Thanks for bumping up this thread and adding relevant info.
The extract above can be found via this link http://ww2talk.com/f...asualty-branch/
The file is worth a browse by anyone who deals with PsOW, as there are snippets about procedure, what lists were compiled from which sources and why, as well as references to difficulties encountered in the various theatres, incl POWs in Far East, and those repatriated through Russia, as well as mentions of sinkings of specific POW ships.
From the file I now understand the reasoning behind why information in the lists were presented the way they were, even if not correct, or suspected to be incorrect. As regards notification of next-of-kin and published Casualty Lists, Cas. Branch as a whole only acted upon official sources, despite the fact that they recorded details from unofficial sources to help trace those declared missing. This was apparently to save next-of-kin from any unnecessary suffering should other information to the contrary subsequently come to light. (It's worth a mention, in other Casualty Branch files it was noted that the procedures adopted by British Red Cross in this regard lead to very disappointed/upset NOK, and attempts were made to curb their "enthusiasm" to share unofficial or unverified information.)
Official lists of PsW in various theatres were compiled in anticipation of liberation - or repatriation of wounded etc - and separate lists for Missing personnel were kept up-to-date in order to cross ref info received during the anticipated interviews of ex-POW.
It seems from the explanations that for all their preparation, events in each Theatre meant that initially at least, all that work on those lists wasn't used as expected, i.e. interviews of ex-pow ref comrades' deaths, illness, circumstances of missing.
BEF Missing and POW lists remained more or less static after a year or two and work on that had to wait for the most part until the end of hostilities.
Italian POW and Missing lists were prepared in anticipation of camps there being liberated, but Cas. Branch staff returned to UK after it was evident that men were heading either to camps in Germany (they then took months to forward official lists to Casualty Branch) or escapers/evaders ended up either heading to e.g. Switzerland or being 'at large' for months.
NWE liberation also never materialised the way they had planned. Men were put on marches and moved, or camps were liberated by various allied units, so not processed at the same time, and sent back to UK rather than being recorded in theatre. SHAEF were initially more interested in the POWs than tracing the Missing.
Since little information was forwarded by the Japanese, any lists for the Far East pows and missing had been fairly 'static'. Published lists were planned in anticipation of liberation, but again events took them by surprise and those which did exist were not as widely circulated as planned. Much use was made of - and value placed on - the lists kept by prisoners themselves.
Searches conducted later in NWE for men missing in Soviet held territory were limited, to say the least.
from another file
Edited by dbf, 20 February 2016 - 01:22 PM.