibility and desirability of accepting the evidence of a birth certificate?

Captain KING

The age given by a recruit on his first attestation is accepted as his correct age throughout his Army career for various purposes, including the assessment of his pension, and I regret that I cannot agree to any change in the established practice to meet the special cases referred to by the hon. Member.


May I ask if the War Office will give very serious consideration to this particular question; and is it not extremely unsatisfactory that a long-service soldier with an excellent record of service should be deprived of an increased pension by a mistake at the time of attestation, when his known age is certified by a Government certificate?

Captain KING

No, Sir. The recruit, if he misstates his age, does it probably for his own advantage. He reaps the advantage of being assessed for pension at an earlier age than he would otherwise be entitled to.