Jump to content

Remembered Today:

PoW interviews - National Archive WO161 series


John_Hartley
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've had six hits on searching the NA catalogue for men from the unit I'm currently researching.

However, against four of them is the annotation "Report not found". Can anyone clarify what this means. please?

I'm assuming that it may be some fault in the digitisation process, known to the NA - although I wonder if it might be indicating that a man's name is in, say, an index but there's no report at all. Obviously with these four representing most of the possible information, I'd like to see the reports if they exist.


I've had six hits on searching the NA catalogue for men from the unit I'm currently researching.

However, against four of them is the annotation "Report not found". Can anyone clarify what this means. please?

I'm assuming that it may be some fault in the digitisation process, known to the NA - although I wonder if it might be indicating that a man's name is in, say, an index but there's no report at all. Obviously with these four representing most of the possible information, I'd like to see the reports if they exist. And, equally obviously, I'm not keen to cough up £3.30 just to get a man's name in a list that I already know he's on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree it can be infuriating but looking through the hard copies at Kew, I noted that there are men named and a statement serial number given then it states 'Report not printed'. Seems to be that they had their reasons for not printing some of them such as replication of information, unreliable statement or a poor statement given.

Infuriating because even some of the ones that were printed, I see the name and and think they must have given vital information only to find they haven't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roy

The four "report not printed" ones are

J E Wild - WO161/100/103/436

A Chorley - WO161/100/34/106

G J Jones - WO161/100/102/394

S King - WO161/96/113/264

For info, the other two 6th Cheshires I've found that look OK to download are:

R Skelton - WO161/100/23

A Stansfield - WO161/99/227

John

(EDIT: I was posting at the same time as Seaforths and I'm assuming that my men will be similar to those she's seen on the hard copies - just a name with no actual report there. Bu&&er!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John I have some of the hard copies photographed and will have a looksee and check for your men later when I get on the PC. Also, a bit of a long shot for you but were any of them escapers? There are some statements and interviews of a similar format in the FO files.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've not come across anything suggesting escapers. These are Stockport lads, after all - we do keeping our heads down, not brave stuff like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WO161 is a very hard document to work with as it has lots off ref Numbers all over it. Its the page numbers you need to find your man.

The first 4:

J E Wild - WO161/100/103/436

A Chorley - WO161/100/34/106

G J Jones - WO161/100/102/394

S King - WO161/96/113/264

Are in the note printed lists pages

Stansfield & Skelton are here.


No 2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice one themonsstar - I am just in the process of copying Skelton or do you have him on the go as well? Ohh just seen your last posts you have him too. Beat me to it! Did you pick up on Jones further back? Cheshire but doesn't say which battalion. I was going to go back and check him out. I am guessing like me you are going through the index.

Edit: Private George Jones, Cheshire Regt. Just been back tracking and looking at the page number, he will not be in 161/100 so probably not your man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roy

Many thanks for these two. Appreciated.

With regard to the other four, are you saying that they don't have online digitised reports? And that's all I'd get if I paid my £3.30 is a name and page number?

If so, am I right in thinking that there is hard copy file available to consult at Kew where all I would need to do is look up the relevent page numbers?

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roy

Many thanks for these two. Appreciated.

With regard to the other four, are you saying that they don't have online digitised reports? And that all I'd get if I paid my £3.30 is a name and page number?

If so, am I right in thinking that there is hard copy file available to consult at Kew where all I would need to do is look up the relevent page numbers?

John

I'm not quite sure what you mean about the downloads. If they have a statement that can be downloaded then that is what you will get but if they are as names mentioned in someone else's statement then you will get their statement and see what that person says about them. The hard copies are WO 161/95 to WO 161/100 if you search TNA Discovery they should come up.

I find it strange that there is no reference between the online and hard copy. I will have a look later and if I can find any references to the page numbers of the hard copies. I know from looking at your previous that I don't have anything for King because I don't have any from WO 161/96 but I do have the others - I just need to find their pages.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may just decide to leave this till my next trip to Kew and see what I get for those four when its free (yes, I know, thirteen quid ain't much but I'd rather it stayed in my pocket if I'm not sure what I'm getting).

