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Remembered Today:

ALL WW1 Australian Personnel Records Now Online!


green_acorn

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TNA operates in accordance with the (hugely amended by FOI) Public Records Acts - from TNA website, this is what the Acts say about access:

Access to public records.

5. - (1) …

(2) …

(3) [it shall be the duty of the Keeper of Public Records to arrange that reasonable facilities are available to the public for inspecting and obtaining copies of those public records in the Public Record Office which fall to be disclosed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.]

(4) …

(5) The Lord Chancellor shall, as respects all public records in places of deposit appointed by him under this Act outside the Public Record Office, require arrangements to be made for their inspection by the public comparable to those made for public records in the Public Record Office …

In addition to the Public Records Acts, its activities are driven by current Government policy - and, like it or not, current Govt policy for the last quarter century at least, across the public service board, is directed to maximising revenue whereever possible and/or reducing public expenditure and/or 'improving efficiency', not to mention PPPs and PFIs etc. (unless it would be politically embarassing to do so).

If you can embarass the current - or any future - Govt into seeing that free access to the information which our hobby demands is the only way to go - and the best of luck if you try! - then the sort of thing provided by 'enlightened' Govts in Aus and Canada might become available here.

It's down to those who think it should be so to make it so. Get on to your MP, set up a petition, write to The Times, whatever it takes. It ain't going to happen otherwise. IMO, of course :)

Jim

(I mentioned on another of these regular 'rip-off TNA' threads a few months ago that Mr Microsoft is putting a lot of lolly into a British Library digitisation scheme - affecting a tiny part of the BL's immense collection, it has to be said. Any philanthropic multi-billionaires out there with a mind to help out with digitising TNA's massive resource?)

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"John

There are 15 CLDS Family History centres in Scotland from which film containing service records can be ordered and viewed for free. (over 80 locations the length and breadth of England). Research doesn't have to begin and end at Kew."

Andy

Again you are correct and I have used the one at Colinton on a couple of occasions, they were helpful but the problem is that

1. I had to wait 5 weeks for the film

2. They are hardly ever open

3. They are very busy with limited viewing space

and

4. They have a limited number of films available, if you are looking for a common surname, you will have to hire ( £2.50 a film - not expensive I concede) a lot of films and wait for them to arrive. If they are out on loan already then unfortunately you have to wait your turn, the films are held centrally in London and dispatched as required.

However they do provide a service that no one else does and I would not want to seem over critical of them, their work in the field is to be applauded.

Edit - It dawned on me that if the LDS can get access to a copies of microfilms, then surely it would not be too expensive or time consuming , relatively speaking, to produce copies of these Microfilms which could be distributed to keys sites across the UK - just a thought.

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The National Archives of Australia's website has been very very slow since all the media coverage. They must be getting a huge number of searchers

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The next task that the Australian National Archives are doing is all of the service records for WWII.

I feel a little disquiet about that, I must say. It is one thing to have the records of 90 years ago, of men who are all dead, for all and sundry to look at. Most of their younger siblings and many of their children are now also dead, and it is grandchildren and great neices and nephews who are looking at these files. The decades and generation distance is enough to let what is written pass over us.

It is another to have the WW2 files of men up - some of whom are still alive, or whose widows are still alive. Whose children and grandchildren have distinct memories of them, not clouded by time as not much time has really gone by.

That being said, I know you can get copies of files from Canberra - but I'm not sure what process you have to go through to get the file, or if the ex-soldier has to be deceased in order for a non-relative to gain a copy.

In NZ, the rules are:

The New Zealand Defence Force will not release information about ex-Service persons still living. Applications for information from an individual's own personal file must be made in writing and signed by the requester.

Information from your own personal file can be released but your request must be in writing and signed to validate the enquiry.

When a third party requests details about a living person information can be disclosed if it is authorised by the individual concerned. You should therefore request the individual concerned to give you authority in writing. The New Zealand Defence Force will not release information unless you can produce this written authority.

The only other exception is if a third party can produce signed Power of Attorney documents.

Deceased personnel

If the service personnel are deceased then we can release information from the service file but only if there is some form of notification of death recorded on the file.

Where there is no notification of death on the service file, details may be released once you provide some proof of death such as a copy of a death certificate, newspaper death notice or funeral service sheet. This is required before information can be released.

To save time it will be helpful to attach some form of notification of death with your requests for information on personnel who have died after the end of World War Two.

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I feel a little disquiet about that, I must say.

Allie, I'm pleased that you have made this comment. I agree with you. As a family historian who as actually gone as far as writing a book on his family, I have had to be extremely careful to avoid any references in the text of my book to living persons, and anything that could lead to the identification of any living person, unless I had their express permission to do so. Not everyone shares the same interest in history as we do, and some people are very sensitive to the disclosure of information about, say, illegitimacy, bankruptcy, legal matters, etc. Personally, I'm rather proud to have a number of illegitimate ancestors, and one who died in prison - when I meet them all one day I'm sure they'll be far more interesting than the rest - but some people are deeply ashamed of these things. I recently obtained the service records of a relative who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (by the way, contrary to the indications in other posts I did pay for them - about 60c per page) and there for me to see is the record of the venereal disease that he contracted during leave. I am of the view that if this sort of medical record is in WW2 files, then open access to such files on the internet is not appropriate. I'm not offended, but some people would be.

