The First World War (1914 – 1918)

The Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service suffered
many casualties during the fighting. In the event of death, the first
contact made with the next of kin was a telegram informing them of the
death of their family member. Letter of commiseration

Letters would be sent from the Officer Commanding the casualty’s immediate unit offering sympathy and heartfelt wishes to those involved. Many of these letters would end with a comment on the bravery shown by the individual and of pride at his actions.

Sometimes colleagues would send letters of commiseration. These letters were not just ‘standard messages’, they were personal and poignant – after all these were friends. An official letter would follow shortly after with a message of condolence on behalf of the King and Queen. Message of condolence on behalf of the King and Queen

A casualty plaque, sometimes called a ‘Widow’s Penny’, was then sent, along with a casualty scroll as a lasting personal memorial for the family.

The ‘war to end all wars’ left thousands of families without fathers, brothers, husbands and sons but sadly this would not to be the last conflict to do so.

Lest We Forget