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WW1 Death Certificates

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WW1 Death Certificates

Postby pennyfather54 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:29 pm

I have 3 family members who sadly died like so many others died in WW1. One of them I have a death certificate, the other two not so lucky. Is there somewhere to get such death certificates for those who were killed in the war. Tried the obvious, BMD indexes, Ancestry, FMP, etc
Thanks Dennis


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Re: WW1 Death Certificates

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:17 pm

I think that they are indexed in one of the Armed Forces BMD collections on FMP. But - be warned - they are not worth it. Bitter experience of a previous correspondent shows that they have no more data, probably less, than there is on the CWGC site. The location of the death seems often to be no more than the theatre of war, so "France and Flanders" may be all that appears even when a more precise place is known elsewhere.

The only reason that these certificates were produced was, so far as I can see, simply to provide a legal document for probate etc. They were not commemorating anything - that was what the CWGC was for.

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Re: WW1 Death Certificates

Postby pennyfather54 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:08 pm

Thanks, the one I have doesn't say much except confirms date of death and in my case the nearest town to where he died. As you say I have more in his service papers. I just remember where I found it. Research mistake not to record that.
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Re: WW1 Death Certificates

Postby peter kent » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:47 pm

You can get one by applying to Overseas section of GRO. You can do it on line, you don't need a reference just get the details from the Commonwealth War Graves site.

But as Adrian has pointed out, they are uninformative.
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Re: WW1 Death Certificates

Postby pforkes » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:03 am

AdrianB38 wrote:I think that they are indexed in one of the Armed Forces BMD collections on FMP. But - be warned - they are not worth it. Bitter experience of a previous correspondent shows that they have no more data, probably less, than there is on the CWGC site. The location of the death seems often to be no more than the theatre of war, so "France and Flanders" may be all that appears even when a more precise place is known elsewhere.

The only reason that these certificates were produced was, so far as I can see, simply to provide a legal document for probate etc. They were not commemorating anything - that was what the CWGC was for.

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Where might this other information be? My grand uncle died in WW I and all I have found is "France and Flounders".
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Re: WW1 Death Certificates

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:06 am

Start with the CWGC site on http://www.cwgc.org/. There was also a publication "Soldiers Died in the Great War" transcribed (I think) on both Ancestry and FindMyPast. Also this TNA Guide http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/deaths-first-and-second-world-wars/ provides other sources.

I suspect that nothing is guaranteed, particularly for soldiers reported missing during a general retreat. A lot of the data in SDGW and even the CWGC site came from families and if there was no family to pass on information not held in the soldier's records, then a theatre of war is as close as it gets.

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