Dispatches and Military Awards.

Oral Answers to Questions — Kut-El-Amara. – in the House of Commons at on 9 April 1919.

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Photo of Colonel Charles Yate Colonel Charles Yate , Melton

70.

asked the Secretary of State for War if there is now any reason why the dispatches relating to the defence of Kut-el-Amara should not be published; how many of the military rewards or mentions published in the "London Gazette" were awarded for services in the defence of Kut, and why all mention of that defence has been omitted from any lists of military awards?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

The dispatches relating to the defence of Kut-el-Amara have been published, as was stated in the reply given to my hon. and gallant Friend on the 2nd April.

If my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind wireless reports received from General Townshend during the siege, describing a portion of the operations of the garrison, I would refer him to a reply given to the Noble and gallant Member for Nottingham (South), on the 24th July last to the effect that as these reports were from a subordinate commander, and the operations were dealt with in Sir John Nixon's dispatch, gazetted 10th May, 1916, it was decided that they should not be published. It is not intended to alter that decision.

As regards the second part of the question, I am informed that of the 148 specific awards mentioned in my answer of 2nd April, eighty-five definitely appear, according to the records, to have been conferred for services rendered during the siege. In the case of the other sixty-three awards it is not known to what extent services during the siege were included.

The "London Gazette" of the 28th March, 1916, also contained sixteen names of officers rewarded for services during the siege of Kut, and these rewards are additional to those above referred to. As regards "mentions," no figures are available. With regard to the last part of the question, it is customary when gazetting rewards and "mentions" for services in the field, to specify the theatre of operations only without indicating the actual place or action in respect of which the awards were conferred.