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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:



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A friend of me asked me this one and I have admit that it never occured to me, so I did not know the answer.

When a soldier was killed during WWI, was a death certificate acceptable to an insurer or employer issued?

Was it immediate, and was it issued centrally by the War Office, or was the dreaded telegram considered sufficient?


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Death certificates were issued for all servicemen who died.

If death occurred in the UK, a standard certificate as for civilians was issued. If death was overseas, an overseas military certificate was issued which had fewer details but was the legal death confirmation.

Both these documents can be bought from the GRO for any serviceman (from the Scottish/Irish equivalents if death occured in those areas).

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As Terry suggests, I purchased a copy of my great grandfather's death certificate from the GRO.

He was reported missing in Mesopotamia in April 1916 and his death was "Assumed for official purposes" in November 1917. The cause of death states "Presumed to have died".

I note that the certificate refers to the war of 1914 to 1921.


Kev Loughnane

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