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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Kew


Keith Woodland

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In about ten days I have the opportunity to go to Kew to look for my grandfathers records, if they exist. He has the same nqame as me and I dont want to wait for Ancestry to get to "W." As i have never been to Kew before could some one who has please provide me with an idiots guide as to what to take and where to look. I have obviously looked at the Kew website but i am left thinking it assumes alot. A reply direct to kfwoodland2004@tiscali.co.uk would save clogging up the Forum for all those have been and know the ropes. Many thanks.

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I hope that people do not answer privately as it is always useful for others to see how people crawl towards answers. My initial contribution:

1) Take very great care to take the right ID to get a reader's pass - otherwise you will not be able to get near any records. If in doubt phone them and check.

2) The advice desk on the first floor is the source of good advice (you queue by sitting on the sofa!). They should help you with navigating the catalogue - which is not the friendliest of beasts. Each day there is also an (optional) orientation session for new readers - I think mid-morning.

3) What you can take into the reading rooms is very limited (Cameras, computers notebooks, pencils are OK, but no loose sheets, pens or drinks/sweets etc.); everything else you leave in the cloakrooms (lockers available, plus clear bags to carry things with you in the reading rooms).

4) Take a camera with you; as long as the flash is off you can photograph most records and that is a quick way to take notes!

5) You can order documents in advance (even before you have a reader's card). Otherwise you order them on any of the PCs (swiping your card to identify yourself), then go and drink coffee waiting for the documents to be ready (swiping your card through readers in the restaurant to tell you the status of your order). When they are available they will be in a locker in the reading room with the same number as the desk allocated to you. You can take one filebox or three document files into the reading room at the time.

HTH

David

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All good advice from David. It is best to get a reader's pass in case you want to order war diaries, medal rolls etc. but you don't require a pass to use the microfilm readers - all the WO 363 and 364 files are held on microfilm at Kew.

At entrance to first floor, turn right and walk passed all the computer terminals and you will find a small customer service desk where someone will point you towards the cabinets which hold all the microfilms. Your grandfather's file, if it has survived, will be found in one of the following:

WO 363/W 1988 Woodington Egbert C - Woodland Eric [1914-1920]

WO 363/W 2059 Woodland Eric A - Woodland William [1914-1920]

WO 363/W 2060 Woodland William - Woodley Edward H [1914-1920]

Good luck,

Stuart

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The only thing that I would add to David's advice, is that at the welcome desk you will be steered to some excellent help sheets, which as a newcomer to the NA I found very helpful.

Soldiers records are on microfilm in the open area, while all original material, such as officers records, and war diaries have to be ordered and are brought up to the secure areas.

Keith

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To book onto the 1911 census there are seperate registration staff on the ground floor.

There are also other records in the WO 363 mis sorts files.

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As I anticipated some excellent advice both on here and by Email. Many thanks.

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........................................ Each day there is also an (optional) orientation session for new readers - I think mid-morning. ........

HTH

David

Normally 11.30 am every day and announced over the intercoms from about 11am.

But .............. and thank goodness for this - at last weeks TNA / regular readers meeting it was announced that the "option" is going to be taken out of optional for anybody applying for a reader's ticket - ie to see original documents in the reading rooms / map room - and that is also going to be applied retrospectively to existing readers when their tickets come up for renewal (though the approach to be adopted for existing regular readers will be "adjusted" as may be felt to be appropriate).

Many of us saw the abandoning of the old "induction tours" as a very bad move - and thankfully TNA have now seen the light and are going to tighten proceedures again (date to be announced). That's a 10/10 as far as I'm concerned - but a suggestion that anybody breaking reading room rules should have their pockets filled with lead and be thrown into the TNA outdoor lake seems unlikely to be adopted :angry2:

If you are going to apply for a readers ticket make doubly sure that you have appropriate ID with you - " ... but I've come hundreds of miles and I'm looking for this stuff for my granny who is going to die any day now .." isnt cutting the mustard any more - TNA seem to have now adopted > inadequate ID = no ticket - end of story.

regards - Tom

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Thank Goodness for that. Dropping the old induction was a serious mistake, leading to much blundering about. I like the "lead in pockets" idea and support it 100%.

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I don't think "lead in the pockets" will work - the lake is probably not deep enough. Try a lead necklace.

David

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................ much blundering about .........................

Chris - quite - though one concern which I've felt obliged to raise is how, during what will be a relatively short general induction & document handling "course", are they going to be able to drum some simple common sense into that proportion of new and / or existing readers who are intrinsically stupid ?

I make no appology for that, - when I say stupid, I mean stupid - and I doubt if there are many TNA regulars who will not support that. - I've long since lost count of the times I've had to interupt couples sitting beside each other with (for example) boxes of WO97s - passing papers to each other and then trying to put the paper their "partner" has given them into their own box - etc - .............................. then there are the WO95s which turn up with loose-leaf contents in a state of disorder which could probably theoretically only be acheived by tipping the contents into a tumble drier and switching it on for half an hour .............. and on and on it goes :angry2:

Two good things though, - notice how floor-walking security staff have become more proactive since the refurbishment of the reading rooms and upgrading of the camera system ............. and an unforseen benefit of the deregulation of the first floor non reading room areas - people ("genies") using that area who dont have readers tickets cannot get access to the document / map reading rooms - though they can still cause chaos in the "non-ticket" area by taking three, four, five rolls of film at the same time, and then putting them back in the wrong boxes.

Whatever - anything which reduces the chances of the inside of my head looking like this has got to be a good thing ! >

regards - Tom

post-108-1235488234.jpg

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Don't leave your parking ticket in the car 'cos you have to authorise it in the NA building before you leave and it's a long walk back!!

Mind you, I told the guy on the intercom that my granny was going to die any day now and he let me out!! :P

Make sure you chat to the guards in the blue blazers.......they love a bit of banter.....!!! :lol:

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