HC Deb 07 December 1943 vol 395 c756
17. Sir Leonard Lyle

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that in a case brought to his notice, the death of an officer in action in Italy on 3rd October was not notified officially to his parents until 9th November, although known to families of brother officers in this country nearly three weeks earlier; what is the reason for such delay in official notification to parents or relatives of casualties; and whether he can give an assurance that all expedition is taken in the transmission of such information?

Sir J. Grigg

I regret the delay in this case. I have ascertained that the first notification of the officer's death to reach General Headquarters in North Africa was a written report received on 5th November. It was telegraphed to the War Office on the following day, arriving on 9th November, and was repeated to the next-of-kin by telegram on the same day. The case is exceptional, since the telegraphed report from the officer's unit to General Headquarters, on which the report to the War Office would normally have been based, appears not to have been received there.

Sir L. Lyle

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that this really is an exceptional case, not only with regard to deaths but with regard to wounds?

Sir J. Grigg

I can safely give the assurance that it is an exceptional case; I would not like to say that it is a unique case.