HL Deb 26 February 1900 vol 79 cc1057-8

Before the House adjourns I venture to interpose for one moment to call the attention of the Secretary of State for War to the treatment of certain convalescent soldiers returned home from the front. The troopship "Dunera" arrived home on 25th January with two hundred men on board from Wynberg Hospital. They had lost all their clothing, kit, and necessaries, and practically landed with nothing except the clothes they stood up in, and those clothes were the colonial suits that had been supplied to them at the Cape. When the men left Wynberg Hospital they were told that when they went to Netley they would receive their proper equipment to make good their losses. Orr their arrival they were provided with four shirts and four pairs of socks, each out of the Daily Mail "Absent-minded Beggar" Fund. On Saturday two of those men, Guardsmen, named Carey and Castle, were sent down from Netley to the convalescent hospital which has been started by Lady Carrington at Wycombe, appearing in the same clothes that they landed in on 25th January. All that was given them by the authorities at Netley was a railway pass—no money and no food. Having been travelling from 7 a.m. till 5 p.m., they arrived at the convalescent hospital in a state of exhaustion, one man particularly so, as he had been severely wounded in the head. I have communicated with the commanding officer at Windsor, and asked him to send the men the proper necessaries, as they arrived without a hairbrush, without a sponge, and without any of the ordinary articles of a soldier's kit. I call attention to these cases because I feel certain the noble Marquess will at once give orders which will prevent other convalescent soldiers being subjected to similar treatment. This, I believe, is not an individual case.


I will gladly make inquiries into the case, but it must be obvious that, not having received notice of the question, I am not in a position to state what the facts are. I would venture to suggest that it would have been better if the noble Earl had given notice of the question.

House adjourned at Twenty minutes past Five of the clock, till To-morrow, half-past Ten of the clock.