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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Notification of death


SteveMarsdin

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Good morning,

On the local memorial there are two brothers killed the same day when the Arcadia was sunk. They were in different regiments. The local newspaper has asked me to write some articles about the various people featured on the memorial and I have most of the background information but would like to know (have confirmed)

  • The notification of death to the family is normally by telegram ?
  • Two separate telegrams would have been received ?
  • Those telegrams would have been received sometime after the sinking and not necessarily on the same day ?

Can someone help me ?

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My understanding has always been that it was only notification of officers' deaths that came by telegram. For ORs, it was a standard letter.

It will have been separate letters for the two men and they would have been sent whenever the relevent clerk filled in the standard letter and got it posted. That may well mean they didnt arrive on the same day.

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Thanks John,

I must admit, it's an aspect I've never looked at, I'd always assumed it was by telegram for everyone, thanks for putting me right.

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There's a piece in today's Daily Telegraph (8th July) 'Medals of father who fell alongside his son' which tells of how the medals of William Pritchard whose son, Reginald, also fell in the same action on the same day are to be auctioned Click. The article gives 'William's widow and Reginald's mother, Mary received two telegrams on the same day to inform her that both her husband and son had been killed in action' which left me wondering, as there is no evidence given of there having been any telegrams, where that might have got conjured up from. (the article also gives that 'The whereabouts of Reginald Pritchard's medals are unknown')

PRITCHARD, WILLIAM :poppy:
Rank: Serjeant
Service No: 111
Date of Death: 02/05/1915
Age: 42
Regiment/Service: Monmouthshire Regiment 3rd Bn.
Panel Reference: Panel 50.
Memorial: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
Additional Information: Husband of Mary Pritchard, of "Sunny Meade," Mardy, Abergavenny, Mon. His son R J Pritchard also fell.

PRITCHARD, R J :poppy:
Rank: Private

Service No: 1653
Date of Death: 02/05/1915
Age: 19
Regiment/Service: Monmouthshire Regiment 3rd Bn.
Panel Reference: Panel 50.
Memorial: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

Additional Information: Son of Mary Pritchard, of "Sunny Meade," Mardy, Abergavenny, Mon. his father William Pritchard also fell.

NigelS

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Thanks Nigel,

I wonder if it's a common myth, the dreaded telegram/knock at the door ?

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My great grandparents received 2 telegrams, the first informing them that Harry (service record and telegrams available on ancestry) was dangerously ill and the second to say he had died. I wonder if it made a difference as to whether you died in the field or in hospital as Harry did.

Mandy

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My great grandparents received a telegram within a couple of days of their son's death in 1918. He was a private and i have the telegram.

Hazel

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Thanks for the replies. I'll see if I can find their files on Ancestry.

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