Officers advanced training school - casualty procedure



Officers advanced training school - casualty procedure


Covers introduction, definition, reporting of casualty, notification of next of kin, funerals, coroner's inquest, burial in the field and dispersal of effects. Followed by two appendixes, one with details of actions by effects officer. and the other a specimen message "A". Then a page of questions.



Temporal Coverage




Six page typewritten document

Conforms To


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SHughesCL1334982v10031, SHughesCL1334982v10032


[date stamp of No. 1 Officers Advanced Training School JUN 1945]
Appendices: A – Details of Action by Effects Officer
B – Specimen Message ‘A’
References:- A.P. 1922 (2nd Edition), A.P.1921, A.P. 837 Sect. 48 & 52A. A.P. 1301. Appendix V.
[underlined] Introduction [/underlined]
1. Promptness, accuracy and consideration for the feelings of relatives is essential in all phases of casualty procedure. Peacetime procedure which is laid down in K.R.’s 2309-2323 does not apply in war-time. The present procedure is contained in:-
(a) A.P.1922 – ‘Casualty Procedure in War (2nd Edition)’
(b) A.P.1921 – ‘Procedure for Reporting, Guarding and Salvage of Crashed and Forced Landed Aircraft in United Kingdom.’
[underlined] Definition [/underlined]
2. A casualty for this purpose, may be defined as an occurrence resulting from one or more of the following:-
Flying Battle Casualties or Flying Accidents,
Non-flying Battle Casualties and Accidents,
Death from injury or illness,
Serious or dangerous illness.
[underlined] Reporting of Casualties [/underlined]
3. Casualties are reported immediately by signal to A.M. (P.4 Cas) Command and Group. If an airman is involved, Records are also notified. In the event of an aircraft crash the signal is directed to three further addresses – the Local Salvage Unit, H.Q. 43 Group and A.M. (D.P.A.)
4. The C.O. of the formation or unit having [underlined] first knowledge [/underlined] of the crash or casualty must [underlined] ensure [/underlined] that the reporting signal is sent.
5. The type of signal to be used is laid down in appendices A.B.C.D. to A.P. 1922 and its form must be rigidly observed.
6. There are four categories of casualty signal:-
(a) Message A – for flying casualties & crashed aircraft
(b) Message B – for non-flying battle casualties
(c) Message C – for reporting serious or dangerous illnesses and natural deaths.
(d) Message D – for reporting accidental or self-inflicted injuries, if serious or dangerous or resulting in death.
7. The priority of the signal depends entirely on whether or not the next of kin have been informed of the casualty. If they have been informed, it is “important”; if they have not, it is “immediate.”
[underlined] Notification of Next of Kin [/underlined]
8. The C.O. of the [underlined] parent unit [/underlined] will inform next of kin and “other nominee” immediately by post office telegram, if residing in U.K. or Eire, of all fatal casualties and of personnel on D.I. or S.I. List or Missing. If next of kin or “other nominee” reside overseas, A.M. (P.4 Cas) will notify. Specimen forms of telegram are to be found in Appendix L to A.P. 1922.
[page break]
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9. The priority of this telegram depends upon the importance of the time factor. In cases of serious or dangerous illness when the next of kin would wish to know immediately, priority C.A. is used. In all other cases, the priority is C.C.
10. Commanders should ensure that personnel are aware of the importance of prompt notification of changes of address of next of kin or “other nominee”.
[underlined] Funerals [/underlined]
11. After a lapse of about twelve hours, if next of kin reside in U.K. or Eire send a reply paid telegram in the form laid down in Appendix I to A.P.1922 to ascertain the type of funeral desired by the next of kin. The types of funeral that may be offered are:-
(a) Service funeral in cemetery near R.A.F. Station (if Service plots are available)
(b) Service funeral at nearest R.A.F. Regional Cemetery
(c) Private funeral at place selected by next of kin.
In the first two cases all expenses are paid from public funds. In the case of a private funeral, coffining and transport are a charge against the public and a grant of £5 is made but all other expenses are borne by the next of kin.
12. If next of kin wish to view the body, dissuade them, unless they have reasonable grounds to doubt identification.
13. Attendance at private funerals of a representative (if possible of parent unit) should be ensured.
