Practice Relating to Rule 116. Accounting for the Dead
Section D. Identification of the dead after disposal
Poland’s Procedures Governing the Interment of Soldiers Killed in Action (2009) states: “In the case of an emergency burial, the following principles shall apply: … Facilitate the exhumation and identification of bodies”.
The Procedures further states: “When selecting the burial site and digging the graves, the aim should be to ensure that: … [they] are laid out in such a way as to facilitate the exhumation and identification of bodies.”
The Procedures also states: “Civilian members of the armed forces who had not participated in hostilities shall be buried in line with procedures established for the burial of the bodies of soldiers.”
The Procedures further states:
The bodies of persons whose identity cannot be verified shall be buried in the same way as unidentified bodies. … In the place where the name and surname of the fallen or deceased person is recorded, the word “unknown” shall be written …
If information is available that could help to identify the body, it shall be noted down as accurately as possible. This information should refer to the physical characteristics of the fallen or deceased person, such as their gender, estimated age, height, dentition, etc., as well as a description of the numbers and insignia on their uniform, the equipment the deceased had carried and any vehicles they would have driven (in combat).
Detailed information shall also be provided on the location of the grave and, if circumstances permit, fingerprints shall be taken from the deceased.
The Procedures also states: “If it is not possible to establish the personal details of the deceased, their personal effects, and half of their identity tag shall be sent to the Records Office.”