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Notification Of Casualties

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 6 May 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Sergeant V. R. Wilks, No. 1263603, Royal Army Medical Corps, was killed in action in April, 1942; that notification of his death was sent to his mother on 15th January, 1943; that on 12th February, 2nd March and 16th April further notifications were sent; that on each envelope was writen, in red ink, the word "Killed"; and whether he will see that no further such unnecessary communications, which are resented by the mother of the man killed, will be sent?

The R.A.M.C. record office was first informed of this casualty by the military authorities in India in January of this year. A telegram was sent on 15th January to the next-of-kin as well as a letter which expressed the sympathy of the officer in charge of the record office and explained that no details were yet available. On 3rd February a further letter was sent quoting a cable received from India giving the reasons for the unavoidable delay in notifying the casualty. On 16th April a third letter was sent forwarding the soldier's effects. I am not aware that any other letters were sent or that the envelopes were marked in the way suggested by my right hon. Friend. Such marking is contrary to the practice of the War Department and if my right hon. Friend will forward me the envelopes I will gladly investigate the matter further.