HC Deb 07 November 1921 vol 148 cc69-70W

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that Second Lieutenant Alfred Clare joined the Royal Flying Corps on 1st November, 1915, and was then passed as Al for General Service; that he served nearly 18 months in France and earned his commission abroad; that in February, 1918, he was passed fit for flying and carried out his duties as pilot observer in the Royal Air Force for five months; that on 28th July, 1918, he got a fall, through the premature landing of an aeroplane, while on duty, was very seriously injured internally, and has since undergone many surgical operations; that he had to resign his military duties and his permanent Civil Service appointment, and leave his home and go to South Africa under the surgeon's orders to save his life; that he was examined by several boards and was at first informed that his sickness did not carry a wound gratuity, then that his injuries did, then that he suffered from tuberculosis, and then that there was definite proof of absence of tuberculosis and that this application for wound gratuity has been under consideration for over three years and has not yet beer, granted; and will he have the case dealt with promptly?

Captain GUEST

The facts are substantially as stated by my hon. Friend, except that I can find no evidence in confirmation of the conflicting statements alleged to have been made to the ex-officer as a consequence of successive medical examinations. His claim to wound gratuity has been most exhaustively considered; two medical boards, specially convened, have found that his condition is not definitely attributable to the crash of July, 1918, and as a wound gratuity can be given only for definite injuries sustained in action or through the performance of military duty otherwise than in action, I regret that the application cannot be granted.