HC Deb 02 April 1940 vol 359 cc27-8W
Miss. Wilkinson

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the military authorities refused a travelling warrant to the wife of Sergeant William Bruce, of 12, Nixon Street, Jarrow, who subsequently died, on the grounds that he was not seriously ill; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent such occurrences in future?

Mr. Stanley

I have made inquiries into this very sad case. Free travelling is allowed only for the purpose of visiting a soldier who is reported as dangerously ill. In this case, the soldier had been dangerously ill in France in December, but recovered sufficiently to be transferred to this country, by which time he had even been removed from the "seriously ill" list. No adverse symptoms were observed in this country, and at the time of Mrs. Brace's application no complications were anticipated. The soldier died as the result of a sudden collapse some days later. Mrs. Bruce did in fact visit her husband at her own expense, and I am considering the possibility of making anex gratia payment.