Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

How were NOK notified of a soldiers death


wulsten

Recommended Posts

Trying to clarify the method of how a soldiers next of kin was notified when killed in action or died of wounds was it via a telegram or letter etc, any help appreciated, Geoff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ORs' NOK by letter, Officers' NOK by Telegram - in the fog of war there were exceptions, mistakes etc but in general this holds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen instances when a man's officer managed to get a message to his local vicar, priest or whatever to go round and break the news before the official letter arrived but this was entirely unofficial and far from the general rule.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may be corrected, but I think it has also been mentioned on here that it wash't entirely uncommon also for nurses to write to NOK. My great grandmother received such a letter following her husband's death from wounds. Whether she received an official letter also, I have no idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a telegram, an official letter, and a letter from a nursing sister to my great grandparents regarding my great uncle's death. The latter contained a lock of his hair.

Hazel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ORs' NOK by letter,

Officially, the NOK of OR's were notified by the receipt of an Army Form B 104-82 for those killed in action or an Army Form B 104-83 for those posted as missing in action (or both). These were pre-printed forms with blank sections to be filled in (and, yes, could be classified as a 'letter' I suppose, but thought I'd mention this to differentiate it from the hand-written article that many people might assume was the case)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are also examples of officers or NCOs writing to the family, but as with a nurse's letter, this would be additional to the official letter, not instead of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mentioned this before, but an old friend of the family, who is sadly no longer with us, lost her father during the war. The first her mother knew about it was when one of the letters she had written to him was returned with a rubber stamp on it stating "Killed in Action".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Officially, the NOK of OR's were notified by the receipt of an Army Form B 104-82 for those killed in action or an Army Form B 104-83 for those posted as missing in action (or both).

Examples of both (to the mother of one soldier)....

...

post-357-0-00024000-1400014852_thumb.jpg

post-357-0-59236100-1400014895_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mentioned this before, but an old friend of the family, who is sadly no longer with us, lost her father during the war. The first her mother knew about it was when one of the letters she had written to him was returned with a rubber stamp on it stating "Killed in Action".

This must obviously have happened from time to time, because, especially if there had been a number of deaths simultaneously, preparing the NoK letter would have taken longer than the Army post office to return an undelivered letter. War is no respecter of human sensitivity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember, years ago I had a letter to a soldier (GW) written by a child, returned 'Killed.in action', I hope, for the child's sake an adult intercepted it.

khaki

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This must obviously have happened from time to time, because, especially if there had been a number of deaths simultaneously, preparing the NoK letter would have taken longer than the Army post office to return an undelivered letter. War is no respecter of human sensitivity.

I ran across a reference to this quite recently (but can't remember where) - after a number of cases of this early in the war, returned letters were intercepted and held by the the Army postal system until it was confirmed that the next of kin had been notified.

Andrew.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Officially, the NOK of OR's were notified by the receipt of an Army Form B 104-82 for those killed in action or an Army Form B 104-83 for those posted as missing in action (or both).

Presumably if a man D​OW, Army Form B 104-82 (KIA) would have been issued? There was no separate form for this category?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers everyone and for the images from dave croonaert, I remember reading the letter forwarded to the vc winner Rhodes wife from the nurse who cared for him prior to his sad demise, cheers again everyone, Geoff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Presumably if a man D​OW, Army Form B 104-82 (KIA) would have been issued? There was no separate form for this category?

Yes. The B-104-82 is simply a 'dead' form with the method of death being stamped or written (such as the 'killed in action' stamp as is the case on the example. If DoW, the 'Died of Wounds' would take its place). The B 104-83 is pre-printed with the word 'missing'.

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... The B-104-82 is simply a 'dead' form with the method of death being stamped or written (such as the 'killed in action' stamp as is the case on the example. If DoW, the 'Died of Wounds' would take its place)...

I thought I had an example of a died of wounds version, but it turns out to be another killed in action. However, this illustrates a hand-written version rather than a stamping...

Dave

post-357-0-20278000-1400064259_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a man notified twice with the 104 - 82 form, Private Arthur Hastings died of his wounds on the operating table on 1st September 1914 and his wife was notified on 22nd September and again on 19th December.

September notification form:

post-9980-0-66389800-1400066442_thumb.jp


December notification form:

post-9980-0-39335800-1400066627_thumb.jp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...