HC Deb 06 March 1928 vol 161 cc220-1

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Robert Harold Hammond, No. 4,684,145, enlisted in August, 1922, when his age was only 17 years and 8 months; that, prior to his attaining the age of 18 years, his widowed mother sent his birth certificate to Pontefract and applied for his release on corn-passionate grounds; that his release I as been refused, although he had work to go to and is the only breadwinner of the family; and will he state why a youth whose age is known to the Army authorities as being under 18 years of age is retained in the Army?

Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS

Yes, Sir; I am aware of the circumstances of this case. Hammond, when he enlisted, misstated his age, and the general rule in these circumstances is that the recruit is held to serve unless either he is under 17, or his discharge is specially sanctioned as a concession on grounds of extreme compassion. I am not prepared to alter the general rule, but I will inquire further into the reasons for which Hammond's discharge on compassionate grounds has been refused, and will communicate again with the hon. Member.