Perth Digger Posted 4 June , 2019 Share Posted 4 June , 2019 Field Service Regulations of 1914 required every military unit to hold a court of inquiry into a missing soldier within six months of his disappearance. I would imagine that in the conditions of warfare that unfolded such courts were rarely held (informal discussions between the survivors would have been the norm). It appears, however, that the 12th London TF Regiment (The Rangers) did so at some unknown point in 1915, the subjects being Capt John Ernest Parker and 2nd Lt Alfred Ernest Whitehouse. Both were recorded missing on 8 May 1915. In the Register of Effects (on-line) both are recorded as KIA, after a Court of Inquiry. When this Court met is unknown, but it must have been a long time after May, as the battalion had been virtually destroyed in April and May 1915, with virtually all officers becoming casualties. The Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 18 December 1915, records that Parker, previously missing, had now been reported as KIA. Thus the Court's findings were probably made in November or early December. The War Office's Accounts Department began winding up the financial affairs of Parker and Whitehouse in February 1916. Both are now commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial (Panel 54). It is likely that the Court was prompted by requests from the relatives of Parker and Whitehouse to the War Office for further inquiries to be made. The Court's findings must have been sent up to the DAG at 3rd Echelon and to GHQ, from which places it was sent to MS 3 Cas at the War Office. Only by following that procedure could a casualty's fate be changed to KIA from the first report (missing, wounded & missing etc). Other "non-official" information would/could lead to a presumption of Death, but not to an official KIA. I have looked at thousands of cases in the Effects registers and these are the first to confirm that an official court of inquiry was set up to determine the fate of an officer (and to change the casualty designation from Missing to KIA). I would be grateful if anyone might have information on other courts of inquiry regarding the missing. Also, if by any chance anyone has seen the Service Records of these two officers, I'd like to know if this process is mentioned therein. Thanks Mike Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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