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  1. #1
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Jan 2023
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    England
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    Default Requesting My Fathers WW2 Service Records

    This is my first post here so hello everyone and happy new year.

    I sent an application to the Army a few months back and was told that my late fathers service records were moved to the National Archives and I was given a reference number and an email address to contact.

    I have since done so and received the following response.

    "We are unable to open this record until 2038 because all of the information is exempt under Section 41 of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 until that time. This means that we cannot make the record open to you or to the public in general."

    Certainly not the reply I was hoping for.

    I'm not quite sure what to do regarding this or even if I can do anything about this.

    Any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Brick wall demolition expert!
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Lancashire
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    3,538

    Default

    My initial reaction was one of great surprise, and then I thought typical jobsworth hiding behind the FOI, which was never used by the MoD.

    So I think that I would challenge, why does the FOI apply to them when it did not for the MoD, who quite happily sold records to individuals / next of kin etc.

    It might be worth approaching the Information Commissioners Office to see if they agree that the National Archives are correct in withholding records until 115 years after they were born, particularly as they don't do that with other records.
    The National Archives guidance includes:
    "12. Why are records closed?
    These are personnel records, of identified individuals and they contain a range of personal
    data including medical information. Therefore closure will apply until 115 years past the date
    of birth of the individual. Information relating to living individuals is their personal data and
    will be withheld under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
    Any medical information regarding an individual will be considered exempt under section 41 –
    information provided in confidence. "

    https://ico.org.uk/

  3. #3

    Default

    And please let us know how you get on.

  4. #4
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Jan 2023
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    Default

    Hi Megan, many thanks for your response.

    I've contacted the ICO and am waiting for a reply.

    I'll update here when I've heard from them.

    In the email from the National Archives, it did say if I didn't agree with the answer they gave I could request an internal review on the matter.

    I think that's the next step depending on what the ICO say.

  5. #5
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    England
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    Default

    Update!

    I've heard back from the ICO and in order for them to investigate the matter they require additional information. One of which is the outcome of the internal review at the National Archives which I haven't filed.

    So my next step it is to write to the NA and request an internal review regarding my fathers records.

    I did imagine I'd get a simple answer from the ICO but here we are.

    I'll update here again when there's progress.

  6. #6
    Brick wall demolition expert!
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    3,538

    Default

    Thanks Sue for keeping us updated.

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