Author Topic: Never seen before emergency travel passport  (Read 859 times)

Offline NikkiS

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Never seen before emergency travel passport
« on: Thursday 30 December 21 19:01 GMT (UK) »
Hello

Has anyone ever seen a document like or similar to the one that I have attached.

It was for an Irish born male, who was granted the document in Zurich, Switzerland by the British Consulate General on the 24th of April 1944.

Would a document like this be an indication that the person a British citizen or  an Irish?

Iv checked Irish birth records for 1918 and there is no matching person.

Any advice?

Offline jnomad

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 30 December 21 20:56 GMT (UK) »
Seen before, yes. My sister lost her passport in Germany, and was issued a document like this to get back to Britain.

The person was presumably born before 1921, hence, as it says, a British subject by birth. Without documents the consulate wouldn’t pronounce on citizenship. I think my sister’s version was to the effect that she says she was born in …

Offline NikkiS

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 30 December 21 21:22 GMT (UK) »
Thank you so much for your input.

You are correct, my late grandfather  was born in 1918.
Your explication was very helpful.


Offline aghadowey

  • RootsChat Honorary
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 49,503
    • View Profile
Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 30 December 21 21:30 GMT (UK) »
You can search Irish birth registrations here-
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/civil-search.jsp

Be sure to also check for 'unknown' as first name in case birth registered before Christian name(s) chosen. It may be that the surname varies in spelling from what you are expecting.
Away sorting out DNA matches... I may be gone for some time many years!

Offline NikkiS

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 30 December 21 22:08 GMT (UK) »
Thank you.
Iv just found his military records. His religion is Church of England- I’m guessing he would be registered separately.

Thanks for the clue on “unknown “

Offline Elwyn Soutter

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,176
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
« Reply #5 on: Friday 31 December 21 00:04 GMT (UK) »
After independence from the UK in 1922, people born in what was then the Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland) continued to be British Subjects if they wished. Dual nationals. On 1.1.1949 the Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland, left the British Commonwealth, and with that the automatic right to British Subject nationality ceased for those born after that date.

But in 1944 anyone born in any part of Ireland (before or after 1922) was a British subject by birth whether they wanted to be or not. A similar situation exists today whereby anyone born in Northern Ireland is entitled to British or Irish citizenship (or both). It's a matter of personal choice. There are exceptions for people not lawfully settled and for diplomats and their families but in general that’s the law.

What you can infer from this 1944 document is that your ancestor presented him/herself at the British Consulate General in Zurich and said they were born in Kilkenny, and needed to get to the UK urgently. The Consul accepted that, and issued an emergency British passport.  Your ancestor might also have gone to the Irish Free State Consul in Zurich (assuming there was one) and sought a Free State Travel Document to travel there. But evidently they did not do that.

An emergency passport is/was issued in a situation whereby there wasn’t time to establish a persons entitlement to a full passport. The document was valid for one journey and was normally impounded on arrival in the UK.  Typically issued these days because of a need for very urgent travel, eg a family death, but in 1944, possibly wartime issues may have been the main factor.

Was this document ever actually used since it’s in your possession? If used, normally it should have been impounded on arrival in the UK and would have a stamp at the bottom from the Immigration Officer at the port of arrival.

Elwyn

Offline NikkiS

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
« Reply #6 on: Friday 31 December 21 16:25 GMT (UK) »
Dear Elwyn,

Thank you kindly for your insight.

My grandfather passed away before I was born and would have to ask my father these relevant questions.
I do know that he was a PoW at some point during WW2 and that he escaped from Italy.
My grandfather was orphaned but we/I do not know how old he was when this happened.
He eventually settled in South Africa and married my grandmother.

I’m trying to source the birth register for the Church of England for births in Ireland in 1918, but have not been successful at doing so yet.

Thank you again for your insight.

Offline Elwyn Soutter

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,176
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
« Reply #7 on: Friday 31 December 21 17:05 GMT (UK) »
Being an escaped POW sounds precisely the sort of circumstance in which he might have got an emergency passport. He would obviously want to get back to the UK or Ireland as quickly as possible. Getting a new full passport would have required a birth certificate etc from Ireland and would have taken months in wartime. Whereas the Consul had/has the discretion to issue that one-way document without further enquiry, and evidently used it.

Regarding birth in Kilkenny, the obvious question is was it the town of Kilkenny or the county?

Church of England, in Ireland, is the Church of Ireland.

If it was the town of Kilkenny there are 4 churches there, and their Church of Ireland birth, marriage & burial records have been copied for the following years:

Kilkenny Garrison 1920-1921 -
St Canice’s Cathedral 1790-2016 1790-2007 1790-2016 Some coverage at RootsIreland.ie.
St John 1890-2016 1845-2005 1845-2013 # Earlier records destroyed in 1922. Some coverage at RootsIreland.ie.
St Mary 1729-1935 1729-1942 1729-1952

The original documents are in the RCB library in Dublin (Churchtown, Dublin 14) but 2 of the parishes are on rootsireland (for some years). I’d be surprised if 1918 was on rootsireland, as they tend to focus on older records. The RCB library doesn’t do look ups, as far as I know, so you would need to get a Dublin based researcher to go there.
Elwyn

Offline NikkiS

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Never seen before emergency travel passport
« Reply #8 on: Friday 31 December 21 17:25 GMT (UK) »
Hello

Thanks for your reply.

Co Kilkenny is what is written on his army records.

Thank you again for your wonderful insight