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Service Record

Discussion in 'Comments on the latest newsletter' started by Heatherblether, Aug 17, 2021.

  1. Heatherblether

    Heatherblether LostCousins Member

    The long wait for WWII service records is mentioned in the latest newsletter.

    I had applied for my great uncles back in May last year and it arrived about three weeks ago with the original cheque enclosed. I was to send a new one as this had been refused by my bank. I did this at once.

    The papers enclosed were photocopies on A3 sheets, they contained a couple of gems of information ( physcial description etc) but of course always more questions than answers..... :)
  2. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I have had my Dad's army records for a number of years now. They did not cost me anything; I just wrote to Veterans' Affairs and asked for them. He never served overseas; was apparently scheduled to go but the war ended in time. They were not all that informative, apart from the fact that he seemed to have gone AWOL a few times; those times appear to coincide with my and my siblings' births, LOL. I just wanted them to see what name he used and if his parents' names were given. He used the name he did here in Canada and only my mother's name was there. This was before I learned my grandmother's real name and age.
  3. Heatherblether

    Heatherblether LostCousins Member

    Interesting Canadianbeth. I think its part of a soldiers life to go AWOL at some time!

    My gr Uncle died in Italy in 1944 - the CWGC papers only mentions his parents as does this record. This contains his attestation papers which is before he married, in 1939. He and his wife lost a baby and after the war his widow later remarried.

    No help there, it states his mother as next of kin (as it would pre marriage) but does not appear to have ever been updated.

    Sadly when his widow died, her son from her second marriage stated that she had been married twice and gave the wrong first name followed by a ' ? A soldier who died in the War' for her first husband.

    However finding out he was 5 foot 2 was amazing! The shortest by a few inches of any record I have seen - most being around the 5 foot 6 inches.
  4. Sue_3

    Sue_3 LostCousins Member

    I have a few WW2 service records that would be of interest, but in most cases I am not the next of kin, so hadn't got around to chasing. I read somewhere recently that others than the next of kin could apply? In view of the current long waits and possible future changes I think I will wait and see what happens. So far I don't have a pressing need for these records (but now that I've said that, such a need is bound to present itself shortly).

    Btw I am just under 5 foot 2 inches and one of the taller people in my family. My husband is about a foot taller than me and one of the shortest in his family. Our wedding photo with the bride's family on one side and the groom's family on the other is quite entertaining.
  5. PaulC

    PaulC LostCousins Member

    I've ordered about a dozen or so service records over the past decade, the longest I had to wait was about 18 months. In my experience they always banked the cheques first but would inform me about any lengthy delays and offer me the opportunity to cancel. The long delays were mostly with the army who I assume got the most requests, orders for navy and air force records were processed much quicker. The pandemic may have been a factor over the last year or so, but the problem was already there.

    The transfer to TNA is a positive step as this will presumably lead to digitisation, I just hope the records won't be inaccessible for too long in the meantime.
  6. Sue_3

    Sue_3 LostCousins Member

    I hadn't thought through that digitisation might actually make it more difficult, in the relatively near future, to access these records. However, it seems pointless to join the very long current queue? Or maybe I ought to, in case the opportunity vanishes at some point? Hubby and I have one WW2 army close relative (my maternal uncle) and two air force ones (hubby's father and my other maternal uncle) between us. There are other more distant relations and doubtless some we are not yet aware of, but the main interest that merits the cost would be in those closest relatives.

    My father didn't serve and I was told that this was because of a medical condition, but I don't know if there is any way to check that out? He was extremely short-sighted and was then thought to be 'troubled with his nerves'. He went on to be diagnosed with MS, so am not sure if the 'nerves' problem was early symptoms of that or if it was something else?

    I have another close relative where, for complex reasons too hard to explain here, I don't know if they served in the forces during WW2 or not. I'm guessing that there's little point in pursuing that currently, especially as they had a name that was very common? That's something that might perhaps be better explored if the records are, eventually, digitised?
  7. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It is going to take many years to transfer all the records, so get your order in ASAP.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  8. Sue_3

    Sue_3 LostCousins Member

    :eek: I'll have to pause something else in my life to make time for this, then!

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