United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Practice Relating to Rule 116. Accounting for the Dead
Section A. Identification of the dead prior to disposal
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides: “Belligerents must record as soon as possible any particulars which may assist in the identification of dead persons belonging to the opposing belligerent who fall into their hands.”
The manual adds: “Before being buried or cremated, the bodies must be carefully examined to ensure that life is extinct, and also to establish identity and enable a report to be made.”
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) provides:
7.32. Since some injuries sustained in, or as a result of, combat produce symptoms resembling death, the parties to a conflict are required to ensure that, in so far as circumstances permit, bodies are given an individual medical examination. This is a task for medical personnel and the objects of such examination are to confirm the fact of death, to establish the identity of the deceased and to enable a report about the death to be made.
7.33. Where the deceased is in possession of two identity discs, one disc should remain on the body and the other should be sent with his personal effects to the information bureau. If the deceased was in possession of only one identity disc, that disc should remain on the body.
In its chapter on maritime warfare, the manual provides:
Burial at sea of the dead is to be carried out individually as far as circumstances permit and is to be preceded by a careful examination, preferably a medical examination, of the bodies to confirm death, establish identity and to enable a report to be made. Where a double identity disc is used, one half of the disc should remain on the body.