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South African Archives


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Hello all

Just heard that the SA archives are tightening up on those who will be able to request copies of service papers.

Apparently in response to a large number of faked WW1 SA groups appearing in the UK and elsewhere, their govt. has bowed to pressure from their security services and on 27/9 stopped all non-relatives gaining access to them (unless you showed your passport - original - to determine a relationship to serviceman).

Ironically, and only under pressure from researchers, they are apparently to resume the practice of allowing unrestricted access to WW1 records - even though they are by far the biggest market for scammers - since all but a few of the recipients can be deemed as deceased, but access to WW2-era records will henceforth be restricted (much as in UK at present).

However, the SA chap with whom I was talking stated that 20+ years ago they did the same thing, much to the chagrin of researchers and historians, and relented within the space of a 3 years. He is hopeful, although not optimistic, that this will again be the case.


Any views or further information will be of interest and could actually make the SA authorities change their opinions.

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