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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

"Died" WW1 rather than KiA?


Marilynn

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Any ideas anyone why on MIC would be "died"? Obviously died. But other relatives have KiA (inflantry). As this particular relative was in the ASC = "driver" (T1) horse train and date of dealth and division coincides with Somme - did being shot at, etc constitute "died"? I gather my ancester was a driver of 2 or 4 horses on a divisional train - he has a grave in France - so body found. (Plus on memorial at newmarket - where he worked when enlisted - though born Liverpool). I have managed to look at the war diaries etc for the date given for his dealth and was during one of the battes of the Somme. Does anyone know if common practice to give non-trench soldiers the (though he was very near) attribute "died" rather than KiA? Seems odd as action all around!! And I take it Horse Drivers were constantly under attack. Or does died just mean of an illness? Though goodness any illness caught on the front should be KiA? Any thoughts, information welcome. I have yet to find his full records, but I am looking!

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Died tends to mean, died of an illness rather than as a result of direct enemy action. KIA and DOW do have different meanings as was discussed elsewhere recently, but I would be cautious about the distinction. For a man marked as "died" there might be something more specific in the death cert if you want to part with about a tenner.

Keith

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"Died" usually means from natural causes. "Killed" (not KIA) usually means from accident or other causes not in action.

It's not 100% reliable but it is a good working assumption.

Ron

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Died can means alternatively an accident as well as an illness. The battlefield can be a dangerous place even without an enemy firing at you

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Marilynn,

Another question that may help is where is he buried?

If well away from the front line then illness would be more likely, this is never an accurate guide but can go some way in helping i.e. person noted as died and buried at Etaples then fair chance its illness.

All the best,

Paul.

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or the MIC could just state 'Dead'.

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Marilynn,

Another question that may help is where is he buried?

If well away from the front line then illness would be more likely, this is never an accurate guide but can go some way in helping i.e. person noted as died and buried at Etaples then fair chance its illness.

All the best,

Paul.

Or DOW

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On a relatives MIC it states 'dead'. The war diary and SDGW list him a KiA

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Dead would seem to cover KIA DOW and Died

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I have been reading a diary this morning about a driver found dead with his horse beside him (unharmed). A PM was carried out and there was a board of enquiry. The PM found blood clots in his brain but I don't know the outcome of the enquiry. As Centurion has pointed out, died can cover a multitude of things. I have also been reading this morning of a man found in billets with his revolver beside him and head wounds consistent with a gunshot. Hid medal card shows 'died' and his medal roll shows 'D of Wds'.

If someone died in the evacuation chain their place of burial might reflect that they died but it won't necessarily differentiate between illness, self inflicted, accidental or execution. That will take some deeper digging around.

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I have been reading a diary this morning about a driver found dead with his horse beside him (unharmed). A PM was carried out and there was a board of enquiry. The PM found blood clots in his brain but I don't know the outcome of the enquiry. As Centurion has pointed out, died can cover a multitude of things. I have also been reading this morning of a man found in billets with his revolver beside him and head wounds consistent with a gunshot. Hid medal card shows 'died' and his medal roll shows 'D of Wds'.

If someone died in the evacuation chain their place of burial might reflect that they died but it won't necessarily differentiate between illness, self inflicted, accidental or execution. That will take some deeper digging around.

About 9,000,000 served in the British forces, from any body of apparently fit men of that number you would statistically expect a number of unexplained deaths (strokes, rare heart conditions etc). Even if the percentage is very small it'll be a large number in absolute terms. Having visited Etaples Cemetery from what I was led to believe most of the occupants came from one of the hospitals in the vicinity and were probably DOWs who had made it back to base before succumbing either to the original wound or to subsequent infection,

I do hope that burial (place not withstanding) reflected that they had died as the alternative is rather disconcerting! :thumbsup:

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Died can means alternatively an accident as well as an illness. The battlefield can be a dangerous place even without an enemy firing at you

If he died as a result of an accident then the OFFICIAL term would be KILLED.

J.

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I have just been dealing with a case where one source says "killed in action" but the man's medal roll says "deceased". Others on the same roll say "Killed in action". He had no surviving service record. He was one of many men of his unit who died on the day and like most them has no known grave. Who knows how he died? My guess is that he was indeed killed alongside his comrades, but in a case like that you can never be completely sure.

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If he died as a result of an accident then the OFFICIAL term would be KILLED.

J.

Only I think if killed outright

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Only I think if killed outright

That is not specified in the original HMSO publications. KILLED = KILLED other than in action.

As I was told recently GO LOOK.

J.

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That is not specified in the original HMSO publications. KILLED = KILLED other than in action.

As I was told recently GO LOOK.

J.

Sorry but doesn't necessarily answer - died would still be the equivalent of DOW but not from action. If someone was sent to hospital with say a crushed foot, developed an infection in it and then died he probably wouldn't be logged as killed.

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If he died as a result of an accident then the OFFICIAL term would be KILLED.

I have a man killed (outright by all accounts) by a tram at Gateshead who's MIC says 'Dead'.

I also have another man run over by a tram at Darlington who died en-route to hospital - SDGW states 'Died'

2 men who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a hut are shown as 'Dead'.

Craig

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The use of 'died' or 'dead' can sometimes mean that the cause of death was simply not known. The MICs were drawn up in the 1920s and not all the facts were to hand. This is often the case with soldiers who died behind enemy lines.

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The service records for one of the men poisoned by Carbon Monoxide states the Court of Inquiry finding - Died, Gas Poisoning (Acci.).

Craig

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Dead would seem to cover KIA DOW and Died

Absolutely. I have seen many instances where a soldier died of wounds, died as POW, killed in action, died of illness, etc (known from other sources) has been recorded simply as "died" or "dead" on the MIC.

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The mic can't be considered a document of record as to cause of death, presumably all they needed to note in remarks for administrative purposes was that the recipient was dead,the cause was not relevant to the medals office.

I notice the OP has not been back perhaps if they had bothered to name the soldier it could have been resolved quite easily, especially if he'd taken Keith's advice at post 2 and spent a tenner.

Ken

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could also mean Suicide or SAD?

As a slight aside, I have been going through the MIC's cards of men who were executed and looked at most of them, none I have seen state just 'died', the majority give the facts, such as 'Shot for desertion' 'shot by sentence of FGCM' or variations 'shot for murder' some just say 'forfeited' but none are subtle. I am as always willing to be corrected and if there are any out there I would like to add them to the list.

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That is not specified in the original HMSO publications. KILLED = KILLED other than in action.

As I was told recently GO LOOK.

J.

Sorry but doesn't necessarily answer - died would still be the equivalent of DOW but not from action. If someone was sent to hospital with say a crushed foot, developed an infection in it and then died he probably wouldn't be logged as killed.

Centurion is quite right - I have looked at men who have been 'wounded (accidentally)'. Later, they have died and deemed to have Died of Wounds. To some, that might imply they died of wounds received in battle but it is not necessarily so.

What the HMSO says they should write and what they actually did write, I would suggest were different and were down to the circumstances at the time. It also depends on where you are looking to see the casualties. Diaries, Admission & Discharge records, WO Casualty Lists, Medal Rolls, CWGC and other websites - they don't always concur with each other.

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