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reporting of missing soldiers


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#1 cork commrade

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 11:47 PM

i am researching my great grand uncle private cornelius o'riordan no 6812 2nd batt royal munster fusiliers

listed in local paper printed on the 8 / march / 1915 from report from head quarters dated 12 / feb / 1915

" previously reported wounded , now wounded and missing " and then reported on the 5 / oct / 1915

" previously reported wounded and missing , now reported prisoner of war " my poser is ?

how long would it take from been reported missing in the field to been reported on lists at head quarters

the 2nd munsters were in the line between givenchy and la bassee canal in january when the germans

launched major attack about the 25 th . i am leaning towards that time frame for his capture ?

any info or thoughts on this subject greatly appreciated . this is my first post . thank you

#2 geraint

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 09:35 AM

Hi Cork!
February to October for a change in status is about average -if there is such a thing as average! I've come across soldiers reported as missing on the day of action who turn up as prisoners or dead either the following day or even as long as two years later (missing presumed dead but were actually POWs).At rollcall following an action, the remaining Companies would answer a verbal register called out by the NCOs. A silence after a name indicated absence, and his mates would give an explanation if they had one. "Injured and taken to such and such clearing station", or "Shot in no-man's land" etc. If the explanation was tenable and obvious then that reason went straight on to the register and went up the paper trail.where army clerks ultimately did the bueaurocracy. PoWs were slightly diferent in that the roll call would note 'taken prisoner' if that was the case and mates could vouch to that. The PoWs lists were then refered back to army command through both diplomatic contacts and through the Red Cross so that prisoner names were refered back to their home countries fairly quickly. Prisoners were often allowed to write home fairly early on captivity. I have come across a few instances where a prisoner gave a false name out of shame, and prefered his family to presume him dead than a prisoner.

PS try some punctuation in your next posting - easier for an old bloke like me to follow!:thumbsup:

#3 Ron Clifton

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:23 AM

Hello Cork Commrade, and welcome to the Forum!

Units were supposed to report casualties "after an action", I think on one of various subdivisions of Army Form B103. Units also made a weekly Field Return, Army Form B238, every Sunday which gave details of all men joining or leaving the unit, with reasons. Its main purpose was to confirm the number of rations required for the following week but it is a pity that none of these were preserved, as they would have proved invaluable to researchers after the loss of most of the soldiers' records in 1940.

Therefore, GHQ should have known of a man being killed, going missing or taken prisoner within a week of the event, but at times of major actions (e.g. 1 July 1916) the paperwork might have taken a while to catch up.

As regards missing men being reported as POWs, this could take some time, as Geraint has said. The only case known to me is of an officer who was reported missing on 27 May 1918 (third phase of the Kaiserschlacht) but whose family did not hear that he was still alive and a prisoner until September.

Ron

#4 corisande

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:50 AM

It is worth your while getting hold of 2RMF War Diary for that period.

Someone on the forum may have it (it does not seem to be available online at TNA). Try a specific post on it in Ireland sub-forum here

It is unlikely to name him, but will refer to their casualties on a day by day basis

You presumably have seen his MIC which shows a transfer to Z Class Reserve

#5 cork commrade

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:12 PM

Hi Cork!
February to October for a change in status is about average -if there is such a thing as average! I've come across soldiers reported as missing on the day of action who turn up as prisoners or dead either the following day or even as long as two years later (missing presumed dead but were actually POWs).At rollcall following an action, the remaining Companies would answer a verbal register called out by the NCOs. A silence after a name indicated absence, and his mates would give an explanation if they had one. "Injured and taken to such and such clearing station", or "Shot in no-man's land" etc. If the explanation was tenable and obvious then that reason went straight on to the register and went up the paper trail.where army clerks ultimately did the bueaurocracy. PoWs were slightly diferent in that the roll call would note 'taken prisoner' if that was the case and mates could vouch to that. The PoWs lists were then refered back to army command through both diplomatic contacts and through the Red Cross so that prisoner names were refered back to their home countries fairly quickly. Prisoners were often allowed to write home fairly early on captivity. I have come across a few instances where a prisoner gave a false name out of shame, and prefered his family to presume him dead than a prisoner.

PS try some punctuation in your next posting - easier for an old bloke like me to follow!:thumbsup:


Hi Geraint - thank you for the info and your prompt reply . I am a one fingered typist struggling with the keyboard and will keep your comment in mind , in future posts ! . Regards Cork Commrade

#6 cork commrade

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:51 PM

Hello Cork Commrade, and welcome to the Forum!

Units were supposed to report casualties "after an action", I think on one of various subdivisions of Army Form B103. Units also made a weekly Field Return, Army Form B238, every Sunday which gave details of all men joining or leaving the unit, with reasons. Its main purpose was to confirm the number of rations required for the following week but it is a pity that none of these were preserved, as they would have proved invaluable to researchers after the loss of most of the soldiers' records in 1940.

Therefore, GHQ should have known of a man being killed, going missing or taken prisoner within a week of the event, but at times of major actions (e.g. 1 July 1916) the paperwork might have taken a while to catch up.

As regards missing men being reported as POWs, this could take some time, as Geraint has said. The only case known to me is of an officer who was reported missing on 27 May 1918 (third phase of the Kaiserschlacht) but whose family did not hear that he was still alive and a prisoner until September.

Ron

Hello Ron - thank you for the info and the welcome message . Should have mentioned that he took a right pasting before capture , - IE - badly disfigured left side of face and lost left arm ! Must have spent a long time in hospital and there fore a long time before been reported a POW . You're right , it is A crying shame those records were not preserved , - they would have been worth their weight in gold to researcher's . Thanks again , regards cork commrade

#7 cork commrade

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:39 PM

It is worth your while getting hold of 2RMF War Diary for that period.

Someone on the forum may have it (it does not seem to be available online at TNA). Try a specific post on it in Ireland sub-forum here

It is unlikely to name him, but will refer to their casualties on a day by day basis

You presumably have seen his MIC which shows a transfer to Z Class Reserve

Hello Corisande - That is a good idea about the war diary , will have to do new post a.s.a.p I haveseen his MIC and cant understand how he could be put on reserve ! Refer to my reply to ron above . Probably an oversight on the clerk's behalf . He came home and lived with his sister ' my great grand mother ' for a few years before dying of his wounds . I see you have an interest in the RDF , my other great grand uncle - Private Patrick O' RIORDAN - no 9838 - 1st batt RMF - K I A on the
2 / MAY / 1915 , IN GALLIPOLI when part of the Dubsters Batt . Will have to do post on him too . regards CORK COMMRADE

#8 corisande

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 01:54 PM

Yes, I have more on RDF than RMF. I would suggest you do a separate post on Patrick O'Riordan to get th e most out of replies and stop the thread getting confused

#9 museumtom

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:25 AM

Was he from Aghada?
Cheers.
Tom.

#10 cork commrade

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 05:24 PM

Was he from Aghada?
Cheers.
Tom.

Hello Tom - Not sure about that . he had a brother ' Patrick ' and two sisters ' Mary and Nora ' . Fathers name was Timothy , They do not seem to appear on the 1901 census ,but are on the 1911 census as living with 'Mary ' and her husband Timothy MURPHY IN 11 cattle market avenue , cork city . Do they match the person you are thinking of ? Regards cork commrade

#11 Arnhem44

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:00 PM

Hi Cork Comrade,I would suggest you try this thread for further info which is the City and County of Cork War Dead http://1914-1918.inv...1 ,also on facebook is the Cork Great War Project and the Cork Branch of the Western Front Association which should be able to help you with this.


Kind Regards
Brendan