• Where were deaths in action recorded? (Or otherwise abroad.)

    From J. P. Gilliver (John)@21:1/5 to All on Fri Dec 3 10:38:20 2021
    If someone was killed in action (primarily during the WWs, though
    presumably other conflicts too), would I find their death in
    FreeBMD/ONS, recorded under where they normally lived?

    Or, to put it another way, if I _do_ find such an entry, do I assume
    s/he was _not_ killed in action (though it could be due to a bomb)?

    (Other deaths abroad, same question, I suppose - though I could imagine military deaths might be treated differently.)
    --
    J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)Ar@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

    The first objective of any tyrant in Whitehall would be to make Parliament utterly subservient to his will; and the next to overturn or diminish trial by jury ..." Lord Devlin (http://www.holbornchambers.co.uk)

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  • From john@21:1/5 to All on Fri Dec 3 13:39:52 2021
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  • From Charles Ellson@21:1/5 to john1@s145802280.onlinehome.fr on Fri Dec 3 21:40:22 2021
    On Fri, 3 Dec 2021 13:39:52 +0100, john
    <john1@s145802280.onlinehome.fr> wrote:

    On 03/12/2021 11:38, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:
    If someone was killed in action (primarily during the WWs, though
    presumably other conflicts too), would I find their death in
    FreeBMD/ONS, recorded under where they normally lived?

    Or, to put it another way, if I _do_ find such an entry, do I assume
    s/he was _not_ killed in action (though it could be due to a bomb)?

    (Other deaths abroad, same question, I suppose - though I could imagine
    military deaths might be treated differently.)


    I'm not sure I completely understand your question, but if they died in
    the UK their deaths would be reported to the coroner and recorded in the >usual BMD records.

    That applies to England and Wales not the UK, Scotland does not have a
    Coronial system and in any case most war deaths would not have
    undergone judicial process. Deaths in England and Wales should have
    been recorded in the registration district in which they occurred;
    deaths in Scotland could have been recorded in the registration
    district in which they occurred or in the district in which the
    deceased was ordinarily resident and more rarely in an unconnected
    district (thus the Scottish death indexes are not guaranteed to
    indicate the actual place of death). Keeping wartime in mind, there
    will generally be no immediate registration if there was no body
    except as below.

    If they died abroad and their bodies were brought back or if they were >injured abroad, brought back for treatment and then died then they would
    also be recorded as usual >https://history.blog.gov.uk/2017/11/10/the-general-register-office-and-the-first-world-war/

    If they died abroad (i.e. furth of the UK) then they would not be
    registered "as usual" as their death would not have been within a
    relevant jurisdiction. If the death was notified to a relevant body
    (such as the service they were in or a consulate/embassy) then it
    should be recorded in one of the sets of registers in which foreign,
    military and other miscellaneous deaths were recorded. A few
    exceptions might have been subjects of inquests as that depends on
    "where the body lies" not on where a death occurred; it would have
    been very unusual in wartime for a body to be brought back from a
    non-neutral territory outwith the UK.

    For others it is probably more complicated. I know of English sailor
    deaths, where no body found, are recorded.

    Death can be presumed without the standard 7 year wait if there was an
    event in which it would be unreasonable not to argue against it, e.g.
    "X boarded HMS Whatever which was subsequently seen/known to have sunk
    with no known survivors". In a few odd cases that has resulted in
    people "coming back from the dead" due to e.g. erroneous crew lists,
    being rescued by the other side etc.

    From a brief search, you might find something useful in

    (the mostly pre-online databases) The British Overseas: A Guide to
    Records of Their Births, Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths and Burials,
    Available in the United Kingdom Paperback 1 Jun. 1995
    by Geoffrey Yeo (Editor), Philippa White ISBN 0900422394

    https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/birth-marriage-death-sea-or-abroad/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_casualties_of_war

    https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/deaths-first-and-second-world-wars/

    https://www.findmypast.co.uk/articles/world-records/full-list-of-united-kingdom-records/life-events-bmds/british-nationals-death-overseas-1818-2005

    https://search.findmypast.co.uk/search-world-records/british-armed-forces-and-overseas-deaths-and-burials

    https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/researchguide/overseas-and-military-bmd-indexes-121/

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  • From Steve Hayes@21:1/5 to G6JPG@255soft.uk on Sat Dec 4 10:29:21 2021
    On Fri, 3 Dec 2021 10:38:20 +0000, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
    <G6JPG@255soft.uk> wrote:

    If someone was killed in action (primarily during the WWs, though
    presumably other conflicts too), would I find their death in
    FreeBMD/ONS, recorded under where they normally lived?

    Or, to put it another way, if I _do_ find such an entry, do I assume
    s/he was _not_ killed in action (though it could be due to a bomb)?

    The best place to *start* looking for those killed inm action is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

    https://www.cwgc.org/

    FreeBMD would have deaths within England and Wales, but few of those
    would have been killed in action -- aircrew of planes shot down over
    land, those in military installations killed in bombing raids perhaps.
    Some are recorded as civilian war deaths, usually in bombing raids.

    But the CWGC might have military personnel killed in the UK as well.






