Author Topic: Requesting military records times and results  (Read 2302 times)

Offline MacGrigor

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Requesting military records times and results
« on: Wednesday 25 March 20 22:15 GMT (UK) »
Hello,

Iím in the process of sending off for my great-grandadís military records. I was told by a relative that he was in the army, and he died more than 25 years ago, so Iíve filled out the two relevant forms, and got my cheque for £30. Iím just waiting for the death certificate from 1988 to arrive.

Iíd love to hear from other people who sent off for records. Granted, mine will probably be hindered by the current craziness. How long did you wait before receiving information? In what form did it come? Iíve read the amount of information can vary from person to person.

Best wishes,

Adam
Lipman family of Aldgate - ends with Lewis Lipman (d. 1871, Bethnal Green), son of John Lipman 'late of Glasgow' (1856)
McGregor family of Fodderty - ends with Alexander McGregor (b. 1765, Fodderty), son of Murdoch McGregor and Kate Stewart

Online Ruskie

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Re: Requesting military records times and results
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 25 March 20 22:42 GMT (UK) »
My order took almost a year from sending off the application and the records arriving. That was several years ago and was the length of wait I was expecting at that time.

Wait time seemed to have been substantially reduced a year or two ago and I believe people were receiving records within a couple of months. Recently there was a thread where an elderly gent applied for his own WW2 service record and that only took a week or two. Presumably he was a priority.

I think you are probably right in that current events will delay receiving records, depending on workplaces opening, and there will probably be more people applying for records as they are stuck at home.

Records are photocopies on A3 size paper.

Offline MacGrigor

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Re: Requesting military records times and results
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 25 March 20 22:48 GMT (UK) »
Hello Ruskie,

Fascinating! Iíd struggle to wait a year. Youíre evidently much more patient than I am. A few months would be tolerable, but I agree with you that there will likely be delays along the chain. Thanks for all those details. Were you impressed with all the documents you received? Were they informative?
Lipman family of Aldgate - ends with Lewis Lipman (d. 1871, Bethnal Green), son of John Lipman 'late of Glasgow' (1856)
McGregor family of Fodderty - ends with Alexander McGregor (b. 1765, Fodderty), son of Murdoch McGregor and Kate Stewart


Online Ruskie

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Re: Requesting military records times and results
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 25 March 20 23:05 GMT (UK) »
Yes, mine were quite detailed, but as is the case with these things there is some repeated information.

Others will be able to explain why, but I am guessing if records were made to be held by different authorities then they all came together at the MOD post war?

I already knew largely what the records I applied for would contain. Records do need interpretation and have many abbreviations, and sheet with abbreviations is included.

Offline MacGrigor

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Re: Requesting military records times and results
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 25 March 20 23:22 GMT (UK) »
That certainly will be very helpful. I expect Iíll be back on here asking for some help ;D

Thanks for all the information!
Lipman family of Aldgate - ends with Lewis Lipman (d. 1871, Bethnal Green), son of John Lipman 'late of Glasgow' (1856)
McGregor family of Fodderty - ends with Alexander McGregor (b. 1765, Fodderty), son of Murdoch McGregor and Kate Stewart

Offline GrahamSimons

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Re: Requesting military records times and results
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 26 March 20 08:07 GMT (UK) »
They prioritise cases where there's a need, perhaps to do with pension or health. Family history is quite correctly not priority.
Simons Barrett Jaffray Waugh Langdale Heugh Meade Garnsey Evans Vazie Mountcure Glascodine Parish Peard Smart Dobbie Sinclair....
in Stirlingshire, Roxburghshire; Bucks; Devon; Somerset; Northumberland; Carmarthenshire; Glamorgan

Offline MaxD

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Re: Requesting military records times and results
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 26 March 20 10:09 GMT (UK) »
To paraphrase Forrest Gump - service records are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

To expand a bit on Ruskie's point.  A person's record was maintained by one of a large number of regimental or corps record offices who up dated occurrences principally from information sent in from a plethora of headquarters in the field.  All this on paper, done in many cases by rudimentarily trained clerks, who themselves had just joined up, in the middle of a war in the chaos of a variety of locations.   

The record is but the first vital step in what can be a complicated process. The record will (should) identify the units he served with and when but except in the broadest sense - N Africa, NW Europe, SE Asia - not where he served.  For the detail the right war diaries, if they exist, would be needed..

The record of a man who spent his service in one unit is obviously going to be easier to deal with than a man sent from one unit to others.  The nature of the unit will often determine whether there is any real information to be gleaned from a war diary, the activities of a "secret" Royal Signals unit for example being more difficult to trace that those of a "normal" infantry battalion.  The services also varied in the way they kept records, the RAF taking a quite different approach to the army for example.

You might like to look at some of the threads on the WW2 board where folk have asked for help with records and where they have posted clips of parts of them. 

Hope you don't have to wait too long!

MaxD
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Offline Kiltaglassan

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Re: Requesting military records times and results
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 26 March 20 11:51 GMT (UK) »
I sent off the letter and forms for two ancestors back on 28th November past.

The application for my late uncle who was in the RAF in WW2 resulted in his service record and other details being received in the post on 27th December (less than a month).

However the service records for my late mother's first cousin who was in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, (application sent at the same time) is still awaited by post (nearly 4 months).

Note that the cheques for both applications were banked in early to mid December.

KG

Cuthbertson - Co Derry, Scotland & Australia
Hunter - Co Derry
Jackson - Co Derry, Scotland & Canada
Scott - Co Derry
Neilly - Co Antrim & USA
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Ryan & Noble - Co Sligo

Offline MacGrigor

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Re: Requesting military records times and results
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 26 March 20 17:07 GMT (UK) »
Sorry - I wasnít notified by email for these latest responses.

MaxD, you seem to be confirming what everybody else has says, that itís basically a lottery. I donít really mind, as long as thereís some information. I have seen other people asking to have parts decoded, and Iím sure I will be joining them in that ;D

Kiltaglassen, thatís very interesting. May I ask if the second service record contained more information? Could that have been why it took longer? Or purely a matter of administration?

Also, Iím somewhat worried. Iíve looked at the second form, and it automatically ticks ĎNormal demobilisation after 1939/45 Warí as the reason for the individual leaving the service. Iím not sure if this wouldíve been the reason, as I donít know the timeline exactly. My great-grandad was just short of 37 when the war started (although he was reportedly a fit man, playing amateur football locally), and I donít know exactly when he joined up. Given the fact he wouldíve been 42 on VE Day, I donít know if he wouldíve been discharged before then due to age.
Lipman family of Aldgate - ends with Lewis Lipman (d. 1871, Bethnal Green), son of John Lipman 'late of Glasgow' (1856)
McGregor family of Fodderty - ends with Alexander McGregor (b. 1765, Fodderty), son of Murdoch McGregor and Kate Stewart