Officers' Courses (Temporary Rank)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons on 25th November 1942.

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Photo of Major Sir Frank Markham Major Sir Frank Markham , Nottingham South

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that although he has recently conceded that officers going on courses should not lose temporary rank, many officers nominated for courses are posted temporarily to staff or regimental appointments and thus lose temporary rank during that period and during the following course; and whether he will issue immediate orders to remedy this?

Mr. Henderson:

When an officer who has held temporary rank for an unbroken period of not less than 30 days is struck off the strength of his unit solely by reason of his having been selected to attend a course, such rank is regranted to him with effect from the date of the beginning of the course. In addition, as was announced by my right hon. Friend on 16th November, an officer holding temporary rank will retain it during any intervening period between the date when he leaves his unit and the beginning of the course (as well as, as hitherto, during the course), provided that he is not posted in the meantime to a vacancy in an establishment carrying a lower rank. Such postings will be avoided as far as possible.

Photo of Major Sir Frank Markham Major Sir Frank Markham , Nottingham South

Can we take it as a result of that answer that any officer recommended for a staff college and in consequence having to do an attachment away from his unit, will no longer lose temporary rank?

Mr. Henderson:

That is so, except for one qualification, that if ah officer holding, for example, the rank of major is appointed temporarily to a regiment where the vacancy is one for the rank of captain, he will have to revert to his rank of captain.

Photo of Major Sir Frank Markham Major Sir Frank Markham , Nottingham South

Does not that bring out the point that a number of officers may lose temporary rank when recommended for a staff course?

Mr. Henderson:

To the extent that before he goes on to the course he is posted to a unit in a vacancy which carries lower rank, and while he occupies that position he must revert to the rank which corresponds to the position. In other words, it is impossible for a major to do the work of a captain and hold the rank of major.