§ 13. Mr. THORNE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can give the House any information in connection with the death of a Royal Marine sentry, 341 Reginald Mason, who was struck by lightning at Deal; whether he is aware that the deceased soldier was carrying a bayonet in a leather sheath, the bottom of which was tipped with steel; whether the exposed steel on the bayonet was the cause of attracting the lightning; and what action he intends taking in the matter to prevent a similar accident?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Sir Victor Warrender)
I regret that I have no information beyond that which was given in evidence at the inquest. Marine Mason's injuries were very extensive, and the position of certain of them seems to show that the bayonet, the scabbard of which is tipped with steel, was not the cause of attracting the lightning. The sentry box, in which Mason was apparently standing at the time of the accident, was splintered, and a tree on the other side of the road was also struck. According to a medical opinion expressed at the inquest this tree had nothing whatever to do with the accident, but the question of removing it and another tree in the vicinity is nevertheless under consideration. I do not think that any further action can usefully be taken.