19 JULY 1919, Page 15


[To rue Emma or THE " firzorsros."]

Stn,—Is Army Form W. 5080 an absolute necessity ? The next-of-kin of each deceased soldier is required to fill it up in order " to enable the Officer in charge of Records to dispose of the plaque and commemorative scroll " which is being issued. Information is to be given as to name, age, and residence of the following relatives: widow, father, mother, children, brother of the full blood, brother of the half-blood, sister of the full blood, sister of the half-blood. In case the soldier had no relatives in any of these categories, the claimant is required to supply similar information about the soldier's grand- parents, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts. As a kindly concession, the claimant is informed that it is unnecessary to give particulars as to uncles, &c., by marriage. This form has, I believe, been already filled in each case to enable the authorities to dispose of the effects of the deceased. Why cannot the Officer in charge of Effects give the name of next akin to Officer i/o Records and save trouble? I have had to witness the signature of many of these forms, and in several cases to fill them up, extracting the required information with difficulty from ignorant claimants unable to fill up the form themselves and rather vague about the family history. At first I regarded it as mere matter of routine, and in cases where the information available was not definite gave in- definite replies to some of the questions. This will not do. I have had one form returned for the exact date of a parent's death, which took place some twenty-six years ago, and for the last known address of a sister who went to Australia and has not been heard of for four years. I do not grudge time and trouble when it is necessary in the services of our dead soldiers' relatives, but I strongly object to what appears to me needless expenditure of effort both on my part and on the part of Government officials, already, as we are told, unable to keep pace with the issue of pensions and allowances. If this goes on I shall have to " gie up the meenistry."—I am, Sir, &o.,

A Busy Psason.