‘Nobody would tell you anything’ – official secrets and bureaucratic misinformation

Barbara Hately-Broad

in War and Welfare

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780719078545
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702352 | DOI:
‘Nobody would tell you anything’ – official secrets and bureaucratic misinformation

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This chapter discusses the issue of the provision of information, news and support to the families of prisoners of war. The information about prisoners was largely collected from escaped or repatriated British prisoners and then collated by the Prisoner of War Department at the Foreign Office. The study reflects the areas of dissatisfaction that became evident in the government treatment of prisoners of war and their families during the Second World War. Three main factors affected the length of time taken for official notification that a man had become prisoner: the number of prisoners captured at any one time, the medical condition of the man himself at time of capture and the locality of the actual capture. Finally, the chapter draws comparison between the government attitude towards developing a coherent policy for the administration of service allowances and towards administering the dissemination of information.

Keywords: prisoners of war; British prisoners; service allowances; coherent policy; government treatment

Chapter.  12982 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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