GREETINGS & LETTERS SENT DURING WAR TIME
Not all soldiers died in battle: some were killed by a chance shell, grenade or bullet, while others died of their wounds or illnesses they had picked up in the trenches. When their comrades died, it was important to soldiers to retrieve their bodies and bury them in temporary graves close to the front line. Once a soldier had been confirmed dead, officers’ next-of-kin were informed by telegram, while other ranks’ (ordinary soldiers) families received an army form sent through the post. However, the bodies of many soldiers were never found and the authorities could not always make sure that an individual was dead, so many were officially recorded as ‘missing in action’. In the meantime, official inquiries were made to find out whether the man was a prisoner of war, or if enemy troops had proof that he was dead. After six months with no news, the soldier's death would be recorded as having occurred on the last day he had been seen alive.
Werner Martin Schuberth - A World War Two German pilot who was shot down twice and he was a prisoner of war with the Russians. He survived and he raised a family in Australia after the war. Below are his original German papers from the war. For the rest of his life he blamed Adolf Hitler for ruining Germany.