After D-Day, 6 June 1944, the British began an immense operation in Western Europe – on behalf of all the many nationalities serving with the British forces – to record the casualties incurred as Europe was liberated, and to discover what had happened to those who had been lost prior to D-Day. Their ultimate aim was to ensure that all dead soldiers, sailors, and airmen were honorably buried or commemorated.
For anyone who is interested in the care of the military dead, this website will provide some of the answers to what was done for the many thousands of servicemen and servicewomen who were listed as dead or missing in Europe by the end of the Second World War.
This work was carried out before the Imperial War Graves Commission (now the CWGC) became involved, at a time when it was the British Army and the RAF who were in primary charge of the care of the military dead.
The RAF’s particular concern was the problem of its missing. By the time that the Second World War ended, 41,881 members of the RAF were missing world-wide. Losses had occurred in every theatre of war, but operations over Western Europe were known to account for the vast majority of the missing and most of these were from Bomber Command.