HC Deb 28 October 1919 vol 120 c483W

asked the Secretary of State for War if he can make any statement regarding the process of demobilisation of men in Mesopotamia; whether he is aware that soldiers there have been away from home for over three years; whether he is aware that prior to 1st February last application was made for the demobilisation of Gunner S. S. Fitzgerald, No. 353485, Royal Garrison Artillery, S. and T. Section, 3rd echelon, General Headquarters, Basrah, Mesopotamia; that this application was endorsed by the Ministry of Labour; that no further action has been taken in the case; and whether he will have inquiries made into the matter?


The current instructions relating to demobilisation apply to Mesopotamia, and subject to the necessary transport being available, all men eligible for demobilisation will be brought home as soon as practicable, in their turn. I am aware that men in Mesopotamia have been away from their homes for over three years. Gunner Fitzgerald's case has already been considered by the War Office, and a letter was sent to his employers on the 22nd October to the effect that this soldier would in due course be released as a Derby man, but that in the absence of compassionate grounds it was not a case which could be put forward to General Hearquarters, Mesopotamia, with a view to securing him special priority of release.