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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

WW1 Medal Index Cards to be destroyed


Neil_York

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Hi,

I know we should be thinking in terms of just finding someone, and on what terms, but on a practical note, can anyone say what size these cabinets are, what condition they are in - are they the grey (sometimes brown) metal cabinets I'm sure everyone knows of - and are they the 4 drawer variety?

This may help my thought processes a little...

thanks

doogal

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It makes you wonder if the soldiers service papers will eventually be destroyed now they're held on microfilm - or has their preservation been secured by lottery grant?

Who knows what the MoD have done & will do with old records on the quiet whilst no-one is looking.

TTFN

Neil

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Filing Cabinet sizes.

Having worked in MOD Offices most cabinets were of the 4 drawer type, but if the medal index card size was, shall we say 8x5, which was the size we used for weapon history and location, the cabinets were much smaller and had 2/3 drawers horizontallyand a couple vertically. It seems likely they would be stored in something similar, Incidently I believe Centurion building at HMS Sultan carries a lot of RN stuff.

It would be a crime if these and any other documents were to be destroyed, "One mans rubbish is another mans joy" ;)

Len

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Well, I've done my bit!!

I even pinched a quote from Richard

Most Government departments would seem to prefer to destroy such documents rather than pass them onto someone who could feasibly make a profit out of them (e.g. that, aside from security considerations, is why old computers etc. tend to be destroyed rather than sold on).

I also stated that as a Civil Servant I am not happy with the way "we" deal with things we no longer want around.

When it comes to storage, I've got a nice big double garage - that's full of security things 'cause of my Harley - so (almost) everything is safe.

Here's hoping for some sort of decent outcome if it is actually happening.

Les.

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Individual cards could then be sold at leisure to interested parties with the proceeds going to charity. Famous individuals cards, VC winners etc could surely be auctioned for charity at quite decent prices.

So long as us relatives were offered "first refusal" on any cards belonging to family members.

Mark.

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I am all for saving this archive - as has been pointed out even at 1% of reverse side data thats around 50,000 cards. However I would want to see them preserved in their entirety - I would NOT lend any support to selling them off even to relatives.

mike

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Just seen this thread & must say I am very shocked........

How can the NA justify this action? I know that the cards have been microfilmed & scanned, but we must insist the originals are retained as sometimes it is better to look at the original than an image. These cards are, in many cases, the only records about men who served during WW1, & as such are a very valuable asset for future generations.

I bet they aren't offering to destroy Magna Carta or the Domesday Book now there are copies in existence, an extreme comparision, but this is an extreme action on their part. If we do not make a stand on this, what will be next? Will we find all WW2 records or the 1901 census (it has been scanned after all) being destroyed? Regardless of the size of the cabinets, the number we are talking about does not take up an awful lot of space.

We (our generation, not just the Pals) have a duty to retain these historical documents for those who will follow us. I would suggest that approaches are made to the media to publicise this proposed act of vandalism, after all, they were very interested in reporting that the cards had been made available online. I will refrain from commenting on whether it is worth the effort to contact any MPs or ministers, do not want to become political on this matter......

I will try to contact the Lt Governor here on the IoM, as I know he is involved with 1 or 2 UK military museums as a trustee............

Cheers

Mark

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I emailed my MP Gwyn Prosser (Labor) and he replied stating that he would consider bringing this issue up in question time.

Robbie <_<

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Did e mail my MP (Malcolm Moss Con) but have received no reply as of yet

All The Best

Chris

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I emailed my MP Gwyn Prosser (Labor) and he replied stating that he would consider bringing this issue up in question time.

Robbie <_<

Sadly Robbie, I believe the average backbencher can expect to be called at question time rather less than once a year. Unless of course it's a planted question of the "Does the prime minister not agree that he is perfectly wonderful?" variety. So even if your bloke meant it - and he is agreeing with everybody as an election looms - the chances are not great.

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I emailed my MP Gwyn Prosser (Labor) and he replied stating that he would consider bringing this issue up in question time.

Robbie  <_<

Sadly Robbie, I believe the average backbencher can expect to be called at question time rather less than once a year. Unless of course it's a planted question of the "Does the prime minister not agree that he is perfectly wonderful?" variety. So even if your bloke meant it - and he is agreeing with everybody as an election looms - the chances are not great.

Maybe true, but I've also e-mailed my local MP.

The "More the Merrier", as they say.

As they say...They, who's they?

Jeez, I'm hearing them voices again.

Mark

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I think it would be useful if we could get an MP to ask a written question about the proposed fate of the cards.

Having thought about this, I think that it is obviously the information that is sacrosanct here not the cards themselves. That is why I proposed preserving the additional information on the side of the cards not so far microfilmed - ideally by microfilming it , I suppose - and then disposing of the cards themselves with the proceeds either funding the information preservation or going to charity.

