HC Deb 23 March 1920 vol 127 cc265-6W

asked the Secretary of State for War upon what authority a soldier or ex-soldier is, in consequence of a criminal conviction, deprived of the honours awarded him for bravery in the field; and whether it is desirable that an offence committed by such a person should be punished in an appropriate fashion without the addition of the drastic penalty of the forfeiture of honours granted to the offender for gallantry, into the granting of which no considerations of moral character entered and to the holding of which no condition of future good behaviour was attached?


The conditions governing the forfeiture of medals awarded to officers and soldiers are laid down in the Army Act (Section 44 (xi)) and the Royal Warrant for Pay, etc. (Articles 637, 785 and 1236–1239). Orders and decorations are forfeited under the Royal Warrants governing the award. The Regulations clearly show a recipient that he is liable to be deprived of his medal or decoration if he misbehaves. With regard to the latter part of the hon. and gallant Member's question, it is considered undesirable that men convicted of serious criminal offences should continue to wear medals and decorations awarded for bravery seeing that they have by their conduct forfeited the honour and respect attached to holders of those honourable distinctions.