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Missing in Action

Investigation Update

The visit to the grave site we have long been waiting for, has finally taken place in April this year.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commissions outer area officer visit the Andaman Islands and compiled his report, that seemed to take ages to go through their system and it finally reached the Ministry of Defence this week. (July)

Naturally, they are tight lipped as to the contents and recommendation made by the CWGC.

That tiny speck of light at the end of the tunnel I mentioned in my last post, suddenly seems much brighter.

Best regards - Ron
Brilliant Ron,good on you for all your hard work.

Keep us informed as you do,as you and i know it is the least the people you are researching deserve.

All the best...Lee
August 2011 Update

Some good news! At Last

Our contact at the Ministry of Defences Joint Casualty & Compassionate Centre, has just told that there will be an excavation of the KH250 crew grave, although she is awaiting further basic info from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission who visited the grave in April. And there is no time-frame for when the excavation will take place. She is running the show, apparently, but her caseload is heavy and, as you know, the budget crunch in the MoD is severe.

But it IS GOING TO HAPPEN, she says. They cannot leave the site as is, because they recognize that it is a crew grave.

She also said that it is possible that an excavation will fail to find anything. We do understand this. I doubt anyone removed the remains, but the nature of the soil chemistry could be a factor. Well, time will tell...

The important thing is that, at last, we know that the MoD is going to commit to an excavation. They aren't going to ignore the site due to budget. They aren't simply going to build a new grave marker atop the existing site. Instead, it's an excavation -- and says this is the only way to find out if crew remains still exist. If remains are, indeed, found, they will then arrange for a proper burial.

Best Regards - Ron
Hi Ron,good news....let us hope at least some artifacts are found to at least show some identity of the crew on board...keep us in touch with the next step.

The Quest Continues.

I need your help again.

We are still trying to trace living relatives of three members of the crew.

Harold Emerson the navigator, is the one we are working on at present.

His sister Olive N married Alfred George Michie in December 1942, they had a child Raymond A Michie in 1943. We have traced him to Ramsgate where he died in 2005.

He was married to an Eileen J (nee Tiedt) in 1967 in Bexley and had a daughter. (no further details)

We are trying to trace either/all of the following:

Olive N Michie Born Oct.1923 (no death record found as yet)
Eileen J Michie
The daughter of Raymond and Eileen

Any help you can offer will be appreciated as usual

Thanks all - Ron
That is good Ron....there is an Olive N Michie living in Ashford Kent...not far from Ramsgate i suppose,aged 65 plus...i will try and get the address in the next few days or phone number so keep an eye out on here.

Keep up the good work.....Lee
Hi Leefer

Thanks but Olive N Michie has already passed away along with her husband. We are in contact with her two sons Stuart and Peter, nephews of Harold Emerson the navigator.

Thanks anyway - Ron
Update December 2011

Since my last post on this thread, things are still pressing forward. we now have a direct line to a contact at the High Commission in India where plans are being formulated to exhume the crew grave.

This will be an immense undertaking, since the site was damaged during the Boxing Day Tsunami 2004 and is now on a tidal flood plain. But it will happen.

On another front, we have now located all the next of kin families for all ten of the crew.

Harold Wynne the mid upper gunner who escaped by parachute and was captured three day's later only to be murdered three months later whilst a POW has a CWGC grave in Kirkee India.

We intend to try and locate his family and offer them our findings if they would like them.

All the Best - Ron


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Brilliant Ron......a brilliant result and let us not forget many Indians died for our freedom.....so they will only be to pleased to help.

Keep us in touch.
Research Update May 2012[/B

We now have it officially...................... and in writing, the grave site we have located in the Andaman Islands will be exhumed. The MoD have enlisted the assistance of the Indian Navy, who have the capabilities to do this type of work and who are resident on the island.

But the Indian protocol system does take a long time to break through, so it will take some time to sort it all out. Then it will be the monsoon season, so no doubt that will hold the dig up for a while.

Any remains found will be buried in Kirkee war cemetery in India, this is where the mid upper gunner Harold Wynne is buried after being murdered whilst a POW after the Japanese had surrendered.

We are just hoping that's it's whilst the close family members of the crew are still with us.

Best Regards - Ron
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Good news Ron.

I admire your work in these matters,these men need and deserve to be remembered in a place where the families can at last mourn or pay there respects.