14. When burial takes place at a Regional Cemetry, [sic] a modified ceremony is first held at the Station which the relatives may attend. The Chaplain and/or other representatives of the Station should attend at the Regional Cemetery.
15. If next of kin are abroad, arrange for burial at nearest Regional Cemetery, A.M. being given full particulars of time in order that next of kin may be notified in advance.
16. A letter of sympathy is to be sent to the next of kin written by the Unit commander. If for any reason he cannot do so it must be sent by the Station Commander. It is important that such letters are signed personally and not delegated to a Junior Officer Before writing consult A.P.1922 paras. 48 – 71.
[underlined] Coroner’s Inquest [/underlined]
17. It is not necessary to notify the coroner in the case of a death due to “war operations” (includes non-operational flying). Coroner must be notified in cases of natural death (if no doctor is in attendance) or self-inflicted or accidental deaths (other than flying accidents).
18. The Registrar of Births-Deaths is to be notified of deaths due to war operations which occur in the U.K. For such notification the Form A.F.W.D. is used.
[underlined] Burial in the Field. [/underlined]
19. The R.A.F. Pocket Book and the War Manual Part II give details of the Burial service.
[page break]
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20. The collection and burial of the dead is the responsibility of the parent unit. Identification is important and scattered graves should be avoided, if possible, by using Service cemeteries. The correct rendering of the Burial Return, F.1755 is essential so that the grave is not lost.
[underlined] Disposal of Effects [/underlined]
21. Standing Committee of Adjustment at Central Depository, Colnbrook, deals with Service estates of officers, airmen and airwomen serving in this country, who die, or are reported missing or prisoners of war.
22. Officer detailed to carry out action at Station is known as Effects Officer. At many operational stations, permanent Effects Officer has been appointed.
23. Immediately it is known personnel have died, been killed, or are missing, Effects Officer must be notified so he may take INSTANT action to collect and safeguard all effects on station. Take special care to safeguard small items of intrinsic and/or sentimental value, e.g. rings, cigarette cases, watches etc.
24. Effects to be collected are those in R.A.F. custody, e.g. on station, in billets or at hospital, but not effects at e.g. home of a living-out officer. In cases of Dominion and Allied personnel, however, when known any property not in R.A.F. custody exists, particulars must be reported to S.C. of A.
25. Effects Officer is then to take action as detailed in Appendix “A” to this precis and ensure that effects are despatched to S.C. of A. within 14 days. (Ref. A.P.837 para. 1308).
26. To safeguard property A.M. have ordered that at “briefing time”, facilities shall be accorded to all aircrew to deposit small valuables with briefing officer.
27. Full details concerning disposal of effects are given in A.P.1922 Section IX and A.P.837 para. 1308. This para. also gives instructions in the cases of Dominion and Allied personnel.
[underlined] Amendments to this Precis. [/underlined]
[page break]
[underlined] DETAILS OF ACTION BY EFFECTS OFFICER. [/underlined]
1. Make complete inventory (5 Copies) listing bulky articles (e.g. Radio, moror [sic] car, bicycle, etc) separately. Give full details of valuable articles.
2. Thorough search for will:-
(i) In case of death, if will found make 3 copies (4 for Dominion personnel) and certify as correct; forward original and one copy to Air Ministry (Accts. 13) Worcester. 1 copy (2 if Dominion) subsequently sent to Colnbrook and one copy retained on unit.
(ii) When casualty “missing” if will found, make one certified copy only. Forward original immediately and certified copy three days later to A.M. (Accts. 13), in each case as secret document by registered post.
(iii) Contents of will must not be divulged. In “missing” cases, not even existence must be disclosed.
(iv) If no will found, inform A.M. (Accts. 13) without delay.
3. Forward any item such as Stock or Share Certificates, Post Office Saving Bank Books, National Savings Certificates, Life Insurance Policies, to A.M. (Accts. 13) by registered post with covering letter, first taking particulars.
4. Retain on station, in charge of Equipment Officer, any bulky articles pending disposal instructions from A.M. or S.C. of A.
