uncle john's records.

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by sligoglaswegian, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi John- If he died in a RTA then it will be unlikely he will be in a missing men file. These are for men that went missing whilst in combat and the war office was trying to work out if they were killed or taken PoW etc.
  2. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    John, don't get your hopes up - it's complicated by the fact that he was in a draft when he died, proceeding to a posting. The post (18) by Charpoy Chindit puts it better, but it is a case of knowing which file to look at as they are organised by unit. You already know that the Argyll and Sutherland weren't there, so you could look at the Seaforth Highlanders file for the time and place, and find nothing - I've looked for plenty of people who died at a certain time and in a certain place, but absolutely no mention of them at all.

    If you can identify which files to look at, and really want to try, the files are all kept at the National Archives and there are people on here, like Drew, who will photograph them for you for a small cost. I doubt very much whether a copy of the letter sent to John's parents exists - I've only ever seen them when relatives have kept them. Like I said above, they weren't kept as a matter of routine. You can see similar examples of 'missing, presumed dead' telegrams posted in various places on the forum - they all look the same.
  3. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    Thanks drew and Brian,maybe the story of the letter saying missing presumed dead has gone a bit wayward over the years,but now I kinda know what happened and where he is,I think (unless more info becomes available) I'd be happy with what I now know about this time in johns service.

    Drew5233 likes this.
  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Hi John,

    Are you expecting to find a file copy of an official but "personalised" letter giving full chapter and verse on the circumstances of his death?

    The next of kin would have been sent a standard Army Form B104 pro forma letter with his army details hand written and a brief cause of death provided - probably words similar to "Died as a result of a (traffic) accident ".

    Family sometimes got a private "unofficial"
    letter from an officer or colleague giving fuller details but copy would not be on his file.

    There is an example if the standard letter via the below link -



  5. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    Thanks for that Steve,I wasn't expecting a "personalised chapter and verse"letter. I'm just curious as to what information would have been contained in such.

  6. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    CWGC have released their extra bumph early but sadly no Graves Concentration Report Form for John - bummer !


    PS: Just rang CWGC to ask why not and, long story short, they suggested e-mailing them the query to give them time to double-check their paper archive - probably best if you do this personally, as a direct relative, John ...
  7. sligoglaswegian

    sligoglaswegian Active Member

    hi steve,sorry for the delay in replying. would it be unusual not to have a grave concentration report attached to john's file?

    there is a grave registration form attatched.
  8. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Yes, I'm not the only one to have already said so John,

    To requote CC (see my post 25) with added stress:
    It's virtually a no-brainer that nobody can have been buried in a non-existent graveyard ... though it is logically possible that Kohima War Cemetery's Garrison Hill battlefield site already contained some identifiable pre-battle 'burials of convenience' perhaps just needing reburial to fit in with the new plan and not conventionally 'concentrated' from other graveyards. Either way, I'd expect CWGC to have documentary proof of John's location when first referred to them - to which you, as a close relative, should be entitled even if the info isn't otherwise publishable.

    As for the Graves Registration Report Form, that's dated 7 Nov 1957 - hardly contemporary with events 15 years earlier and presumably just a consolidating audit exercise ... perhaps non-coincidentally undertaken during the Malayan Emergency.


    PS: To put your mind at ease, I recommend doing as I did and first interactively break the ice by ringing them ("English Enquiries +44 (0)1628 507200") in the first instance. I've always found them very approachable, understanding and helpful. On this occasion, FWIW mindful of a similar disappointment, I used the 'thanks very much for the new info but there seems to be a problem with your Indian records' approach.

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