Missing Believed Killed: Casualty Policy and the Missing Research and Enquiry Service Hardcover – 19 Jun 2008
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A rare work, ploughing new ground... this is full of 'detective stories', some of which bear joyous fruit. -- Flypast magazine, November 2008 issue
"Absorbing... how the people involved needed not only detective skills... but also diplomatic abilities to deal with post-war sensitivities" -- Ancestors Magazine, February 2009
"Absorbing... how the people involved needed not only detective skills... but also diplomatic abilities to deal with post-war sensitivities"
Top Customer Reviews
The author highlights the lengths taken by MRES to identify the remains of their comrades, driven often by a generation of senior officers and politicians who understood loss only too well from the previous world war (the ubiquitous A Soldier of the Great War, Known Unto God, inscriptions so sadly common in cemeteries from Flanders to the Dardanelles). In an era before the modern terminology of closure, this was exactly what the MRES attempted to bring to the families of those lost.
This book mixes the technical details of the unit's work with the human stories and tragic loss, the often mixed responses and actions of the civilian populations of Europe in their treatment of the remains of lost aircrew provide an additional very human twist to the story.
A highly recommended book for those with a technical interest in a little documented part of the work of the RAF during and after World War Two, or for those who want a better understanding of the human cost and scale of the bombing campaign by the RAF in Europe (something which has, arguably, been weighted almost exclusively in favour of the casualties on the ground)and a book which still resonates today with the continuing excavation of casualties from both world wars both at home and abroad.
He manages to balance the technical aspects of seeking out the wreck sites and recovering the bodies with the commemorative nature of the work skilfully. The scale of the losses for the RAF is staggering and the work carried out by this little known unit is well worth reading about. Though I suspect that British readers will be primarily interested in the MRES activities in Great Britain, France and Germany, the contribution of the Commonwealth nations is referred to and there are chapters covering the Far East and the Mediterranean/Middle East etc.
A good deal of extra infomation is provided in the appendices and the book benefits from far more photographic illustration than I would expect from a volume of this kind (over 90 photographs). Overall this is a well written book on a very intriguing and thought provoking subject. I strongly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Purchased for my husband. Arrived quickly. A good read at a reasonable price. Would recommend it for anyone interested in RAF history.Published on 8 Feb. 2013 by Julie