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Death in the armed forces

The families of people who serve in the armed forces have to be constantly aware of the risks involved. They know they have to be prepared for the worst, but this doesn’t make it any easier when they receive the terrible news that someone has died.

The Ministry of Defence will usually inform the person’s next of kin before releasing news of a death-in-action to the media. If a person dies on active service while abroad, their commanding officer is able to deal with the registration of the death in that country. They will still need to be registered by their next of kin in the UK once the body has been repatriated.

The death of a serving member of the armed forces is automatically communicated to the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency within 24 hours. They then seek to establish whether the serviceman or woman has any surviving dependants, and if this is the case then a Veterans Welfare Manager will visit them to assist with claiming of benefits.

For more information on military benefits that the surviving dependants of service personnel may be eligible for, see Veterans-UK, which has a dedicated webpage.

Cruse Bereavement Care also has a section of advice on military deaths.

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