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Applying for WW2 Military records

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Applying for WW2 Military records

Postby phsvm » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:31 pm

I'm just about to apply for WW2 military records for two individual and just don't want to mess up so I'm asking what if probably obvious.

One individual was born in 1897 and died in 1985. The second was born in 1917 and died in 1983. The guidance notes, to me, seem ambigious. They mention the individual being RIP longer than 25 years but then go on to say a death certificate must be submitted.

As one man would now be 121 and the other 103 if they were still with us do I have to submit death certificates? I don't want some job's worth individual rejecting the applications because death certifictes aren't enclosed. I don't have death certificates for either man.
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Re: Applying for WW2 Military records

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:11 pm

On the applicant's form it states:
Unless the individual died in Service, you are required to provide a copy of a death certificate as proof of death before a request can be accepted. However, if the date of birth of the individual was more than 116 years ago,the requirement to provide a death certificate will be waived.


So your 121y old would not need a DC, however your 103y old will need a DC.

However, we also have this (I believe concocted) ...
duty of care owed to the family of the deceased subject, for a period of 25 years following the date of death of the subject and without the consent of the next of kin, MOD will disclose only... (list omitted)

Which means that all the following interesting stuff, like battalion (i.e. unit), will not be provided until 25y have elapsed, viz:
  • the units in which he/she served
  • the dates of this service and the locations of those units
  • the ranks in which the service was carried out and details of campaign medals awarded

No-one has ever explained to me why knowledge of the battalion is so sensitive - I suspect it's not - I suspect that the medical admissions data is on the same sheet of paper, but that's a guess - we're not told anything about medical stuff.

So everything really depends on whether that 25y period after death has completed. If there is no DC, I have no idea whether the 25y clock starts at age 116y - probably, I suspect. So I suspect that getting the DCs is best as the only means of establishing when the 25y is up - and in any case, your 103y old definitely needs the DC.
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Re: Applying for WW2 Military records

Postby MaureenE » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:13 pm

In the past, I have read on WW2Talk Forum that any proof of death will be accepted, such as a photograph of a headstone, or an undertaker's receipt, so it doesn't need to be a formal death certificate.

Cheers
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Re: Applying for WW2 Military records

Postby junkers » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:28 pm

The MOD have been applying a 125-year rule for full release of the details of individuals, it is something that has been complained about at The National Archives Users' Forum (now abolished), for example my grandfather (born in 1893 and died in 1969) still hasn't been released. The MOD are said to be putting up an online platform for the soldiers who served in the Second World War but I personally won't believe it until they do!. Given the amount of time they take and money MOD charge then you might want to wait for the platform, as their fee is non-refundable if there is no record found.
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Re: Applying for WW2 Military records

Postby SarahU » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:34 pm

If applying electronically, l do not see the need to actually sending a paper copy of a death certificate, electronic proof of death should suffice - after all, they are all government records. Who are they protecting? Surely only a descendant is applying, l’m not interested in others. Chances are not only is the individual deceased but also his children. Just the usual red tape to keep another bureaucrat in a high-paid job!
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Re: Applying for WW2 Military records

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:16 pm

Except that there is no electronic proof of death. UK death certificates are either paper or paper equivalent (PDFs). The indexes are not sufficient to identify someone.

And if you were in charge of records but said, "Surely only a descendant is applying", I'm sorry but you seriously would not last long in that job. Data Protection has been treated seriously in the UK since 1984 - I've had to advise on the sign off of our systems and wouldn't have lasted long if I'd made unwarranted assumptions like that.


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Re: Applying for WW2 Military records

Postby Mick Loney » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:05 am

AdrianB38 wrote:However, we also have this (I believe concocted) ...
duty of care owed to the family of the deceased subject, for a period of 25 years following the date of death of the subject and without the consent of the next of kin, MOD will disclose only... (list omitted)


Adrian, you seem to have ignored the bit about consent of next of kin. With that. I don’t believe the 25 year rule applies. So if phsvm can get permission of next of kin, all should be ok.

In fact I got my father service record without problem, and he was born in 1915 and died in 1995
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Re: Applying for WW2 Military records

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:19 pm

Thanks Mick. Yes, I copied it in but didn't really follow it up and make that clear in my own text, did I?

So DC (or possibly substitute?) plus consent and anyone should be away regardless of the elapsed time since death.

I'd still like to know what the period to full release is if you can't get a DC or consent, mind. Junkers suggests 125y from birth if no DC or consent - the chap I'm thinking of died in Lusaka and he's passed the 116y mark but not any 125y limit.



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Re: Applying for WW2 Military records

Postby meekhcs » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:21 am

I applied for Grandad’s WW2 records. I was not the official NofK but supplied the DC. I received everything except his personal data - wife, Family, abode
Must admit the photocopying quality left something to be desired!!


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Re: Applying for WW2 Military records

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:46 am

Sally - what level of detail did you have about his units? Did you, for instance, get regiment but not battalions? Or in other words, did you get anything from

* the units in which he/she served
* the dates of this service and the locations of those units
* the ranks in which the service was carried out and details of campaign medals awarded

That's assuming that you can tell - if you're not familiar with WW2 format files, it may not be clear what level of detail you have. I'm not familiar with forms from that era, I'm just trying to understand this stuff. Thanks

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