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Remembered Today:

Cost of copying service record at TNA.


Cameron2165
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Hello All,

I've just received a quote from TNA for copying a officers service record, £117!

I've not used the service before, so I wasn't sure of how much it would be, but

it does seem a bit steep.

Is this the sort of price paid by other Forum pals?

All the best

Cam.

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From my experience they charge about 1 pound a copy. Excessive I think.

I have never used TNA-got my war diaries copied from a friend I know who visits regularly for 10p each :)

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Hello All,

I've just received a quote from TNA for copying a officers service record, £117!

I've not used the service before, so I wasn't sure of how much it would be, but

it does seem a bit steep.

Is this the sort of price paid by other Forum pals?

All the best

Cam.

Cam

I'm not sure the exact rate at which they charge. however the issue is the cost per page multiplied by the number of pages of information, letters, etc, that are in a file. Clearly if they are quoting £117 there must be a significant number of items in that Offer's record. I have had an odd page copied for me previously which is not so bad. However, as others have now said there are people who visit regularly who can copy, or photograph pages for you at a much more reasonable rate.

David

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My goodness, I am quite shocked as I am waiting for an estimate for copying all pages of an Officer's Service Record and haven't a clue if a lot of them will yield little or no information. Cam, like yourself, I haven't used this service before but I wonder if they let you know what kind of information is on each page before you pay?

Regards

Anne

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I've had a couple of quotes recently and yours (by comparison) is quite cheap.

It would be cheaper to go to TNA but it's a heck of a trek for me.

Does anyone if there are plans for Ancestry to take these on?

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Officer service records can vary greatly in quality and quantity. They quite often contain a lot of general admin paperwork relating to Medical Boards or the administration of Soldiers estates which dont say much, but they can include quite useful enlistment papers and copies of moving telegrams etc. Surprisingly, they do not always give details of gallantry awards.

That sounds negative, but they can contain that crucial piece of information needed to complete a person's story.

These files can contain a few sheets or hundreds and personally, I am not surprised that the National Archives charge so much.

Unfortunately, due to illness, I am unable to offer a research service, however I may be able to assist in the future.

Sepoy

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This officer enlisted pre Boer war as a Pte and was commissioned in 1915 and died in 1917

so I suppose his file could be quite large, but I don't think I'll be shelling out on it.

Thanks Graeme I'll have a look. I am a member of WW2 Talk, I don't go on there very often though.

Thanks for your comments

Cam.

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Officer files I've seen tend to be fixed by a tag to a thick beige paper file.

Bernard

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I'm quite shocked that it is so much money. I do get to Kew occasionally and the state of some boxes is very frustrating.

I am also a little confused. Are the service records not on ancestry? I found a distant relatives records there. He was with the ASC then took a commission with the Gordon Hrs.

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Who are you looking at Cam?

Steve.

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Hi Steve,

The officer is Lt and QM Alfred William Betty (Retd), 13th Btn Rifle Bde.

Born 1869 in Taunton.

Died 23.03.17 in Taunton.

All the best

Cam

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Right, WO 339 / 20384

I MAY have time this week to take some photos of it but I have to re-register for a new Readers Card, so I may be all day with that!

Steve.

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I suspect it will be a reasonable assumption that the NA doesnt really want to be in the business of photocopying and is pricing its business accordingly.

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Hi Steve,

Thank you very much for the offer.

If you can get a copy of anything that looks interesting that would be great, but please don't go out of your way.

John,

I think you maybe correct. It does seem a bit pricey for some photocopying, even if they have to locate the file first.

Thanks again

Cam.

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I suspect it will be a reasonable assumption that the NA doesnt really want to be in the business of photocopying and is pricing its business accordingly.

TNA, which is financed by the taxpayer remember, has a "cost-recovery" obligation. They have to charge what it costs them to produce copies without adding to our tax burden (that's the theory).

My goodness, I am quite shocked as I am waiting for an estimate for copying all pages of an Officer's Service Record and haven't a clue if a lot of them will yield little or no information. Cam, like yourself, I haven't used this service before but I wonder if they let you know what kind of information is on each page before you pay?

I liked the joke you dropped in at the end there :lol:

Tom

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I was told at Kew that photocopying is not allowed as it damages the documents, they are prepared to photograph the documents, they then charge for the film, developing & printing, they keep the film.

That was some years ago, don't know how digital copying will affect the situation, but all the stuff on Ancestry was done on 35mm film.

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I liked the joke you dropped in at the end there :lol:

Tom

Well actually it wasn't a joke, but I expect it is now if they can't give me a clue as to which pages I need to get copied. Until now I have researched men in the rank and file but this is my first officer so I'm a bit of a novice.

Anne

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Hi Anne,

That's the problem with using the copying service, I assume they will copy everything in the file and charge you for it

whereas if you go to TNA you can copy what you want.

Unfortunately many of us can't get there.

I hope your quote is a reasonable one Anne :)

Regards

Cam

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... That's the problem with using the copying service, I assume they will copy everything in the file and charge you for it ...

As opposed to TNA reading all the papers for you, writing a report which details what is on each sheet and maybe making a recommendation as to what might interest you and what might not, and then leaving you to cherry pick what is to be copied for a couple of quid ? (and leaving, in that scenario, the taxpayer to pick up the probably several hundred £££ bill for what you expect TNA to do).

Sorry, but I've encountered that sort of attitude dozens and dozens of times over the years and it really ****** me off :glare:

Tom

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Sorry, Cam. :(

I am a failure! Well, actually it probably has to go down to irony. I couldn't order the file up to take your pictures because ...... it was out for an estimate!!

Despite the staff going out of their way to find it (thank's anyway to the staff) it was still "in limbo" between departments. :devilgrin:

In other news a random file with the name "Frederick William Higginbotham Caughey" on it seems to have fallen under my camera lens whilst I was clicking away - do you know anyone who might be interested in copies, Anneca? (this one was also in limbo but we managed to send a man out into the mists with a rope to retrieve it!) (59 pages incidentally)

Steve.

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Tom,

I wasn't suggesting any such thing. I was saying what I think they would do at TNA as opposed to going there yourself. I don't expect them to go through the file and report back to me what is in there.

So the tone and swearing in your post wasn't necessary was it?

Cam

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Things like that are never a waste of time - divining the workings of the NA is a learning experience - some might say a learning curve....

Steve.

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Hi Steve,

Having never been there it will be a very steep learning curve for me.

I'll have to give it a go at some time though.

All the best

Cam

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