HC Deb 26 October 1916 vol 86 cc1336-7W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Gunner M. Cowan, now serving with the 32nd Battery of the Royal Field Artillery, at Maryhill Barracks, Glasgow, was arrested in Rathfriland, County Down, on 16th August whilst working on his mother's farm and forced into the Army; whether he has ascertained that Cowan was only a few months in Scotland in his life, was not ordinarily resident there, and had returned permanently to Ireland a year before his arrest; and whether, as he is therefore illegally detained and has, moreover, been found to be physically unfit for drill, he will now be released?


Gunner M. Cowan was resident in Scotland from April to October, 1915, and he registered under the National Registration Act. It is the case that he was brought before a Court and charged with being an absentee, but he claimed to be an Irishman and not liable for military service. The Court decided that he was an absentee, and ordered him to be handed over to the military authorities. I am having inquiries made as to Cowan's medical condition, but I have not yet received a reply to the telegram which has been sent.