    (Other deaths abroad, same question, I suppose - though I could imagine >military deaths might be treated differently.)

    --
    Steve Hayes
    Web: http://hayesgreene.wordpress.com/
    http://hayesgreene.blogspot.com
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afgen/

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  • From J. P. Gilliver (John)@21:1/5 to charlesellson@btinternet.com on Sat Dec 4 21:35:32 2021
    On Fri, 3 Dec 2021 at 21:40:22, Charles Ellson
    <charlesellson@btinternet.com> wrote (my responses usually follow points raised):
    On Fri, 3 Dec 2021 13:39:52 +0100, john
    <john1@s145802280.onlinehome.fr> wrote:

    On 03/12/2021 11:38, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:
    If someone was killed in action (primarily during the WWs, though
    presumably other conflicts too), would I find their death in
    FreeBMD/ONS, recorded under where they normally lived?

    Or, to put it another way, if I _do_ find such an entry, do I assume
    s/he was _not_ killed in action (though it could be due to a bomb)?
    []
    If they died abroad (i.e. furth of the UK) then they would not be
    registered "as usual" as their death would not have been within a
    relevant jurisdiction. If the death was notified to a relevant body
    (such as the service they were in or a consulate/embassy) then it
    should be recorded in one of the sets of registers in which foreign,
    military and other miscellaneous deaths were recorded. A few

    That's more or less what I was wondering: leaving out the special cases
    of where someone was brought home injured, or their body was repatriated
    - I was thinking mostly of those killed and buried (or worse) abroad.

    So their death would be recorded _only_ in some register; presumably
    these registers were much bigger during a war.

    And conversely, if someone is recorded in a normal (FreeBMD/GRO) area,
    it means on the whole they _didn't_ die abroad (including in action).
    []
    Death can be presumed without the standard 7 year wait if there was an
    event in which it would be unreasonable not to argue against it, e.g.
    "X boarded HMS Whatever which was subsequently seen/known to have sunk
    with no known survivors". In a few odd cases that has resulted in
    people "coming back from the dead" due to e.g. erroneous crew lists,
    being rescued by the other side etc.

    Interesting!

    If the standard 7 year wait _is_ invoked - presumably meaning just a
    missing person really, especially _not_ in wartime - where is the
    "death" recorded?

    From a brief search, you might find something useful in
    []
    Thanks - useful list tagged as keep, for reference.

    FWIW: this arose because a friend had said something like he thought his
    dad's dad died in WW1, and I was wondering how to check that - if I
    found him in a normal FreeBMD/GRO hit, presumably he _wasn't_ (I
    didn't), and I didn't have a good list of where to look for military
    deaths. I subsequently decided he didn't die during WW1 anyway, as my
    friend's dad was born 1920/7/7! (I did find a possible death for his
    granddad in 194x, so during WW2, though presumably as I found that in FreeBMD/GRO, not in action.)
    --
    J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)Ar@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

    resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die - attributed to Carrie Fisher by Gareth McLean, in Radio Times 28 January-3 February 2012

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  • From Charles Ellson@21:1/5 to G6JPG@255soft.uk on Sun Dec 5 07:05:40 2021
    On Sat, 4 Dec 2021 21:35:32 +0000, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
    <G6JPG@255soft.uk> wrote:

    On Fri, 3 Dec 2021 at 21:40:22, Charles Ellson
    <charlesellson@btinternet.com> wrote (my responses usually follow points >raised):
    On Fri, 3 Dec 2021 13:39:52 +0100, john
    <john1@s145802280.onlinehome.fr> wrote:

    On 03/12/2021 11:38, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:
    If someone was killed in action (primarily during the WWs, though
    presumably other conflicts too), would I find their death in
    FreeBMD/ONS, recorded under where they normally lived?

    Or, to put it another way, if I _do_ find such an entry, do I assume
    s/he was _not_ killed in action (though it could be due to a bomb)?
    []
    If they died abroad (i.e. furth of the UK) then they would not be >>registered "as usual" as their death would not have been within a
    relevant jurisdiction. If the death was notified to a relevant body
    (such as the service they were in or a consulate/embassy) then it
    should be recorded in one of the sets of registers in which foreign, >>military and other miscellaneous deaths were recorded. A few

    That's more or less what I was wondering: leaving out the special cases
    of where someone was brought home injured, or their body was repatriated
    - I was thinking mostly of those killed and buried (or worse) abroad.

    So their death would be recorded _only_ in some register; presumably
    these registers were much bigger during a war.

    Off the top of my head :-
    Killed or died on the battlefield or in a military field hospital -
    recorded in service deaths registers _if_ the information was fed
    back.
    Died (WW1) in a foreign civilian hospital - recorded in those
    countries' death registers.
    Not forgetting that the force they were serving in should have some
    record(s) of the death or being missing.

    And conversely, if someone is recorded in a normal (FreeBMD/GRO) area,
    it means on the whole they _didn't_ die abroad (including in action).
    []
    Yes, short of oddities such as e.g. being washed up on the beach or
    found dead on a boat arriving in port. IIRC where the actual place of
    death was unknown then the registration defaulted to where the body
    was found. (A more modern version to compare with could be e.g.
    someone found dead on the London to Glasgow sleeper after arrival with
    no certainty of where on the journey they expired).