5. Return public clothing, equipment, etc. to Stores. In case of airmen aircrew remove flying badge from tunic and include in effects.
6. Return publications, records, maps, etc. to appropriate officers and obtain receipt.
7. Send Flying Log Books to A.M. (Archives) Hayes.
8. Hand cash and stamps to Accountant Officer and obtain receipt in triplicate.
9. Obtain clearance certificate.
10. Food – to be disposed of to colleagues or hospitals.
R.A.A.F. personnel – to R.A.A.F. personnel.
R.C.A.F. “ – to Auxiliary Services, R.C.A.F., 20, Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
11. Clothing Coupons – to nearest Area Collecting Office, Board of Trade.
12. Soiled articles of private clothing to be laundered before despatch.
13. Check and mark inventory to show what items disposed of (e.g. to A.M. (Accts. 13)) and check balance against effects held
14. Hand effects (other than bulky articles) to Equipment Officer, with one copy of inventory for despatch to S.C. of A.
[page break]
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[underlined] Appendix – contd. [/underlined]
15. Return tradesmen’s bills to senders notifying them of casualty and informing them that address of next of kin can be obtained from A.M. (Accts. 13) but in case of Dominion personnel forward bills to S.C. of A.
16. Inform next of kin of action (except in case of Dominion personnel) and that S.C. of A. will communicate with them at an early date. In case of death (but not missing) indicate whether or not will found. DO NOT send copy of inventory.
17. Prepare Form 1644 for S.Ad.O’s signature and transmission to S.C. of A. Careful compilation of form will ensure that all necessary action taken.
18. Mail received after occurrence of casualty to be re-directed:-
(i) For officers – A.M. (A.R.8)
(ii) For airmen – Records, Gloucester
19. Effects must not be sold or handed over to relatives without authority of A.M. or S.C. of A.
[underlined] Amendments to this Appendix. [/underlined]
[page break]
[underlined] SPECIMEN MESSAGE “A” [/underlined]
1. Reporting a flying accident that has just occurred near the unit, involving the unit’s own aircraft.
2. Addressed to:- A.M. (P4 Cas)
Records, Gloucester,
H.Q. 43 Group
No. OX 2 M.U.
A.M. D.P.A.
H.Q. 21 Group
H.Q. Flying Training Command.
A. (i) BLENHEIM MK V. K.222.
D. (i) PILOT 055555 P.O. J.H. SMITH, NAV/B 066666 SGT H.J. JONES W/OP./A.G. 077777 SGT. A. BROWN
J. NO. OX 2 M.U.
[page break]
1. Who notifies next of kin of following, killed in a flying accident at their station in Norfolk:-
(a) F.L. Sykes – next of kin in Yorkshire.
(b) F/Sgt. Bennett – next of kin in Rhodesia.
2. What alternatives are open to a deceased officer’s (or airman’s) next of kin (resident in England), regarding the type of funeral they may choose?
3. Who should send a letter of sympathy to the next of kin of fatal casualties?
4. If a deceased officer or airman’s next of kin resides overseas, what action must be taken immediately arrangements have been made for the funeral?
5. When must the deaths of service personnel be notified to the coroner?
6. May flowers be provided out of public funds? [inserted] NO. [/inserted]
7. On being detailed as Effects Officer what should be your first action? [inserted] SAFETY OF KIT [/inserted]
8. Within what period must private effects of missing or deceased personnel be sent to S.C. of A. [inserted] 14 DAYS [/inserted]
9. What action would you take as Effects Officer if you fail to find a WILL among the effects of a deceased officer or airman?
10. P.O. “W” is reported missing, and the Effects Officer finds a Will. What action should he take regarding it?
11. F.L. “X” is killed in a flying accident, and the Effects Officer finds a Will. What action should he take regarding it?
12. An airman on your unit dies and a private letter addressed to him is subsequently received. How should it be dealt with?
13. How does the S.C. of A. know what bulky items are retained on the station?
14. How should the Effects Officer deal with:-
(a) Flying Log Book?
(b) £3 in notes and 17/6 in silver?
(c) A Bicycle?
(d) Uniform of a sergeant pilot?
(e) P.O. Savings Bank Book?
(f) Civilian suit?
(g) National Savings Certificates?
(h) Wireless Set?
(i) Life Insurance policy?
(j) Personal effects at home of deceased living-out officer?
15. Should the Effects Officer inform the next of kin whether or not a Will has been found?
16. You have been detailed as Effects Officer. Would you send a copy of the inventory to the next of kin?


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