ARMY DISCIPLINE AND REGULATION ACT, 1879—ENLISTMENT OF BOYS
23 June 1881
Asked the Secretary of State for War, With reference to Article 663 of Royal Warrant, 1st May 1878, by which it is provided that Boys of 14 years and upwards, specially enlisted under the Army Enlistment Acts of 1867 and 1870, shall reckon only such portion of their services towards pension as they may render after they shall have attained the age of 17 years, and to Article 81 "Army Discipline and Regulation Act, 1879," by which it is provided that a soldier of the Regular Forces may Be re-engaged for such further period of army service as will make up a total continuous period of 21 years of army service, reckoned from the date of his attestation, and inclusive of any period previously served in the Reserve; and, whether, it being impossible, under 1106 these Articles", for boys between 14 and 17 years of age, specially enlisted under the Army Enlistment Acts of 1867 and 1870, to obtain a pension, he has yet had time to consider the necessity of altering "The Army Discipline and Regulation Act, 1879," so as to enable boys enlisting under 17 years of age to re-engage in order to enable them to complete 21 years' service from date of their attaining 17 years of age?
Sir, I am happy to be able to state to the hon. Gentleman that, after carefully considering this question, we arrived at the conclusion that after 21 years' service men enlisted as boys should be able to obtain a pension; and if he refers to the Revised Memorandum, at page 3, in the Note to Clause 14, he will see this decision recorded.
Asked the right hon. Gentleman whether that decision referred to future enlistments, or was it to have a retrospective effect?
I cannot at this moment answer the Question; but it will be the rule of the Service.