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Registration of foreign residents


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I have done a search of the site for information on the above question, with no joy.

My grandmother was a Greek woman living in London during the War. She was certainly there late in 1915 - perhaps sooner - and probably remained throughout the War.

Does anyone have any advice? Were foreign civilians required to register their details? If so, would this have been with the appropriate embassy, or at their local police station, or both?

I would be interested to hear anyone's experience of finding these records.

I have sent queries to the Greek Embassy a couple of times, but have received no response.

With thanks in anticipation of any pointers,

Joanna

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johndavidswarbrick

I have done a search of the site for information on the above question, with no joy.

My grandfather's first wife was the daughter of a Swiss national with a German name and he had a document issued by the Swiss Consulate in Liverpool which had his photo, date of birth and other details - all clearly stamped "Proof of Swiss Nationality" I was told that he had to regularly contact the Police, with whom he was registered as an alien, and keep his documentation up to date. It may be an idea to contact the Greek Embassy and ask if they have any details. The National Archives has records of aliens as well:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/search/...p;queryType=ALL

but I suspect your best bet may well be the Embassy.

Dave Swarbrick

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Joanna,

I've had the same problem myself. My great grandfather was a Swedish National who also lived in London from 1912 onwards but cannot find anything about him during the war years. Hopefully there will be somebody along with some answers soon.

Stuart

Cheers Dave, just seen your post.

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Dave probably has the essence. All aliens had to register as CGM has said and I believe the police handled the basic admin but would require proof of identity/nationality if they were not to be regarded and treated as enemy aliens and their embassy/consulate would provide that. There were all sorts of restrictions placed even on aliens from neutral and even allied countries, for example there was a touch of fuss when some American evangelical missionaries were banned from entering Army camps whenever they wished. Some parts of the country were banned to aliens and the designation of restricted areas might change very quickly so that aliens living in one area might suddenly find that they had to move PDQ.

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Thanks everyone!

I'll be persistent with the Greek Embassy then. My reminder was sent out just a couple of days ago, so I'll wait a while.

I'll also take a good look at Dave Swarbrick's NA link tomorrow. Thank you - I didn't think of looking there.

Family lore has it that my grandmother lived in Bayswater - an area for Greeks. Am I pushing it if I ask - does anyone have any idea about police stations in the Bayswater area 1914 - 1919?

Joanna

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Thanks everyone!

I'll be persistent with the Greek Embassy then. My reminder was sent out just a couple of days ago, so I'll wait a while.

I'll also take a good look at Dave Swarbrick's NA link tomorrow. Thank you - I didn't think of looking there.

Family lore has it that my grandmother lived in Bayswater - an area for Greeks. Am I pushing it if I ask - does anyone have any idea about police stations in the Bayswater area 1914 - 1919?

Joanna

If they're anything like the British Embassies they will throw everything out after four or five years, so don't hold your breath (my local Brit Embassy couldn't even give me a list of ambassadors over the last 50 years - needed for a book).

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Yes, thanks Healdav, I won't hold my breath. But they may be able to tell me where to look, if they get back to me... Is patience a virtue?

There's a series of volumes in the National Archives which lists FO and (some) British consular staff by year and place. Sorry, I can't remember what these volumes are called, but they are shelved in the open area on the first floor, and are easily accessible if you - or someone else - is on the spot.

Joanna

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There was a Great War identity card offered for sale on e-bay about a year ago, for a Greek born lady who was married to an Englishman. I don't remember the price but it was not expensive.

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That's interesting. I never cease to be amazed at what people will sell - and buy. And I guess if my grandmother's card came up... Does this show that the cards were held by the residents? Like an identity card?

My grandparents met in London late in 1915, how and where exactly, I don't know. I think they knew soon after meeting that they would marry, but they waited until 1919, and went to Piraeus to do it. My grandfather may have been called an Englishman sometimes, but he was a New Zealander!

Joanna

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Yes, thanks Healdav, I won't hold my breath. But they may be able to tell me where to look, if they get back to me... Is patience a virtue?

There's a series of volumes in the National Archives which lists FO and (some) British consular staff by year and place. Sorry, I can't remember what these volumes are called, but they are shelved in the open area on the first floor, and are easily accessible if you - or someone else - is on the spot.

Joanna

I was looking for the names of the ambassadors here and nowhere else. I needed them to get a rough date for some documents that were undated but talked of the ambassadors by name; and they didn't have a clue. In fact, they thought it weird that I imagined they might know

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