    There can be a hint if a possible death index match is for a place
    away from someone's home area but where a military hospital was
    located. One of my relatives died in Stoke Mandeville Hospital which
    explained why he was buried in his home parish but had no matching
    entry in the Scottish or Service indexes.

    Death can be presumed without the standard 7 year wait if there was an >>event in which it would be unreasonable not to argue against it, e.g.
    "X boarded HMS Whatever which was subsequently seen/known to have sunk
    with no known survivors". In a few odd cases that has resulted in
    people "coming back from the dead" due to e.g. erroneous crew lists,
    being rescued by the other side etc.

    Interesting!

    If the standard 7 year wait _is_ invoked - presumably meaning just a
    missing person really, especially _not_ in wartime - where is the
    "death" recorded?

    If the result of a court declaration then it should be in the court
    records. In Scotland possibly resulting in an entry in the NRS index;
    in England and Wales maybe involving a search through unindexed court
    records. In modern times, a death register entry might in practice be unavoidable; further back (20/30+ years?) ISTR there was no
    arrangement for recording such a death in Scottish death records but
    in England and Wales a death register entry would be caused. I am not
    sure exactly which registrar is supposed to be informed but the first
    place I would consider is where the person was last seen alive
    followed possibly by the one for the district where the relevant court
    is located. The 7 year presumption won't necessarily have caused any
    records - in past times a surviving spouse would have been more or
    less free to re-marry after seven years simply by declaring they had
    not seen their partner since the relevant date (I have seen marriage
    register entries with such recorded). Marriages now require more proof
    of the parties' assorted statuses (nationality, divorce, widowhood
    etc.) but if a surviving spouse (or their heirs) have no need for the
    death to be presumed then again there might be no record. OTOH the
    occasional older will index entry might mention "last seen alive...."
    at various times after the presumed event depending on when dispersal
    of an estate is required; that could be when the missing person
    themselves gets an inheritance which then has to be passed on to their
    heirs.

    From a brief search, you might find something useful in
    []
    Thanks - useful list tagged as keep, for reference.

    FWIW: this arose because a friend had said something like he thought his >dad's dad died in WW1, and I was wondering how to check that - if I
    found him in a normal FreeBMD/GRO hit, presumably he _wasn't_ (I
    didn't), and I didn't have a good list of where to look for military
    deaths. I subsequently decided he didn't die during WW1 anyway, as my >friend's dad was born 1920/7/7! (I did find a possible death for his
    granddad in 194x, so during WW2, though presumably as I found that in >FreeBMD/GRO, not in action.)

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  • From Charles Ellson@21:1/5 to hayesstw@telkomsa.net on Sun Dec 5 07:15:57 2021
    On Sat, 04 Dec 2021 10:29:21 +0200, Steve Hayes
    <hayesstw@telkomsa.net> wrote:

    On Fri, 3 Dec 2021 10:38:20 +0000, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
    <G6JPG@255soft.uk> wrote:

    If someone was killed in action (primarily during the WWs, though >>presumably other conflicts too), would I find their death in
    FreeBMD/ONS, recorded under where they normally lived?

    Or, to put it another way, if I _do_ find such an entry, do I assume
    s/he was _not_ killed in action (though it could be due to a bomb)?

    The best place to *start* looking for those killed inm action is the >Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

    https://www.cwgc.org/

    FreeBMD would have deaths within England and Wales, but few of those
    would have been killed in action -- aircrew of planes shot down over
    land, those in military installations killed in bombing raids perhaps.
    Some are recorded as civilian war deaths, usually in bombing raids.

    But the CWGC might have military personnel killed in the UK as well.

    There are plenty in CWGC indexes who died in the UK, including those
    who died of natural causes while serving. This can involve checking
    all three jurisdictions' death indexes as they could have been serving
    in any UK country; sometimes it is quicker to head for the wills
    indexes to find the place of death (e.g. "<name> of <home address>,
    died in <place of death> on <date>") but not all deaths caused an
    inheritance.


    (Other deaths abroad, same question, I suppose - though I could imagine >>military deaths might be treated differently.)

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  • From Jenny M Benson@21:1/5 to Charles Ellson on Sun Dec 5 12:59:41 2021
    On 05/12/2021 07:05, Charles Ellson wrote:
    OTOH the
    occasional older will index entry might mention "last seen alive...."
    at various times after the presumed event depending on when dispersal
    of an estate is required; that could be when the missing person
    themselves gets an inheritance which then has to be passed on to their
    heirs.

    I have never found a likely Death Index entry for my 2xGreat
    Grandmother's brother, but in 1877 she was granted Letters of
    Administration of his Estate in which it states "who died in or since
    the year 1865, at Northampton aforesaid a Widower without Child or
    Parent and intestate." She was also granted Letters of Administration
    for her nephew (described therein as "a Bachelor"!) who had died in
    1863, aged 8 years.

    --
    Jenny M Benson
    Wrexham, UK

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