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Wendy Macpherson

KIA notification date versus the actual date

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Wendy Macpherson

Hello the forum

I have made an observation while reading a service file.

Two entry dates to record this soldier having been KIA, the dates 18 August and 20 August, both mention no KIA date was given.

There also looks to be a additionally added KIA date penned in at some future time as the comment already states no date given. 

Then on the 28 November a note written in red pen stating the KIA date 11 August 1917.

 

What does this indicate? Did he lie there dead for some few days, the company knew he had been killed but not sure of the day it happened. 

He was due to leave the front line trenchers the 12 August 1917 the day after he died so the company must have known he did not leave with them.

Or is this just a clerical thing and I am overthinking it. 

 

Wendy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capture.JPG

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brianmorris547
Posted (edited)

Wendy

The dates 16/08 and 20/08 are the dates that the entry was made in his record or the date of the references 3922 and 3965 in the previous columns.

Brian

Edited by brianmorris547

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Wendy Macpherson
4 hours ago, brianmorris547 said:

Wendy

The dates 16/08 and 20/08 are the dates that the entry was made in his record or the date of the references 3922 and 3965 in the previous columns.

Brian

Hi Brian - Yes I realise they are entry or recorded dates, but why no KIA date until the third entry on the 28 November. 

Why would there be no KIA date entered, they knew he was dead.! Why not enter the KIA date at the same time as recording him KIA.

Wendy

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spof

Hello Wendy

 

Assuming he was in an action and not killed by shell fire or sniper in the trenches, I expect that the earlier dates relate to verbal reports from other soldiers. Without a body or similar evidence the authorities had to go through the Red Cross to confirm he hadn't only been wounded and captured. Or the line could have advanced later and his body was then recovered and identified.

 

Basically, they wanted definitive proof he had been killed and that took a few months.

 

Glen

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KevinBattle

Are you looking at Sydney Ford or Joseph Snelling?

They are the only NZ casualties without a known grave killed on 11 August 1917.

If it's one of the other 19 killed that day, then the date may have come from a battlefield burial cross (possibly by the Germans) when the territory may have been regained by November.

Of course, we can speculate on any number of ways the Date of Death was arrived at, and if he was due to leave the unit on 12 August (and obviously didn't) then 11 August would be a logical Date of Death.

However, the military would presumably need something more definite, but what that might have been I can't guess 100 years on.

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Wendy Macpherson
19 hours ago, spof said:

Hello Wendy

 

Assuming he was in an action and not killed by shell fire or sniper in the trenches, I expect that the earlier dates relate to verbal reports from other soldiers. Without a body or similar evidence the authorities had to go through the Red Cross to confirm he hadn't only been wounded and captured. Or the line could have advanced later and his body was then recovered and identified.

 

Basically, they wanted definitive proof he had been killed and that took a few months.

 

Glen

Thanks Glen

That helps me to understand it all better.

Is there a difference between killed in action and or artillery or sniper, are they not all classed a KIA.

Regards Wendy 

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Wendy Macpherson
16 hours ago, KevinBattle said:

Are you looking at Sydney Ford or Joseph Snelling?

They are the only NZ casualties without a known grave killed on 11 August 1917.

If it's one of the other 19 killed that day, then the date may have come from a battlefield burial cross (possibly by the Germans) when the territory may have been regained by November.

Of course, we can speculate on any number of ways the Date of Death was arrived at, and if he was due to leave the unit on 12 August (and obviously didn't) then 11 August would be a logical Date of Death.

However, the military would presumably need something more definite, but what that might have been I can't guess 100 years on.

Thanks for that Kevin.

The dates relate to my great uncle.

I will look up Sydney and Joseph as they may have been in the same unit as my GU.

I have managed to pinpoint him and the unit at the time of his dead or there abouts via the original battalion diaries. 

Thanks Wendy 

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spof
4 hours ago, Wendy Macpherson said:

Is there a difference between killed in action and or artillery or sniper, are they not all classed a KIA.

 

Wendy

 

If he was killed in the trenches hen the evidence of his death is obvious. If he was killed in front of the trenches in an attack or trench raid and his body was not recovered then they would delay saying he was KiA until more evidence came to light.But, yes, both cases are KiA.

 

Glen

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Wendy Macpherson
On 5/18/2018 at 23:45, spof said:

 

Wendy

 

If he was killed in the trenches hen the evidence of his death is obvious. If he was killed in front of the trenches in an attack or trench raid and his body was not recovered then they would delay saying he was KiA until more evidence came to light.But, yes, both cases are KiA.

 

Glen

Thanks spof, I understand that now, thank you. 

He was killed when his company was in the front line trenches but I believe a group of men from his company were sent out to dig dummy trenches to make the Germans believe that they were going to cross the river Lys at a certain location.  It was pretty much an inactive front at the time but diaries say there was sporadic artillery to agitate each other, and no doubt snipers were always taking opportunities. 

Regards Wendy 

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inkerman

Wendy

 

Perhaps a little off the mark, but I have seen in an Australian Battalion War Diary [no idea which one for I was looking for something else] the record of a Board of Inquiry into the death of a private soldier.  The recorded proceedings were two or three pages only, but witnesses were deposed and a formal record made for a soldier who was 'missing',and so a date of death was defined some time after the event.

 

Richard

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Wendy Macpherson
5 hours ago, inkerman said:

Wendy

 

Perhaps a little off the mark, but I have seen in an Australian Battalion War Diary [no idea which one for I was looking for something else] the record of a Board of Inquiry into the death of a private soldier.  The recorded proceedings were two or three pages only, but witnesses were deposed and a formal record made for a soldier who was 'missing',and so a date of death was defined some time after the event.

 

Richard

YES! for sure. Think it is the same circumstances here also. After reports of my soldier missing on the earlier dates the death date had yet to be established. I find the first publication date in the new paper at 21 August 1917. Thanks 

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inkerman

And I forgot to add that the records of similar Boards of Enquiry might not have been included in a Battalion War Diary, they would be so bulky!  Busy tired and harassed Regimental Officers would have collected what was essential, and we are lucky that they were so conscientious in such difficult circumstances.

 

Richard

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