HC Deb 07 December 1911 vol 32 c1762W

asked the Under-Secretary for War if the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief concerned has yet furnished a full report on the recent firing of live shells into Bembridge, and if he is now in a position to make any statement to the House on the subject; and what steps he proposes to take in future to prevent such occurrences?

Colonel SEELY

From the report furnished it appears that during practice from two 6-inch howitzers with lyddite shell, which had been empties and filled with pitch and a blowing charge of 6 lbs black powder, at a target on rocks, fragments of the shells fell over 800 yards to the left of the line of fire. It is understood that this was due to underestimating the danger area of a partially-filled shell bursting on rocks. The question of increasing the safety zone is being carefully considered in order to prevent any possibility of a recurrence of such an incident.