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Remembered Today:

Soldiers Service Papers


SPotter

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Pals,

I've taken a bit of a liberty posting in this topic, basically as I believe it to be the most popular and most viewed on the Forum. And the question does relate to individual soldiers after all (well in a manner of speaking).

I was just wondering if any of the Pals, who may have some close contact with the staff at the National Archives, or knows someone who does, has any idea when the next tranch of Service Records will be released? What would be the likely next cut-off date - 1939? In which case, if the 75 year rule is applied we can expect to see them in 2014. If the 100 year rule is applied, we will all be old men or dead! Not a nice thought!

I am guessing that the cut-off date of 1920 for the records deposited in WO 363 and WO 364 align with the change in Army numbering to the 7 figure system, plus the majority of those enlisted for "The Duration" had been demobbed by then. Presumably(?) those Regular soldiers who completed their service in the 20s had their service records held somewhere other than the Arnside Street warehouse which was bombed, and therefore we can hope to see these 'intact' when released.

Any definite answers would be fantastic, but your thoughts too, would be appreciated.

Regards

Steve

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Steve

I think the decision on release of these lies with the Ministry of Defence, who still hold the records (and will copy them for next of kin etc) rather than the National Archives. Perhaps worth contacting the MoD?

Peter

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Peter,

Yes, I understand that the records will currently reside with the MOD, but presumably the NA are given some advance notice of their impending transfer, so they can be catalogued and storage space assigned?

Steve

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This is of interest to me too. My wife's grandfather was born in 1900. He was born on November the 11th . He enlisted in 1919 and spent some time in India. I have not been able find out which regiments , but he may have started in the Dublin Hussars (Is there such a regiment ?) and had some time in the Hampshire Regt ? My research is on going. He was a bit of a character. he spent a Sunday with us when he was about 95. I took Him in to my room full of old bits and pieces . On the wall I had a pair of lewis Gun magazine carrying pouches, Without any prompting whatsoever he said "Cor look at those (pointing at the carriers) I haven't seen them for years" I said do you know what they are ? Quite indignantly he said "bloody sure I do" , They,s Lewis gun magazine carrying pouches. I said "how do you know that " ? He said "I trained on the lewis gun in India" . After all those years he still remembered those pouches .

I said to him one day "do you remember the "Great War" ? He said "I remember the bloody TITANIC sinking !!! He lived till 101 and had a Stripper !! for his 100 Birthday !! (If you want me to post a pic i will :D ) My mother In law would like me to find out more of his army service . where would be the best place to go ? And sorry if I have rambled on a bit "MO"

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My mother In law would like me to find out more of his army service . where would be the best place to go ?

MO

For quick guide to obtaining service records after 1920 Click

It's from IWM site and slightly out of date (cost is now £30 I think).

They will accept a letter from your mother-in-law (as next of kin) authorising release of the records to you. Service appears to be much improved I had to wait 9 months for my Grandfather's some years ago but know of someone who got them in less than 3 months last year.

Always easier to give them a ring to set the ball rolling, they will advise you what documents will be required to prove kinship etc.

Hope this helps

Peter

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Thanks very much , that will give me a good start. much appreciated. I've also attached a picture of my wife's grandfather which is a good advert for smoking :D (just out of shot is a straight Whisky and Ice too ! ) "MO"

post-13272-1173876152.jpg

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Bit like my father in law 102 last January, smoked a pipe for 80 odd years, has a pint every day (and a tot of whisky) and loves his morning fry-up!

Must be a very healthy age as not many people die after the age of 100!!!!!!!

Peter

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Pals,

As an update to anyone who may have an interest in the release of the next lot of service papers, I contacted the MOD through their website - specifically the 'Contact Us / Medals and Service Records Enquiry' page, so all was looking good! Unfortunately this query was automatically directed to the Veterans Agency! However I received a polite reply from them, informing me of their 'proper' role, but giving me a contact address for the Army Personnel Centre, Historical Disclosures Dept. I will repeat my request to them, and see if they are so quick off the ball!

Regards

Steve

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  • 3 months later...

Pals,

After a long delay I have only recently got round to writing the letter the the Army Historical Disclosures people. I will keep you posted on any reply.

Regards

Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pals,

I have now heard back from the MOD. This is their reply...

"RELEASE OF SERVICE PERSONNEL RECORDS TO THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

Thank you for your letter of 18 June 2007 concerning the transfer of service personnel records to The National Archives (TNA). Your letter has been passed to me to answer as I am responsible in MOD for the transfer of Departmental records to TNA.

In consultation with TNA, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is currently reviewing its policy in respect of the transfer and opening of such records since the statutory framework for the provision of access to information about named individuals has changed significantly from that which existed when the last set of service personnel records (those relating to service during the First World War) were transferred to TNA.

Planned MOD pilot work, due to commence this financial year, will analyse a representative sample of service personnel records for individuals with dates of birth of more than 100 years ago whose service began or continued after 1920 and Second World War Home Guard service record cards which the Department continues to hold. This work should establish the nature of the information contained in the records, and subsequent analysis will allow decisions to be taken about when the records might be made available to the public at TNA and whether any elements ought to remain closed.

As this work has yet to start, it is not possible to say when future service personnel records will be transferred and opened at TNA. A clearer picture is likely to emerge in 2008.

I am sorry I am unable to provide a more definitive reply, but hope that this goes some way towards answering your query."

There we are then. Not just yet is the answer, but at least they are thinking about it!

Regards

Steve

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