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Old 29-08-19, 11:11 AM
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Neil1689 Neil1689 is offline
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Default The National Archive at Kew

Good afternoon,
I am going to visit the National Archive at Kew to do some research into the Wessex Volunteers / Regiment 1967 to 1995.
From an earlier post the Army Dress Committee documents seem to be the ones to look for, WO 32 I believe.
If anyone who has visited the NA could give me some hints and tips on the best way of searching their archive I would be grateful. Neil
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Old 29-08-19, 11:19 AM
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Personally, I would view their on-line catalogue to see if they have the documents that you want. It will probably be a W.O. file that you need. War Office files have many sub divisions and if you can find the class and number of the document before you travel you can save an awful lot of time and frustration. You can also order up the document in advance so that it is waiting for you on arrival.

I am not sure though that military documents relating to 1965-95 will be in the public domain yet.
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Old 29-08-19, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for that, as they say every little helps. Regards Neil
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Old 30-08-19, 03:09 AM
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Hi Neil,

I was there a few years ago and spent 2-3 weeks in the reading room.

However, to get a pass to the room you need photographic ID and proof of address such as a phone or utilities bill.

I had both but some people wishing to use the archives who did not have said doco were turned away.

The staff are (certainly were then) a real grumpy and miserable bunch too.

Regards,

Chris
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Old 30-08-19, 03:26 AM
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Sign up for your readers ticket on-line, it is quicker.

Reserve the fi les you want online also, once you have a number.

The index is confusing and incomplete so try various permutations of search

Stephen.
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Old 30-08-19, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hagwalther View Post
Hi Neil,

I was there a few years ago and spent 2-3 weeks in the reading room.

However, to get a pass to the room you need photographic ID and proof of address such as a phone or utilities bill.

I had both but some people wishing to use the archives who did not have said doco were turned away.

The staff are (certainly were then) a real grumpy and miserable bunch too.

Regards,

Chris
I’ll have to second that. Except for a few, now sadly retired members of staff, the biggest bunch of incredibly rude smart arses that ever plagued this side
of the river Thames.

Zob.

Last edited by zob; 30-08-19 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 30-08-19, 01:37 PM
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For me.

Search the online database as thoroughly as you can in advance.

Apply for a temp. reader card online/by phone and order as many documents in advance as you can.

This will save you time when you get there and will get you familiar with the file syntax and their search engine which throws me from time to time.

If you are having difficulties pre-ordering online call them, I have found them very helpful in this matter.

I find it easier to photo pages rather that try to take copious notes so bring whatever it is that you use smart phone, camera etc and a charging cord. There are sockets at the reading room desks. If you must make notes follow the online instructions and take a pencil (no eraser)

Bring your proof of identity and on arrival go to the locker rooms to secure your bags or other items that you cannot take into the reading room (lockers are free) and go get a permanent readers card issued

I was last there in May and had to have my reader's card renewed the photo station had moved to near the entrance of the reading room.

Do pay attention to the instructions regarding use of document supports and handling in the reading room or you (gently in my experience) will get a telling off.

You will be limited by the number of files you can take from your assigned pre-order locker to the reading room at any one time. Keep the yellow ticket that comes with each order and return it with the file to the hand in desk when you are handing the file back. If you have a lot of documents to go through, and had pre-ordered your maximum number start ordering your next lots about 20 mins before you need them.

All in all I have never had any issues with the staff .

WO 32 are the files of the War Office and its successors. They will be subdivided classes such as that shown in this link

https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C2554586

John
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Old 30-08-19, 03:44 PM
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Many thanks for all your replies. I'll let you know how I got on.
Thanks again Neil
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