It's not a desperate thing. Two of the names may have errors as 6th Cheshires as they neither have the right service number, nor are they in my database. And a third is an officer whose exoneration report I have so probably have much of the story of capture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pages for Jones, Wild and Chorley winging their way to you (I hope) by other means. Their interviews unfortunately were not printed as you will see from the pages I have sent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I copied WO161 years ago for some research I was doing then. I have the full copy of the files. Not all the records survive some of them are in FO 383 (pages 822-1575 of the OR did not survived) but some of them are in FO 383.

I put this on the Manchesters site about PoWs & research at Kew. Some of the information old but should still help with research.

First World War, 1914-1918

Establishing if an individual was a PoW
The National Archives does not hold a comprehensive list of all British and Commonwealth PoWs. Consequently, it can be difficult to establish whether an individual was actually taken prisoner and, more particularly, in which camps they were held.

Officers
Establishing whether an Officer was a PoW is relatively straightforward and researchers should look for the book List of British Officers taken prisoner in the various Theatres of War between August 1914 and November 1918 compiled in 1919 by the military agents Cox and Co.

This is arranged by theatre of war, and then by regiment. It includes an index of regiments at the start of the book, and a name index at the back. The list covers the British Army, Royal Air Force, the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Naval Division, and gives the name and rank of the officer, the date when he went missing, where and when he was interned (but not the specific camp/s), and the date of his repatriation. If the officer died while a prisoner, the list gives the date and place of death. In addition, Officers were required to provide a report concerning the circumstances behind their capture. These, if they survive, will be found in the individual service records.

Other Ranks
There are no known official or published sources to help determine whether an ordinary serviceman or Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) was a PoW. Theoretically, it is should be recorded on their service record, although this information is usually minimal, merely giving dates of capture and/or release, or is sometimes indicated on the WW I Medal Rolls WO329. Alternatively, the Internationai Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva & keeps an incomplete list of known PoWs and internees of all nationalities for both World Wars. Searches are only made in response to written enquiries, and an hourly fee is charged. The address to write to is:

International Council of the Red Cross, Archives Division, 19 Avenue de la Paix, CH-1202, Geneva, Switzerland.
http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/ww1-feature-151107?opendocument

Searching for an Individual at the NA

Ask at the Research Enquiries Desk for the guide 'Researching British & Commonwealth Prisoners of War: World War One'. This not only indicates which of The National Archives sources are most likely to provide personal details but includes:

*Copies of nominal indexes of British, Irish, Colonial and Indian PoWs extracted from WO161/101.

*The National Archives' references to identified nominal lists of Military and Merchant Navy PoWs.

*List of PoW camps in Germany and enemy territory.

*Indexed map of the main PoW camps in Germany and Austria.

The primary source for personal information are the reports made by repatriated, escaped or interned Officers, Medical Officers, Other Ranks, and occasionally Merchant Seamen and Civilians, held in WO 161/95 to WO 161/100 and indexed by WO161/101 . As well as a narrative of variable length, these reports usually include details of unit, home address, when and where captured, wounds suffered, transfer between camps, comments on treatment and conditions in camps and escape attempts.

A copy of the entire W0161/101 index is available in the Research Enquiry Room at Kew and can also be downloaded from DocumentsOnline at:http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/

Alternatively, the 1914-1918 British Prisoners of War database, an externally compiled database to WO 161/101 searchable by name or regiment, is available: http://www.1914-1918.net/POW/index.php

The following key in the WO 161 series is used to distinguish who made a report: O = Officers; MO = Medical Officers; no prefix = Other Ranks. Researchers should note it is the page number/s next to the name in the index that is important. The table below shows which file should be consulted.
Sub-Series of WO 161 Reports


1. W0 161/95 Officers: Pages 1-538
2. W0161/96 Officers: Pages 539-1169
3. W0161/97 Medical Officers: Pages 1-398
4. W0161/98 Other ranks: Pages 1 -821
5. WO 161/99 Other ranks: Pages 1576-2402
6. WO161/100 Other ranks: Pages 2403-4177

