HC Deb 27 March 1945 vol 409 cc1332-3W
Colonel Burton

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can state the conditions appertaining to the arrest of Private F. Dewis, 106000491, of the Pioneer Corps; what was the state of his health; and whether he has been charged and with what result.

Sir J, Griģģ

Private Dewis was due to report back to his unit in the B.L.A. from privilege leave on 24th February, 1945. He failed to report and was notified by his unit in the normal way as an absentee. The Corps of Military Police from Southend called at his home at 18.45 hours on 8th March and this soldier was found to be up and dressed. He agreed that his leave had expired on 24th February, but said that he had been and had seen a civilian doctor. He had forwarded a medical certificate to the Officer in charge of Records. The Corps of Military Police asked him for the name of the doctor in order to be able to corroborate his story, but he could not—or would not—give them the name. He was, therefore, placed under arrest and taken to Shoeburyness Garrison. On arrival there, in view of his statement about his illness, he was asked if he wished to report sick immediately on a special sick report. He said he did not want to do so. He was handed over to an escort on 10th March, who conducted him back to the B.L.A. On arrival it was confirmed that he was fit to travel, but the medical officer found him to be suffering from slight bronchial catarrh. The charge of absence without leave was dismissed on 19th March as the result of a report from the military medical authorities.