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British Commonwealth And Empire War Casualties

Volume 409: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1945

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asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that casualties in this war to personnel serving in the American Forces fighting side by side with the British are published in the British Press almost weekly and that the last return of our own casualties was inclusive up to 30th November, 1944; and how this comes about.

Yes, Sir. I am, however, circulating a statement showing the casualties to all ranks of the British Commonwealth and Empire Forces reported from 3rd September, 1939, to 28th February, 1945. This statement also includes casualties through enemy action suffered by merchant seamen and civilians.


I. Casualties to all ranks of British Commonwealth and Empire Forces reported from 3rd September, 1939 to 28th February, 1945.*

(Excluding deaths from natural causes.)
United Kingdom (*)Canada.AustraliaNew ZealandSouth AfricaIndiaColoniesTotal
KILLED, including died of wounds or injuries.216,28731,43919,4309,3346,03019,4205,044306,984
PRISONERS OF WAR, including Service internees.183,2428,36725,2768,50114,62979,701 †6,754326,470

*Including men from overseas serving in these forces, in particular from Newfoundland and Southern Rhodesia.

† Including 21,181 officers and other ranks missing but presumed to be prisoners of war.

NOTES: (a) Figures of civilian casualties due to enemy action and casualties to merchant seamen are excluded from the above table (see below).
(b) The figures for prisoners of war (except for Australia and the Colonies) include those who have been repatriated or have escaped. If only those who are still reported prisoners of war are included the figures of total casualties are as follows:
United Kingdom 667,797, Canada 88,752, Australia 87,256, New Zealand 35,322, South Africa 29,838, India 159,562, Colonies 30,652, Total 1,099,179.

II. Casualties to Merchant Seamen due to Enemy Action reported from 3rd September, 1939 to 28th February, 1945.

DEATHS (including deaths presumed in missing ships)30,179

Note: The figures include nationals of the Dominions, India and the Colonies serving on British registered ships but exclude deaths of nationals of the United Kingdom serving on ships registered outside the United Kingdom.

III. Civilian Casualties due to Enemy Action in the United Kingdom from 3rd September, 1939 to 28th February, 1945.

KILLED (including missing believed killed)59,793
INJURED and detained in hospital84,749