There is a gap between pages 822-1575 in the 'Other ranks' records. However, some of these and duplicates of other WO161 reports can be found in FO 383 (see below). The files WO 161/95-100 (and the index W0161/101 ) can be downloaded from DocumentsOnline at:

Secondly, PoWs can be searched for by name within the Catalogue as a result of improved catalogue entries to F0383 This series of records contains the files of the Prisoners of War and Aliens Department, which was established in 1915 to deal with all matters relating to conditions for prisoners, repatriation and general policy. Search within the FO383 series, and if any references are produced, click on the blue description text to open the expanded indexing. If you scroll down the page, any matches will be highlighted in yellow. There is also a card index to Foreign Office Correspondence located in the Open Reading Room at The National Archives. Between 1915-1918 each year includes a dedicated PoW section arranged by country and subject. While in most instances the card index entries will point to a FO383 reference, they can lead to other FO series that hold documents concerning PoWs.

Other relevant Merchant Navy records are contained in MT 9 (code 106), which includes some files indexed by individual name and/or shiphttp://wanborough.ukuhost.co.uk/POW/POW.asp?name=*. For the Royal Navy, Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), Royal Navy Reserve (RNR) and the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), try searching the ADM 12 registers, while for the Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and RNAS, try the Air History Branch indexes to AIR 1 located in the Open Reading Room.

Deaths of Prisoners of War 1914-1918
Deaths of PoWs and internees occurring in military and non-military hospitals and in enemy and occupied territory were notified to British authorities by foreign embassies, legations, registration authorities and American authorities in charge of British internees. The record series RG 35/45 to RG 35/69 contains an incomplete collection of these certificates. It should be noted, however, that the majority of this information is in French.

Other sources
Records concerning PoW camps and related subjects are mostly found in two record classes. Once again the most comprehensive are the reports held in W0 161/95 to W0 161/100 accessed by searching the places and subject indexes in WO 161/101 . Inspection reports on individual camps can also be searched for by name using FO383 and the card index to Foreign Office Correspondence referred to above. Further records relating to PoW camps, administration and policy, are found in WO32 and CO693 , with registers relating to the latter in C0754 and CO755 . The records of the Committee on the Treatment by the Enemy of British PoWs (1914-1919) are in H045/10763/270829, and HO45/10764/270829, with additional material in W0162.
Various PoW-related reports are located within the Parliamentary Papers preserved on microfiche in the Open Reading Room at The National Archives. The easiest way in to these is via the CD-Rom kept behind the enquiry desk of The National Archives Library.

Source
British Library,Imperial War Museum, Various Regimental Museums.

Contact Details
British Library Newspapers
Colindale Avenue
London
NW9 SHE
Tel: 020 7412 7353
Website:
Catalogue:
www.bl.uk/catalogues/newspapers.html

Imperial War Museum
Department of Documents
Lambeth Rd
London SE1 6HZ
Tel: 020 7416 5221
Website:http://www.iwm.org.uk/




Useful for:
Contemporary national and local newspapers often include lists of PoW or details about individual captives.
Documents, printed books, photographs, oral history.
It is possible that the soldier's Regiment kept or has since compiled its own list of PoWs.





All this info is copyright to the:
The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU
Tel: +44 (0)20 8876 3444 Fax: +44 (0)20 8392 5286
Contact us: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact/
Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The index WO 161/101 is free to download in several sections but it is very useful albeit wieldy. The download is also poor because although initially it looks as though all sections are there, it has one section missing and another section is duplicated in its place. I keep meaning to report it but somehow haven't got around to it. I did find digging around in the interview download bit last night, that it did give a page number for the piece making it faster to locate in my files than using the index. I also noticed if you follow the hyperlinks below, you can see a transcription of the list of men for whom reports are not printed. I have no idea why they would want to try charging people to access a digitised copy of the original pages. In my opinion and for what it's worth, those particular pages, like the index, should be free.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...