Wednesday, 9 July 2008

MOD public consultation over historic military service records

In the light of all of the recent disasters by the government with regard to data protection, the Ministry of Defence has initiated a public consultation regarding the transfer of historic Armed Forces Service Personnel records to The National Archives. The records in question are those of soldiers, sailors and airmen who served in the Armed Forces between the two World Wars and for those who were members of the Home Guard during the Second World War.The consultation will close on September 30th.

The collections being considered for early transfer to TNA include:

a. Approximately 170,000 records for soldiers with dates of birth of 1895 or earlier who served beyond the end of the First World War.

b. Approximately 45,000 records of airmen who enlisted in the Royal Air Force up to 1928.

c. Approximately 4.5 million records of those that enlisted in the Home Guard during the Second World War.

d. Approximately 60,000 cards detailing ratings who enlisted in the Royal Navy from 1924 up to the outbreak of the Second World War.

It is TNA's wish to acquire all records of service personnel up to 1963. Although there are no legal obstacles to the transferring of such articles, it is the access to them thereafter that may pose problems with regards to Data Protection legislation and the Human Rights Act, namely the right for respect of private and family life.

For more information, and to have your say, please visit the following link: MOD Public Consultation.

Needless to say, this could potentially unlock a wealth of information for family historians, so please do take the time to have a look!

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