HC Deb 21 October 1920 vol 133 cc1091-2W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is able now to supply the House with further information regarding the heavy casualties in July last to the Manchester Regiment in Mesopotamia?

Lieut.-Colonel HURST

asked the Secretary of State for War what information he can give regarding the fate of the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment reported missing in Mesopotamia in July last; whether there is any hope of their being alive; if so, where they are and how they are being treated; and if he has any information as to Lance-sergeant E. Fryer, No. 79581, and Private T. Howard, No. 88725, of the same unit, both reported missing?


On 30th July, the General Officer Commanding, Mesopotamia, reported that a small column had been heavily attacked near Hillah on the 24th, and that a total of 205 British other ranks were "missing." The majority of these were understood to belong to the Manchester Regiment. On the 9th August, 78 non-commissioned officers and men of this regiment were reported as known to be prisoners in Arab hands. Subsequent reports as to the treatment of British prisoners have been to the effect that they were well treated by the Arabs. A report received on the morning of the 20th inst. stated that 79 British prisoners were brought in by the Arabs on 19th October and handed over to the 55th Brigade Column. No reports as to their condition have yet been received. The fate of the remainder of the missing men is unknown, and I regret that no further information has been received in the War Office concerning the two soldiers mentioned in the last part of the question by the hon. and gallant Member for Moss Side.