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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Were Death Certificates issued when men were KIA?


sutton-in-craven
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Hi, when men & women died on the battlefields in france during WW1, were DCs issued stating the cause of death and also the deceased prior home address?

Many thanks in advance for any help :-)

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They were issued, Andrew, but with very sparse information and certainly no NoK or addresses. If they died at home I would expect that to be included. The GRO index is what we checked for IFCP. Sample attached

post-39423-0-64399900-1383196918_thumb.j

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Graeme shows the modern copy that you would receive if you now applied to the GRO for a man's death certificate. It's the same format whether a man was killed in action overseas or died at home. I am unclear what documentation the GRO is actually using to produce that copy.

What I have never seen, or heard of its existance, is an original wartime death certificate for a man who died overseas. That might suggest that a formal death certificate, as we understand them today, may not have been issued. In itself, it raises the question as to how family then dealt with a man's death - what was the evidence that confrmed a widow could remarry; what was the evidence allowing a will to be probated?

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9964307754_a99465e316_c.jpg

The above is army form 100b, which a soldiers parents (George Crombie's) received along with his effects

regards Ray

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Another source is the 'Service Returns' (Army Form W3231) showing lists of name, rank, serial number, etc.

Here's a copy of the one where I found my grandfather listed (I had to minimize the pixel size for uploading, so the quality fades)

Tom.

post-87018-0-00997800-1383241642_thumb.j

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Thanks very much everybody for your excellent feedback and images. It would appear that the DCs issued for troops who were KIA whilst serving overseas contain the bare minimal information; and not data such as the prior home address which I had hoped they would.

Thanks again :-) Andrew

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Thanks very much everybody for your excellent feedback and images. It would appear that the DCs issued for troops who were KIA whilst serving overseas contain the bare minimal information; and not data such as the prior home address which I had hoped they would.

Thanks again :-) Andrew

The individual service records would have contained more personal details, but their destruction during WW2 put paid to that.

You are left to search census records which will take a lot more time and effort.

Tom.

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Graeme shows the modern copy that you would receive if you now applied to the GRO for a man's death certificate. It's the same format whether a man was killed in action overseas or died at home. I am unclear what documentation the GRO is actually using to produce that copy.

What I have never seen, or heard of its existance, is an original wartime death certificate for a man who died overseas. That might suggest that a formal death certificate, as we understand them today, may not have been issued. In itself, it raises the question as to how family then dealt with a man's death - what was the evidence that confrmed a widow could remarry; what was the evidence allowing a will to be probated?

Here is the death cert issued to my Great Uncle's family by the Canadian Army, 20 months after his death. As you say the bare minimum of information - though at least the Canadians put it on a nice looking scroll!

Shane

post-101649-0-13964600-1383379767_thumb.

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