§ MR. O'MARA (Kilkenny, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he will state under what circumstances two drummer boys were recently flogged in the Grenadier Guards, for what offence, under whoso orders, and by what authority; what punishment has been inflicted on those responsible; and what steps have been taken to prevent the recurrence of similar practices.
§ MR. BRODRICK
Lieutenant-Colonel Kinloch, commanding the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards at the time, had given orders that boys under age in that battalion were not to be allowed to smoke. On the 28th February, 1902, a boy, who had given a great deal of trouble, was 842 brought before an officer for smoking, and the Acting Adjutant of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, at the instigation of Lieutenant-Colonel Kinloch, sentenced the boy to receive eight strokes with a birch rod. The following morning, before the punishment had been inflicted, the boy broke out of barracks, went to Aldershot, where he was apprehended later on, and was sent back to the headquarters of his battalion. He was brought before Lieutenant-Colonel Kinloch, charged with desertion, and the latter, in order not to mar the boy's military career by sentencing him to imprisonment at the outset of it, ordered that he should receive sixteen strokes with a birch, and this punishment was inflicted. On the 26th March, 1902, another boy of the same battalion was caught smoking. He received six strokes with the birch, by order of Lieutenant-Colonel Kinloch. This mode of punishment is not authorised in the Army, except in prisons, and in Army schools in a restricted form. The Commander-in-Chief expressed his disapproval of Colonel Kinloch's action, which was not in accordance with the Regulations, and these practices are absolutely prohibited.