HC Deb 07 March 1923 vol 161 cc544-5W

asked the Minister of Pensions whether, respecting the late Private Edgar Ibbotson, No. 4/2227, 10th Hussars, who was serving in South Africa when war was declared, was wounded in France in October, 1914 (part of his nose being destroyed and his mouth injured), a year later was buried alive for about an hour with eight men on him (as a result of which occurrence his back was severely injured), was sent into the firing line after hospital treatment and again wounded and gassed, was invalided home in 1917, returned again to France where be was gassed again and, after an attack of influenza, was demobilised in February, 1919 (his discharge certificate stating that he was impaired by service), he is aware that Private Ibbotson, after being shattered and broken by war service, was returned to civil life with a hacking cough, worked only two days, and then steadily grew weaker and coughed more (his tongue went black and rotted) and, after continuous illness, suffered an attack of pneumonia, from which he died; that Private Ibbotson, a strong healthy man prior to the War, was granted only a wound pension of 10s. per week, which he was persuaded to surrender for a lump sum of about £70; and that Private Ibbotson's widow is left with a weakly child to maintain and has no pension; and if he will say what action he intends to take in the matter?

Captain CRAIG:

The late soldier died more than two years after demobilisation front an acute illness of short duration, which, in the opinion of the medical advisers of the Ministry, was not connected with his service, and the decision of the Ministry rejecting the widow's claim to pension having been confirmed on appeal by the Pensions Appeal Tribunal is now final. I may add that the man himself made no claim to pension until six months after demobilisation, when he claimed in respect of wounds but for no other disability. On examination by a medical board disablement was found to be slight, and appropriate compensation was awarded. During his Great War service the man had several short periods in hospital for minor disabilities, but there it; no record that he was ever gassed.