Keep us informed.
September 2012 Update

Still ongoing I am afraid, there will be no quick fix unfortunately.

We have direct contact with the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office in New Delphi, India, many of this team of people are made up of high ranking military personnel dealing direct with the Indian government departments to gain the required permissions. The Indian government bureaucracy is such that nothing can or will be rushed. Red tape and protocol all the way.

We already know from other missing in action grave site's that have been found in the past, this process can take up to the or four years to complete, before the remains are laid to rest with dignity and respect.

Our problem is that the grave site is in a tidal swamp and is deteriorating, that's not helping of course. Not forgetting the close next of kin of this crew who are still with us, are getting older?

We are in it for the long haul.

All the Best - Ron
August 2013 Update

Were are still waiting, I cannot believe the amount of Indian red tape, the waiting is agonising.

All the details and request have now gone from the UK F.C.O. in New Delhi to the Minister of External Affairs of the Indian government. This request asks for his help and permission to exhume the grave site at Port Blair.

We are in constant contact with the Uk Commonwealth Office in Indian for any updates, but the answer has always been the same.
They are also still waiting. I do actually believe this as they to want a satisfactory conclusion to this investigation as well as the next of kin of the crew.

It's just very frustrating for all concerned. A lot of people are all over the world are just waiting on one person.

Thats my moaning over and done with.

All the Best - Ron
Well Ron....you all should be proud of where you are anyway.

All the best and....HAPPY WAITING!

Give us a shout when you get the nod.
Update September 2013

Indian Bureaucracy - Be Prepared to Wait

If any of you have to deal with this government over anything, be prepared for a very very long wait.

We have been dealing with the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office in New Delhi now for well over a year, as you cannot deal direct with the Indian Government on this type of issue. Which is totally understandable, it's very political.

I made contact with our office in New Delhi a few days ago for an update as we have not heard anything for many months.

The email I received today indicates that our case is discussed at each fortnightly meeting with the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), which is a military element within the Indian MOD, strong support is being given from both the Indian Navy & Army, but it seems not much support from the actual MOD. Which is odd!

They have processed our governments requests and its now been passed to the Indian Administration Services(IAS), more civil servants....who seemed to be causing the delay.

This is such a pity, as there are still wife's and daughters of these crewman still alive and who really now need closure, and of course the grave site is deteriorating.

The frustrating thing is we cannot do a thing about it.

So take this as a warning, dealing with the Indian Government takes a lot of time, frustrations and waiting.

All the Best - Ron
Ron, trust Llangranog is still a haven of tranquillity. However, "Missing in Action", combined with Indian Forces, combined with the Andaman Islands.
In discussion with my friend, a recently retired Assistant Regimental Secretary, the subject of what paperwork families receive after the original letter "Missing in Action". As my late uncle was one of thousands that lost their lives when HMT Lancastria sunk, those that are named on War Memorials and those buried (like my uncle) are not the total number lost. It is therefore assumed that there are families who never knew what happened to their family member apart from the fact they did not come home. It is also assumed that those families, hopefully, got their relatives names on local War Memorials - but one wonders. Aden was staffed for very many years by Indian Armed Forces, and there are over 600 names listed in connection with this former Crown Colony, very many with no known grave. Five members of the 2nd Battalion, the 24th of Foot received the Victoria Cross for The Little Andaman Island in 1867 - which of course this is the Regiment of "ZULU" fame. History is wonderful and I appreciate your information very much. Brian
Hi Ian

Yes I agree history is fascinating and at the end of the day it's where all come from.

Llangrannog does not change much over the years, it's still very peaceful at this time of year when all the hoards of tourists have gone. But the summer is something else.lol

Interesting facts about your uncle. There must be still many familes left not knowing anything, such a pity in many respects. I suppose commincations were not as they are today, signals did not lost, mislaid, mis transmitted and the familes received what was thought to be correct at that time.

Bob, my uncle, his name is on the M.I.A memorial in Singapour along with his other crew members. But obviously this is now incorrect because we have located his grave. Members of my family have travelled to the memorial, unfortunaley not his wife or daughter who are still alive along with the wife of the pilot. So it's really important that we try and get this sorted as their age and health is now against them.

It would seem that every door we get opened, tries to be blocked as you can see from my past posts. Bureauracy gone mad.

All the best - Ron :)

So it's really important that the Indian government gets it's finger out and give the permissions required.