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Army—Outrage In Weymouth Barracks—Question

Volume 218: debated on Monday 27 April 1874

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asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the outrage; reported to have been committed in Weymouth Barracks, by a soldier of the 75th Regiment upon his comrade on Sunday last, and respecting which the coroner's inquest have returned a verdict of wilful murder, was facilitated by the access of the perpetrator to the ball-cartridges kept in the barrack room; what were the circumstances justifying this departure from the general order, issued by direction of Lord Cardwell, to the effect that private soldiers should, upon dismounting duty, return their ammunition into store; and, whether it is still the practice in the Cavalry on home service, to retain their ammunition when off duty?

in reply, said, that the question was founded on an error as to the facts of the case. The ammunition used was not found in the barracks, but had been obtained from a soldier who found it two feet under the sand near the butts. It was at that time very wet, but the prisoner got possession of it, dried it, and kept it a fortnight. There had, therefore, been no infraction of the general order, requiring private soldiers upon dismounting duty to return their ammunition into store, nor was it the practice of cavalry regiments to retain their ammunition when off duty.