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Untraced Personnel (Notifications)

Volume 415: debated on Monday 5 November 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will give instructions that an interim report be sent at once to the next of kin of men who are still missing and who have received no official notification since they were informed in many cases two or three years ago, that the man in question was a prisoner or missing.

With the notification to a next-of-kin that a soldier was missing a leaflet ''Advice to the relative of a man who is missing" was sent, in order to assure the relative that immediately any reliable news was received of his fate, it would be communicated. This is done. The leaflet also explained the steps taken to trace missing men. In the case of some prisoners of war, known to be such, reports of their subsequent deaths have been received from other prisoners of war, but some of these reports, based on memory or hearsay, have afterwards proved unreliable. In such cases discretion has been exercised in the matter of communicating with relatives, pending the confirmation or otherwise of the report, in order to spare them unnecessary anxiety and grief.