HC Deb 03 July 1919 vol 117 cc1184-5W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Private A. Howe, G Sub-division No. 4, Veterinary Hospital, France, was twice rejected for military service in September, 1914, and that shortly afterwards he joined the British Red Cross Society as a motor-ambulance driver; that he served in France from 9th November, 1914, until 1st August, 1915, when, owing to ill-health, he returned to England; that he attested under the Derby scheme in Juno, 1916, and was graded C 3, and that in June, 1917, he was again medically examined and was graded B 2, and was posted to the Army Veterinary Corps, and that Howe has now been informed by the War Office that he is liable for the Army of Occupation; and whether lie will have inquiries made into the case, and, if necessary, take steps to amend the Regulations so as to provide for the early demobilisation of such men?


Private Howe's service counts from the date he joined the Colours for continuous service, and until further Regulations are issued with regard to men who joined under the Derby scheme, I regret he must be held to serve with the Armies of Occupation.


asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Private A. Dewhurst, No. 301565, O Company, Royal Engineers (Signal Department), Haynes Park, was applied for and duly endorsed by the Ministry of Labour and was sent to England for demobilisation on 28th January, 1919, from Italy, and that since his arrival in England he has been detained at the above address; and whether he will give instructions for the demobilisation of this man at once?


I am informed that instructions were issued some time ago for the demobilisation of Private Dewhurst. Inquiries will be made into the cause of the delay.


asked the Secretary of State for War if he will see that the demobilisation papers of Driver Thomas Heddle, No. 41464, 3 Troop, 1st Field Squadron, Royal Engineers, Germany, are forwarded to his above address?


Driver Heddle is not registered by the War Office either as pivotal or for special release. His demobilisation depends upon whether or not he is eligible under existing regulations. I am afraid I do not understand my hon. Friend's reference to "demobilisation papers."


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Signaller A. Yeomans, No. 88047, B Company, l/7th Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, has been refused release from the Army on compassionate grounds, although his wife is suffering from cardiac weakness and is unable to follow any occupation, and is totally dependent on this soldier; and whether, in view of these circumstances, the case may be reconsidered?


The application on compassionate grounds made on Private Yeoman's behalf was carefully considered, but the case was not of such extreme urgency as to warrant his immediate release, and I regret that I cannot agree to reconsider the case. If he is eligible for demobilisation under existing Regulations, he will be dealt with under the Instructions recently issued providing for the early release of such men.