HC Deb 31 January 1918 vol 101 cc1773-4W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War (1) whether he has been informed of the case of a young man who gave up his employment in Argentina in order to come home to serve, who eventually became an officer. was wounded at the front, and died in hospital in London; if he is aware that the young man's relatives had to pay £48 for burial expenses, and that the State bears no part of the burial expenses of officers who die in hospital in this country, merely providing a gun-carriage, if desired; and whether lie will consider if an arrangement can be made by which the State contributes a fixed sum towards the burial expenses of all officers dying in hospital in this country during the War; and (2) whether the State makes any contribution towards the burial expenses of officers of the Canadian, Australian, or other Colonial Forces who she in hospital in this country?


The special case referred to had not been brought to my knowledge, but the general rule as regards officers is that, beyond providing the gun-carriage, the State makes no contribution to the cost of officers' funerals at home unless special cause is shown, when the ease is considered on its merits. Normally the families of these officers are resident in this country and are in a position to make their own arrangements. I think the hon. Member will sec that this plan meets the hardest cases better than the making of a fixed contribution. In the case of officers of the Dominion Forces, whose families are in the majority of cases not in this country, it is the practice to pay the funeral expenses.