Advice to the Relative of a Man who is Missing



Advice to the Relative of a Man who is Missing


The notes offer information on a family member that is missing.





Two identical double sided printed sheets


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit and



SEllisRHG918424v10020-0001, EllisRHG918424v10020-0002, SEllisRHG918424v10031-0001, SEllisRHG918424v10031-0002




In view of the official notification that your
relative is missing, you will naturally wish to hear
what is being done to trace him.
The Service Departments make every endeavour
to discover the fate of missing men, and draw upon
all likely sources of information about them.
A man who is missing. after an engagement may
p8ssib~y be a prisoner of war. Continuous efforts are
made to speed up the machinery whereby the names
and camp addresses of prisoners of war can reach this
country. The official means is by lists of names
prepared by the enemy Government. These lists
take some time to compile, especially if there is a long
journey from the place of capture to a prisoner of
war camp. Consequently" capture cards" filled in
by the prisoners themselves soon after capture and
sent home to their relatives are often the first news
received in this country that a man is a prisoner of
war. That is why you are asked in the accompanying
letter to forward at once any card or letter you may.
receive, if it is the first news you have had.
Even if no news is received that a missing man
is a prisoner of war, endeavours to trace him do not
cease. Enquiries are pursued not only among those
[page break]

who were serving with him, but also through diplo-
matic channels and the International Red Cross
Committee at Geneva.
The moment reliable news is obtained from any
of these sources it is sent to. the Service Department
concerned. They will pass the news on to you at
once, if they are satisfied that it is reliable. It would
be cruel to raise false hopes, such as may well be
raised if you listen to one other possible channel of
news, namely, the' enemy's broadcasts. These are
listened to by official listeners, working continuously
night and day. The few names of prisoners given by
enemy announcers are carefully checked. They are
often misleading, and this is not surprising, for the
object of the inclusion of prisoners' names in these
broadcasts are not to help the relatives of prisoners,
but to induce British listeners to hear some tale
which otherwise they could not be made to hear.
The only advantage of listening to these broadcasts
is an advantage to the enemy.
The official listeners can never miss any name
included in an enemy broadcast. They pass every
name on to the Service Department concerned. There
every name is checked, and in every case where a
name can be verified, the news is sent direct to the
There is, therefore, a complete official service
designed to secure for you and to tell you all dis-
coverable news about your relative. This official
service is also a very human service, which well
understands the anxiety of relatives and will spare
no effort to relieve it.



HM Government, “Advice to the Relative of a Man who is Missing,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 21, 2024,

Item Relations

Item: Advice to the relative of a man who is missing dcterms:relation This Item