Soldier's Death (Notification to Widow)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons on 17th November 1942.

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Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I do not know whether my hon. Friend complains that the telegram sent in this case was brusque or that it said nothing of the grant which is made towards the cost of the funeral expenses incurred by the relatives. The normal practice is as follows. When a soldier dies on duty a telegram is sent to his next-of-kin asking whether it is desired (i) that the soldier shall be buried by the Military authorities, or (ii) that the body shall be sent home. In the first case the whole expense of the funeral is borne by the public, and two railway passes are issued, upon application to the nearest police station, for two persons (one a relative) to attend the funeral. In the second case, the cost of the conveyance of the body home is accepted as a charge against the public, and, in addition, a sum of £7 10s. 0d. (less any expense incurred by the military authorities for the coffin, etc.) is allowed towards the cost of the funeral expenses incurred by the relatives. If my hon. Friend considers that the particular case to which he refers should be looked into further I will gladly do so if he will forward me the particulars.