HC Deb 14 March 1916 vol 80 cc1905-6W

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if there are any records at the War Office condemning the old redoubt at Dymchurch as unfit for habitation; if he is aware that it was condemned, even in dry weather in summer time, for the use of Boy Scouts; whether the drainage arrangements have since been modernised or whether the only cesspit is still overflowing owing to its level being below that of spring tides; if his attention has been drawn to the report that the only sleeping rooms, which are underground and really formed out of the arched vaults supporting the superstructure, were, before certain soldiers were moved to the front and elsewhere, reeking with damp and that the water in wet weather dripped from the roofs on to the men's beds; if he is aware that the sleeping arches had to be used also as eating rooms and the workrooms for additional purposes, and that the accommodation is not only so unhealthy that the men suffer much from chills and sore throats, but that it is also altogether inadequate for the purposes for which it is used; and, if there has been no change during the last three weeks, whether he will take immediate steps to provide other and more suitable quarters?


I know of no records of the condemnation of the Dymchurch redoubt. The drainage arrangements have not been modernised, but steps are being taken to improve matters. There are nine large rooms, each capable of holding seventeen men. These rooms have fair ventilation, open fireplaces, and are dry and clean. Steps are being taken to add windows to some of the rooms where they are deficient. The sanitary officer has reported that the quarters, cookhouse and stores are clean and well kept. There is no overcrowding. Owing to the number of troops requiring accommodation at the present time, some old buildings, including Dymchurch redoubt, have of necessity to be occupied. It is not considered necessary to provide other quarters.