Unfortunately I don't think it is at all practical to attempt to award the cards to the nearest living relative or any other deserving person - similarly distributing filing cabinets to various ad hoc folk (no matter how well meaning) also doesn't seem a goer IMHO.

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Two organisations that may be worth talking to:

The Somme Association In Northern Ireland- registered charity,has museum, probably got the space and may be able to get a grant. Already does soldiers record research so could use that facility to do look-ups for people. Due to number of Irish who served they may be interested.

Or 'Church of the Latter Day Saints' - know what there doing with records and have got access to census records etc, previously, when joe public couldn't.

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I, too, have emailed. I know my MP personally - and not as a whinging constituent concerned about damp-proofing or benefits - but this may just put him off!

Ricardo

Is this not a bit of an insult to your MP's constituents who need help with these things to ensure they get the help they are entitled to?

Much as I don't want to see this information destroyed, let us not pretend that it will be the end of the world if it is. It will be a loss to those who are interested in it, a very small minority.

None the less, contacting MP's is a good idea. They may not get called at question time, or ask this question if they are, but they can submit written questions too. Enough of these from enough MP's and somebody will have to think about it. But remember that your MP does not have to take up the case. You need to:

1. Be informative, because they have probably never heard of MIC's and how you use the information.

2. Be convincing, because otherwise it will sound like a load of old buffers banging on about trivia.

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Guest Simon Bull

I think the most concerning thing about this is that if there are any individual medal index cards which are badly filmed (and that is almost bound to be the case) the destruction of the originals will mean that we never know what they said!

I speak with experience of having to now, on two occasions, request to see the originals of the censuses because the filmed copies were illegible. When I saw the originals what I wanted to see was perfectly legible upon them. I have no doubt tthe same issue will arise, from time to time, in relation to the medal index cards.

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I put the word out on another site I have a look at now and then. One lady has actualy phoned the Nat. Archives about it but they have repudiated that they intend to destroy the MIC. But as you know the decision may not have reached the lower echelons yet

Clive, your MP is going to get another call from someone who lives in your constituancy, as has been quoted on here:-

"THE MORE THE MERRIER"

Len

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Much as I don't want to see this information destroyed, let us not pretend that it will be the end of the world if it is. It will be a loss to those who are interested in it, a very small minority.

Shall we all go home then?

Don't forget we're only the current vanguard of researchers, I presume that we'd all rather hope that the work we're all doing on 4th DWR, Pte John Smith, Hohenzollern Redoubt, Y-Sap crater, medals, SMLEs etc etc would encourage people to further expand on our work when we're long gone.

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"One lady has actualy phoned the Nat. Archives about it but they have repudiated that they intend to destroy the MIC."

not according to the correspondence I have had from them this week - however to be accurate it is the MOD who intend to destroy them (if they haven't already started).

Mike

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Hello everyone, I have just joined this great website today. I was told about it by a friend on another site and the subject came up because of the proposed destruction of the Medal Index Cards. I have only just started my family resesarch and have found a very long line of career soldiers and I would like opportunity of finding out all I can about them. If these cards are destroyed, perhaps I wont get that chance. I am certainly willing, if the opportunity arises, to take on some of the recording but I have no idea how to go about it. Any suggestions of how I can help. Apologies if I have put this message on the wrong board. Jan

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I, too, have emailed. I know my MP personally - and not as a whinging constituent concerned about damp-proofing or benefits - but this may just put him off!

Ricardo

Is this not a bit of an insult to your MP's constituents who need help with these things to ensure they get the help they are entitled to?

Yes, it probably is but I stand by it - you should see some of them!! My MP is a time-serving Tory backbencher with a Mr Whippy hairdo: does nice parties, though.

Much like being a GP I suppose, with the bulk of one's time taken up with a clutch of the perennially mildy unwell seeking yet more placebos and platitudes for their minor coughs and colds.

Ricardo

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STOP PRESS - MEDAL INDEX CARDS !!!

Forum members are rightly concerned about this issue and should take comfort that representations have been made at a high level and are looking like bearing fruit !

This information has been given to me privately and it would be useful if all concerned could postpone planned trench raids and stand on the defensive for the time being. This will allow these sensitive negotiations to proceed to a (hopefully) happy conclusion.

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I, too, have emailed. I know my MP personally - and not as a whinging constituent concerned about damp-proofing or benefits - but this may just put him off!

Ricardo

Is this not a bit of an insult to your MP's constituents who need help with these things to ensure they get the help they are entitled to?

Yes, it probably is but I stand by it - you should see some of them!! My MP is a time-serving Tory backbencher with a Mr Whippy hairdo: does nice parties, though.

Excellent news Ian.

Ricardo - what is a Mr Whippy hairdo? A picture would suffice.

Roberto :P

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Thats a bit of a blow Ian, just been down the bottle bank , now I'll have to put the petrol back in the car, dont know what the wifes going to say about the towel I tore up for wicks, damn all that work for nothing!!

Joking aside, it would be nice to think its coming together.

Len

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