§ Mr. de Freitas
asked the Secretary of State for War why Brian Chapman, Coleridge Gardens, Lincoln, a Regular soldier, was posted absent without leave; why the Lincoln City police were asked to search for him when, at the time, he was posted absent and at the time the police were searching for him, he was in a military hospital in north Wales; and whether he is aware of the distress caused to his parents, family and friends in Lincoln.
§ Mr. Head
Gunner Chapman reported sick to the Medical Office of Tonfanau Camp without telling anyone in his unit, and the medical officer, after sending him to hospital, failed to notify the unit as he should have done. As a result they assumed that Gunner Chapman was absent without leave and notified the civil police in his home town in the usual way. As soon as the mistake was discovered the civil police were notified and the Adjutant wrote immediately to the soldier's mother explaining what had happened.
I should like to express my regret for the anxiety and distress caused to Gunner Chapman's parents as a result of this mistake. Nevertheless it is a fact that had Gunner Chapman obeyed unit standing orders and told the duty non-commissioned officer that he was reporting sick this trouble would not have arisen.