HL Deb 07 February 1939 vol 111 cc675-6

My Lords, since this House last met we have unhappily lost the services of our Serjeant-at-Arms, through the death of Major-General Sir Charles Corkran as a result of a most unfortunate shooting accident. Perhaps I knew Sir Charles better than most of your Lordships, because I had the privilege of serving in the same regiment with him for several years, and when my draft went out to France, in 1914, he commanded the battalion which I then joined. He was a man of quite exceptional moral and physical courage, combined with great kindness of heart, and as a result was popular with all ranks who served in his command. He had not been in the service of this House for a very long time, but I think the period was sufficient to enable your Lordships to appreciate his qualities, and to realise that he was a man who hated anything in the shape of hypocrisy or sham, that he was a man who was obviously straight in all his thoughts and in all his ways. That being so, I think perhaps your Lordships would wish me to write to Lady Corkran, expressing the profound sympathy of your Lordships' House, and our sense of loss in having, unfortunately, had to forgo the services of one who, in the short space of time for which he served the House, learnt to appreciate and to love it, as all its servants do.


My Lords, in the regretted absence of my noble friend the Leader of the Opposition, I should like to associate myself and my colleagues on these Benches with the words of regret to which we have just listened from the noble Earl who leads the House. I had not the privilege of personal acquaintance with Sir Charles Corkran, but I can say for myself and for all my colleagues that we deplore the loss of one who had given so many years of his life to the public service and to this House and that we should like to extend our cordial sympathy to the circle of friends and relatives which has just sustained this great bereavement.


My Lords, in the absence of my noble friend Lord Crewe, I should like to add a word to what has already been said by the two noble Lords who have spoken. I was a contemporary of Sir Charles Corkran at Eton, and in his regiment, and I can say that everything that the noble Earl has said about him is true. He was an able and courageous soldier, absolutely straight-forward and independent. I think he was probably the youngest man of his age that I can remember. It was only the other day that I walked out of your Lordships' House behind him, and he was swinging his arm, with the mace over his shoulder, like a cheerful young man. No one could have thought that we should now be regretting his unfortunate death. Both the Crown and your Lordships' House have lost a most capable and valued servant.

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