Missing now not missing???

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Leeds Andy, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Leeds Andy

    Leeds Andy Member

    Afternoon Everyone

    I’ve been trying to find out information about some of the Lads that may have served with Uncle Sydney, from information kindly shared with me by Bamboo43 and Rothy.

    On some of the reports that I’ve found on the Forces War Records website state …..

    “Casualty List No. 1773. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 800 as reported Missing 07/03/1942 now reported Not Missing.”

    This was after they had been Liberated.

    So my question is, Did the Army Not know they were Prisoners?


  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    FMP have the full run of official Army Casualty Lists - not simply FWR transcripts.

    My understanding is that an Army service member would initially be reported MIA by their unit -with notification letters being sent to NOK - and would appear on an official casualty list 4 or 5 weeks after the event. If they had turned up in that intervening time and returned to their unit I suspect they would’ve still featured on the casualty list with a speedy correction to “No Longer MIA”.

    MIA would only be changed once official notice had been received from Red Cross - usually status changed to “Confirmed POW - sometimes additionally “Wounded & POW”.

    In some cases Red Cross couldn’t provide details of a MIA so the Army had a tracing unit based in Liverpool that made extensive enquiries to establish the status of a soldier reported MIA by the unit.

    It would help if you confirm that your enquiry is in relation to a Far East POW (I suspect it is) as “different rules” applied when dealing with Japan who did not subscribe to the Geneva Convention rules.

    I’ve seen Canadian files for casualties at Hong Kong Dec 1941 when the only update post the MIA report was based in information provided by survivors on their return to Canada post war.

  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Andy,

    In regards to the Chindits held inside Rangoon Jail from around June 1943, none of these men were totally confirmed as having been POW's until their liberation in late April, early May 1945. Some anecdotal reports about soldiers held in Rangoon did get back to India, via Gurkha troops who managed to escape the Japanese sometime after their own capture. Also, there had been Japanese propaganda broadcasts using officers held in the jail and some information was passed back via these radio transmissions.

    This enabled some families to gain insight into the fate of their loved one, but my Nan for instance was totally unaware whether my grandad was definitely a POW, or indeed alive, until August 1945. POW's in Rangoon Jail did start to receive letters and mail from home towards the end of 1944, but very few of the letters they wrote back reached the UK until after they were already home themselves.

    Hope this helps. If you want more info on any soldier in particular, then let me know and I will see what I've got, if anything in my records.
  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  5. Leeds Andy

    Leeds Andy Member


    Again thank you all for the information, it was just a general curiosity more than anything else.

    Tullybrone Yes these were Far East POWs from a list bamboo43 shared with me about the lads in Rangoon Prison.

    Bamboo43 There were a few of the lads on the list you posted that I couldn't find anything about and I will ask about these lads later. Just in from work and I have a brain like custard at the minute.

    dbf thanks for the links and I will have a good look at these in the morning, cheers.

    Thanks again to everyone.



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