HC Deb 07 November 1939 vol 353 cc18-9
19. Mr. Thorne

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can give any information in connection with an accident to eight soldiers, who were injured on the night of Tuesday, 31st October, when a motor lorry crashed into a column on march outside London; and whether the men will get their pay and allowances until they are fit to return to their regiment?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

The accident occurred on the evening of 30th October at about 6.45 p.m. to a party of 50 men who were being marched back to their barracks after attending a concert. A sergeant was marching in the rear of the party and had a torch which he had orders to flash about every ten seconds. A small private car ran into the rear of the party injuring ten of them. The sergeant received rather- severe injuries, namely, concussion and a broken leg, but he is making good progress. The injuries to the others were slight. The men were all seen by the medical officer that evening, and seven of them were able to return to their unit forthwith. There will be no cessation of the pay and allowances of the men.

Mr. Woodburn

Would it be possible to have a lamp attached to the outside man at the rear of each of these marching squads?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

I will consider any such precautions as may be possible.

Mr. Benjamin Smith

Animals have to have them.