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tony paley

Heavy Artillery Unit War diaries

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David_Underdown

I didn't think the April date was supposed to be public yet! The first batch to be released then so far as I'm aware is only pieces 1-153.

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harkerr@btinternet.com

Whoops, maybe it wasn't, and I shouldn't have repeated it!

Just someone being helpful which is nice these days.

"Keep checking the website" is obviously the official line is it?

Regards

Richard

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David_Underdown

More that it's not 100% guaranteed yet. I'll post somewhere on the forum as soon as the project manager says I can.

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Scottiegirl44

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone knows if the 224 Siege Battery for the Royal Garrison Artillery maybe online or if it is in the works to being downloadable? I did search online at the National Archives but couldn't find anything. My great-uncle Reginald Buttle was killed in action on 28 Oct 1917 and is buried I Ypres. I am trying to learned more about his time with this group.

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kevinrowlinson

You only need to put "224 siege battery royal garrison artillery" in the search box and it should pick it up- http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7349964 . It should be available to view again if one visits in person, but as yet I haven't seen exactly when they will become available on line. Best bet is to check every couple of weeks until it is downloadable. Could be months though.

Kevin

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David_Underdown

That one certainly won't be until later this year (or even early next).

Bear in mind that as a part of the civil service, The National Archives is currently restricted in the amount of publicity it can garner for announcements due to the fact we are in the pre-election period. So if anything comes out in the next few weeks, there's unlikely to be as much in the media as there has been about previous (digitised) war diary releases

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harkerr@btinternet.com

More that it's not 100% guaranteed yet. I'll post somewhere on the forum as soon as the project manager says I can.

No further info yet David?

Aprils gone by, election came and went, I was hoping..............

Regards

Richard

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David_Underdown

Sorry, a few technical hiccups along the way (a different porcess being used this time). Some new things are up, eg the items that make up WO 95/1 and some other low numbered pieces.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Just had a quick scan on the site now, and there do appear to be thousands of diaries on.

It seems that WO95/1 to 150 are on, but nothing then until WO95/1096.

But then thousands up to WO95/3600 approx.

The diaries I have an interest in are ASC diaries starting WO95/514 (Unavailable in NA due to scanning September - December 2014) to WO95/1041 (Scanning due to finish 22/6/2015).

Also HA Diaries WO95/322 (Sanning finished 20/11/2014) to WO95/544 (Scanning finished 15/01/2015).

Just seeing how much has been done makes me realise just how much work has been done, and I'm sure that all members of the forum would wish to convey our gratitude to all involved.

It would be nice to see a schedule of when the gaps are likely to be published online, as many of us maybe are thinking..."Shall I organise a trip to Kew, or shall I wait a bit?".

I'm thinking that and it really would help with forward planning.

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David_Underdown

In short(ish), WO 95/1096 to WO 95/3154 was the first year's scanning programme, basically Western Front, division and down (but not including eg Australian and Canadian divisions as their own national archives had already digitised their copies) (this is al online). Then last (financial) year started at WO 95/1 (GHQ) and continued down through to the army level diaries to WO 95/571 (the last diaries of army troops in Fifth Army), and also did the Western Front Lines of Communication diaries WO 95/3949 to WO 95/4193 plus WO 95/5500, this is the material now going online, exact timings still being agreed, but defintiely by the end of this (calendar) year (and probably rather earlier).

Now being scanned is the remaining Western Front material, ie the Corps level diaries WO 95/572 - WO 95/1095, which will be followed by the diaries for the Mesopotamian theatre WO 95/4965-WO 95/5288. We're rather hoping to reduce the gap between digitisation being completed, and material being available online, but nothing is confirmed yet. I'll try to post another update as soon as there's anything more definite, even if that's only linking to an official news item

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Thanks David,

That's very useful.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Any more news on progress towards online availability of these diaries?

As far as I can see, at the lower end of the numbering scale of the WO95 series, the diaries now available online still only consist of WO95/1 to WO95/154.

David wrote that online availability would occur "defintiely by the end of this (calendar) year (and probably rather earlier)."

Are the publication dates any more definite yet?

Thanks

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Thanks Mike,

Yes, it's a start. They're part of the WO95/ 1 to 154 that have been available for a few months.

Some diaries I'd like to see were off the shelves until November 2014 for scanning, and still unfortunately show no sign of appearing on-line.

Sod's law dictates that if I were to travel to the NA to see the physical diaries, they would be on-line the following week.

Some sort of info on the NA website, with some sort of estimated date of release, would help those of us on the periphery of the kingdom decide if a trip to Kew would be worthwhile or not.

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Derek Black

Sod's law dictates that if I were to travel to the NA to see the physical diaries, they would be on-line the following week.

Some sort of info on the NA website, with some sort of estimated date of release, would help those of us on the periphery of the kingdom decide if a trip to Kew would be worthwhile or not.

Very true.

Although even giving a ball park figure would be helpful.

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David_Underdown

Exact timings are still benig thrashed out, I'll post as soon as I can. But apropos of nothing in particular :whistle: you might like to consider which major anniversary falls in the second half of this year...

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Exact timings are still benig thrashed out, I'll post as soon as I can. But apropos of nothing in particular :whistle: you might like to consider which major anniversary falls in the second half of this year...

Errrmmm....

Christmas?

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David_Underdown

Along the lines of big battles

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Or is this? https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-freedom-of-information/what-is-the-foi-act/

Obviously publicity is more important than delivering the service that they are there for.

Kevin

I'm sure they're working as fast as hard as they can within the resources available.

David, I appreciate the help that you've already given in this topic, and understand the constraints of working in a public srvice in these economic times.

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David_Underdown

Or is this? https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-freedom-of-information/what-is-the-foi-act/

Obviously publicity is more important than delivering the service that they are there for.

Kevin

Kevin,

Remember that essentially the only services we are funded for are the reading rooms and the basic catalogue (ie not online document delivery). Digitisation work has to be essentially self sustaining and is run on a cost recovery basis (hence the fact the document downloads are charged for, with fees set by Statutory Instrument), so raising the profile of the service offered has to be part of our consideration.

There are also maximum rates at which we can move data from one system to another, and the war diaries constitute a pretty large volume, and it is not the only digitisation project in progress which needs to end up on Discovery.

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kevinrowlinson

That one certainly won't be until later this year (or even early next).

Bear in mind that as a part of the civil service, The National Archives is currently restricted in the amount of publicity it can garner for announcements due to the fact we are in the pre-election period. So if anything comes out in the next few weeks, there's unlikely to be as much in the media as there has been about previous (digitised) war diary releases

Exact timings are still benig thrashed out, I'll post as soon as I can. But apropos of nothing in particular :whistle: you might like to consider which major anniversary falls in the second half of this year...

I do not need, or want, any of the material in question, but I must be alone in thinking that any future release is to garner what the NA considers maximum publicity. Given that one would think there is some sort of schedule for all of the process I find it hard to believe that an expected release date couldn't be published on the NA site. Obviously I am wrong, but really I couldn't care less. If I needed something I would get it one way or another.

Kevin

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David_Underdown

there will be a schedule, but as I said previously it's not yet finalised (and there's always the possibility of change in later dates depending on a wide range of factors). As soon as it is, I hope some details will be published, and I will feed back to the project manager that this would be useful. During the pre-election period, even putting a news article on our website, or a blog post highlighting particular things noticed during the digitisation process, would have been impossible. There is no point putting material online if we can't make people aware of it.

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

Just wondering if all preparations for "The Battle of Loos" were progressing well and on schedule?

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