HC Deb 25 June 1956 vol 555 cc19-20W
Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) to make a statement on the forest fire in Cyprus this week as a result of which a large number of British soldiers, including Gordon Highlanders, were killed and injured, giving the names of the killed and injured and the units to which they belonged;

(2) to make a statement indicating how the forest fire, this week, in Cyprus started and spread; what steps were taken to limit and extinguish it; and what steps are being taken to prevent a recurrence of this kind of occurrence which exposes British soldiers to unexpected risks.

Mr. Head

This is the season of forest fires in Cyprus and there have been several during the last few weeks. The fire which caused this tragedy had been burning for 24 hours and was being fought both by soldiers and by civilian fire fighters. An inquiry is being held into the accident and I cannot say more at present.

I would like to take this opportunity of expressing my deep sympathy with the relatives of all those who were killed or injured in the fire.

Details of the casualties are:

  1. (a) DIED
    • The Middlesex Regiment (attached 3 Parachute Brigade)
    • Captain M. T. Beagley.
    • The Gordon Highlanders
    • 2/Lieut. G. O. Kynock.
    • Private R. Burnett.
    • Private J. Cockie.
    • A/L/Cpl. D. R. Ferrie.
    • Private H. G. Gerrard.
    • Private W. A. Gray.
    • Private I. Gray.
    • Private M. J. Hindle.
    • Private G. McRuvie.
    • Private I. M. Simpson.
    • L/Cpl. P. Oakley.
    • Private A. Dunbar.
    • Private J. Smith.
    • The Royal Norfolk Regiment
    • Private W. E. V. G. Woods.
    • A/Cpl. K. R. Haylock.
    • Private C. J. Gosling.
    • Private W. G. Wright.
    • Private R Beaumont.
    • 3 Parachute Regiment
    • Private J. A. Hawker.
    • Royal Army Service Corps
    • L/Cpl. D. W. Kennedy.
  2. (b) INJURED
    • The Gordon Highlanders
    • Private R. Noble—seriously ill.
    • Sergeant S. Firth—seriously ill.
    • L/Cpl. D. J. Lyon.
    • Private J. G. H. Saville.
    • Private R. Potts.
    • Private A. R. Guthrie.
    • Private J. L. F. Lambe.
    • Private I. K. Burns.
    • Private H. M. Mitchell.
    • L/Cpl. J. Sharp.
    • Private P. J. Slavin.
    • The Royal Norfolk Regiment
    • Private V. J. Smith—seriously ill.
    • Private P. I. Fuller.
    • The Royal Arms Service Corps
    • Driver W. H. Brayne.
    • The Royal Army Medical Corps
    • Private R. Peachey.