HC Deb 08 June 1871 vol 206 cc1674-5

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the 65th Regiment was stationed at Agra in April last upon arrival from England; whether it is a fact that 400 of the men were under 20 years of age; if he can state the reasons why the rule announced by the Under Secretary of State for War did not apply to that regiment—namely, that— It was now the practice to transfer from regiments ordered for service in India all men who, from youth or any other reason, were physically unfitted to serve in a tropical climate; and the amount of Home and Foreign service of the 65th Regiment since the year 1846?


Sir, the 65th Regiment was stationed at Agra in April last on its arrival from England. The whole number of the regiment was 919 strong, and of those 579 were privates and non-commissioned officers under 20 years of age. Before the regiment sailed it was inspected by the Deputy Inspector General of the Army Medical Department, in conjunction with the Major General commanding, and the men reported to be fit for foreign service. In consequence of having received reports of the early age at which recruits have gone to India, I have now given directions intended to secure that, as far as possible, none shall go under 20 years, and as many as possible over 22 years. These directions are new. Since 1846 the regiment has been 20 years, less four months, in Australia, and five years at home. Under the new arrangements the average time of Home and Foreign service will, it is expected, be equal.