Quite apart from the question of whether access to such records should be free or not, this discussion raises the issue of "closure periods." It seems that our various governments are very inconsistent on this matter. Just as examples, English census records are closed for 100 years, yet I can apply for any BMD certificate uo to 2004, or any Will, without any restriction whatsoever. On the other hand, my grandfather died in a road accident in 1953, but even though I and my son are his only living descendants, the records of the coroner's court are closed to us until 2028 (75 years).

The problem with rasing this issue in the hope of gaining shorter closure periods is that it is likely to backfire. The obsession with privacy laws is likely to result in longer closure periods, rather than shorter ones. So perhaps it's best to keep quiet, take what we have and use it wisely, and not make too much fuss about that with which we do not agree.

May I also go on record as saying that I have always received the very best of help from all the various archives that I've dealt with. TNA in London, the GRO at Southport (wonderful on-line certificate service), the various English county record offices, various museums, more recently Library and Archives Canada - the list is a long one. As someone who is not a tax-payer to the U.K or Canada, I'm more than happy to pay a "fee-for-service." But I fully understand and respect that many actual taxpayers may object to paying a fee, which is a form of double-dipping.

Surely the technology allows the identification of the computer being used to access the on-line archive (I'm a technopeasant in this area)? If in the country of the archive - no fee, if outside the country of archive, fee payable? If it could be done, this might be a workable solution.

Noel

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The National Archives of Australia's website has been very very slow since all the media coverage. They must be getting a huge number of searchers

As wonderful as it is that so many more people now know about this resource - I have to say - as mean as it may sound - I sure hope the novelty wears off pretty soon!!

I haven't been able to access the site at all in the last 2 days - and it sure is playing havoc with my research.

Okay I've had my winge. :rolleyes: Frev.

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Mates,

I am in the same boat, ****** I've had to put my reseach on hold as its taking over an hour to even see a record.

S.B

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Anyone got any search tips, I have been trying to access Sapper Archie Young's records but it doesn't seem to find him.

Am I doing something wrong?

Bob.

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Good morning Bob,

Enter his regimental number, 330, in the search field with his surname. If this gives too many hits try '330 Young A'.

I just tried to log on to the search page of the NAA to check this out for you but it still very slow.

Yours in service,

Glyn

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The official launch of TV on Wednesday night has sent thousands of people to the NAA to check on service records. The increase in traffic has slowed it down and causing a lot of us some angst :) Perhaps we have been spoilt since they all came online last year without most of Australia knowing!

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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330 Sapper Archie Young's service record is available online with the NAA.

Instead of going in through the gift to a nation link, just go to record search (as a guest), type in '330 Young' in the search field and 'B2455' in the reference field. He's the only record that will be returned from this search.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Still Slow Tim :(

I guess every historian and family researcher in Australia and the UK wants to take a look!

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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Your right Sandra, it's slow as well but at least you can input a wider range of search criteria rather than just a surname and narrow the results down to a manageable size.

Hopefully, the novelty will wear off once people have found the service records of their relatives and then we 'professionals' :lol: can get back to work with no hassles.

Cheers,

Tim L.

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Schools will probably be in on the act big time with 'research a soldier projects' especially prior to Anzac day so don't hold your breath - probably a good time to re-organize your filing system and sort through those piles of research notes.

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School holidays in the West, not sure about the other states.

I was online at 4.30am this morning and it took almost an hour to load one page!

I am trying to update Official War Grave details for Fremantle cemetery I am almost finished ... I hope everyone is busy elsewhere this weekend :)

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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Still struggling with Archie Young, justs keeps bringing up no records found despite following the earlier advice?

Anyone help?

Bob.

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http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/imagine.as...mp;I=1&SE=1

It's till a bit 'thingy' with traffic but this is the direct link to the record mentioned.

Good luck Bob :)

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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I wondered why, suddenly, on Thursday I couldn't access service records at the naa as easily as I had been able to previously. A curse upon those who keep telling all and sundry that the records are there now - many have been there for some considerable time and were relatively easy to access until the "glad tidings" were publicised. Now every wants to read them - and I can't!

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Martin ... the project was completed last year ... but the just got around to anouncing it for ANZAC Day.

It has been pretty much back to normal yesterday and today. If the page drops out just click refresh where it is written on the page.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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Regardless of the size and volume of the problem, what the Australian National Archives has done with the WW1 records is an achievement given the relative population and force sizes at both points in time. Just as importantly the gesture of making the records free to ALL, not just Australian citizens show a generosity not often made by any government, as Andrew has said what an absurd notion! And from a Conservative Australian givernment!

kindest regards,

Chris

All things are in proportion Australia is still a smallish nation with revenues well below the UK so the achievement by the Howard Government on this front is excellent. As has been said no one here is saying it's a waste of taxpayer money. In fact the Govt has been beating up the Gallipoli national pride thing for some time with good effect i.e. larger numbers attending Anzac Day ceremonies both here at home and at Gallipoli.

It's a job well done. I don't give this Govt many compliments but thay do deserve it here.

I was able to assist a man in his 70s recently who wanted to know about his uncle's place of death and likely burial place by using a raft of online services including NAA, AWM, CWGC and satellite imagery of the very spot (of course Bean provided the trench map). These online services are truly amazing and instantly helpful.

I can't wait for the battalion diaries to come on line. Seems a whole lot better program than filling politicians superannuation funds. :D

Bring it on!

Chris

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The National Archives of Australia's website has been very very slow since all the media coverage. They must be getting a huge number of searchers

Andrew, I had heard that they were advising to wait a few days until the publicity blows over.

Chris

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