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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Notifications of Casualties


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Does anybody recall any good accounts of those at home being informed as to deaths/cases of missing personnel?

Looking for any first hand recollections of telegram distributions / arrivals or in particular communications with the war office, red cross etc. for missing men.

Any help much appreciated,

Freddy :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello Freddy, the most poignant accounts I can think of are in Vera Brittain's 'Testament of Youth'. Particularly Vera's account of taking a few days' leave from nursing, spending Christmas 1915 in Brighton with her parents at the Grand Hotel , waiting for her fiance to arrive on leave from France or to phone the hotel to say that he is on his way; Vera was unaware that he had died from wounds on 23rd December . Also telegrams she received concerning other friends' being killed or wounded and being at her parents' home in June 1918 when a telegram arrived to inform them that her brother was killed in action.

On a visit to the National Archives I read over the War Service records of Captain Edgar hazel Hester 7th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers WO339/6735 .

The captain went missing in an 'action known as Frezenberg' on 16th August 1917. The file contains some correspondence between his wife and the War Office. Eventually on 15th March 1919, he was declared dead. The hope that he might have been taken prisoners by the Germans seemed to have expired by then.

Hope that this is a help.

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