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Thread: morgue on the airfield

  1. #1
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    Default morgue on the airfield

    HI,
    Sorry to be morbid this morning, but was it a morgue on RAF base ??
    Do you know where they put dead airmen after a crash or when abomber came back with casualties on board ?
    I know that they were send to their family or in the local cemetery but what about the time before the funeral ?
    Thank you for your answer .
    Alain

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    Default RAF Morgue

    There is a reference to "the Morgue" in this BBC Peoples War account.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/65/a7770765.shtml
    regards
    Andy

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    Default RAF Morgue

    In addition to my previous post there is a photo of the Ambalance Station and Morgue at Swinderby at this site.
    http://airfieldbuildings.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/page8.html
    I have looked in a book I have on Military Airfield Architecture by P Francis and it would suggest that the Ambulance Station and Morgue formed part of the Station Sick Quarters.
    Most RAF Stations had a comprehensive SSQ.
    Regards
    Andy

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    Just to reiterate what has already been put, the mortuary was part of the SSQ, in ORBs where the were off base accidents it often says bodies recovered to SSQ and then sent for burial, sometime if it was quite a distance it was be to the local hospital mortuary.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Thank you for your information!
    But when the family claimed a body, the funeral was in charge of the RAF or to the family ?
    So who paid ?
    Alain

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    I am fairly certain that the British Government (through the RAF) organised and paid for the funeral of those who were killed on active service, although if next of kin were available they would naturally be consulted and invited. Being mostly interested in the careers of RNZAF personnel, I can assure you that travelling 13,000 miles to wartime Britain was not an option for relations, even if time were not an issue. However such funerals were usually attended by friends and acquaintences of the departed one, and I think the RAF would usually organise an official party, including a padre as well as a rifle saluting squad for the ceremonial aspects if required or requested. The British military (as did all military forces down the ages) had a long history of organising funerals for those killed in service, and particulalry for those killed (or lost) in action, and there is even a section in the RAF Pocket Book about organising funerals "in the field".
    David D

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    Can't speak for the RAF, but a WW2 casualty I researched from the Fleet Air Arm has left a degree of bitterness within the family to this day, as the only official contact they received was the telegram and that his remains were arriving on the 12 o'clock from Waterloo. Nothing whatsoever was received from the squadron. Another FAA casualty was greeted at the station by a guard-of-honour of the station porters.
    Stewart McLoughlin

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