Whilst researching one of the soldiers, whose portraits are put up by the Imperial War Museum's Flickr feed, I came across this harrowing letter from the wife / widow of Robert Burns of Edinburgh. Robert had been posted missing on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. That day alone, 60,000 British troops were lost. Robert Burns went missing, and it took until the next May for him to be formally declared dead.
His identity disc was retrieved and forwarded to his wife, Elisabeth. She acknowledged receipt of the disc, but enclosed the following letter.
I herewith return paper duly signed in acknowledgemnet of identity disc supposed to belong to my husband, Pte Robert Burns no 18808 16th R.S. I dont wish to seem arbitrary with respect to army authority, I still believe my husband to be living though I have no more authority for saying this than my own private feeling in the matter.