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  1. #1

    Default WW2 officers missing in action

    I am researching my Uncle, John Arthur Frederick Eastwood. He joined the Indian Army in 1941 and was 'Missing in Action, presumed killed' 4 April 1943 while fighting in Burma. His body was never found and as recently as 10 years ago the Commonwealth War Graves Commission confirmed that is still the case. I am sure that date is correct, I still have the original letter from his Commanding Officer to my grandparents explaining what happened.

    He is the first entry on this page

    The final column on that page makes reference to the 1946 Army List. I have a photocopy of the list referred to (seems I can't post an image of it here) which records him as being in the Indian Army - Southern Army - Mechanical Engineers - as a Dep Ass Dir of Mechanical Engineering from 29 October 1943. Although the details undoubtedly identify my uncle they cannot be correct. He was MIA Presumed Dead 7 months previously (and he was never an Engineer, he was an Infantryman).

    Any ideas how that incorrect Army List entry might have appeared? I wondered whether it might be connected with how the Army recorded those officers who died during WW2 but whose bodies were never found. I suspect thy weren't confirmed to be dead until after the end of the war as my Uncle's death certificate was not issued until 1946 and Probate for his Estate wasn't granted until 1946.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Wairarapa New Zealand


    Welcome to the British-Genealogy forums
    First of all let's help you by giving the instructions for uploading photos and parts of documents to the site. Not as quick and easy as it used to be but if I can do it anyone can.
    First step is to make sure that you are in Go Advanced mode on the Brit-Gen thread where you want to place the photo. Click on the picture frame in the row of images above the reply box. (6 from the RH side. The box that appears requires a URL address.
    You have to upload your photo to a free site which will provide a URL address. I use Postimage which is very simple.
    On the home page of Postimage click on 'Choose images' then find and click on the file you want to upload where you have the photo stored on your computer eg Pictures. Then click on the particular folder that holds your picture and Open it. Choose your photo, click on it and click on Open. You are now taken back to the Postimage page where you are given a choice of 9 links. Click on the URL 'Hotlink for forum' Now right click on the URL address and then click on Copy. Go back to the reply box on the Brit-Gen thread and in the URL box right click on your mouse and from the menu click on paste. The URL for your photo is now ready to be posted on the forum along with any information you have typed in to accompany it.
    There are other free sites from which to upload images but I found the one above the easiest to use.
    Yell out if you need more help.
    I think you may have come to us from Forces War records. If so then reading this will explain the connection.
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

  3. #3


    Thank you for the response christanel.

    This the 1946 (1945?) Army List entry I referred to in post #1.


    I only have a paper copy that someone passed to me, from which I snipped this screen print. I believe the original document it came from is this on Ancestry, but you need Premium membership to open it, which I don't have

    https:// Js=true&indiv=1&dbid=60721&gsfn=john%20a%20f&gsln= eastwood&cp=0&msidy=1943&_F00061C3=Indian%20army&n ew=1&rank=1&uidh=i51&redir=false&msT=1&gss=angs-d&pcat=39&fh=4&h=410419&recoff=&ml_rpos=5&queryId= 7b029f56d1dca483b887c6be36694abc

    I would be pleased to hear if anyone has an idea how this listing might have arisen.

    In particular if anyone knows whether it could be related to how the army recorded officers missing in action. My guess is that the army did not record them as actually killed until after the war ended and all the PoWs were accounted for, hence why my uncle's death certificate wasn't issue until 1946
    Last edited by Pam Downes; 08-09-2020 at 9:37 AM. Reason: Link to commercial site broken in accordance with our T&Cs

  4. #4
    Reputation beyond repute
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    Various editions of the Army List are available online free of charge from a few sources eg Internet Archive & National Library of Scotland.


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