Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Veterans: DNA

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 4th February 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Bob Stewart Bob Stewart Conservative, Beckenham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2020 to Question 6631, for what reasons his Department does not extract DNA from the remains of unidentified British soldiers found on former battlefields.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does extract DNA from the remains of some unidentified British soldiers found on former battlefields. Due to the cost of DNA extraction and processing, MOD only recover DNA from historic casualties where it has been possible to draw up a list of potential candidates from other evidence, such as artefacts found with the remains, and analysis of casualty and unit records. The list of potential candidates makes it feasible to carry out the subsequent genealogical research to identify possible next of kin. Only where that subsequent research reveals a potential donor with whom to compare the recovered sample, is DNA used as part of the identity confirmation process.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.