The Transfer of Royal Navy Service Record Cards To TNA

The request was successful.

Dear Ministry of Defence,
The service record “sheets” of Royal Navy ratings born up to about 1908 have previously been transferred to TNA. TNA accessioned them into a series known as ADM188. On these sheets, the records of ratings still serving in 1929 are truncated as they were transferred to a card system at that time.

In 2008 the MoD consulted on the transfer of four collections of service records to TNA. One of these collections was described as:

“Approximately 60,000 cards detailing ratings who enlisted in the Royal Navy from 1924 up to the outbreak of the Second World War”.

The ratings whose service is recorded in this collection will generally have been born from about 1908 onwards until about 1923. As the record card system continued in use until about 1970, most cards in the collection will record the entire service of a rating (the only exceptions being ratings who served more than 30 years).

In 1929 the records of ratings who enlisted before 1924 and had part of their service recorded on the record “sheets” (now in ADM188) had their records transferred to the card system initiated in 1924. The dates of birth of the ratings whose records were transferred to card in 1929 ranged between the 1880’s and approximately 1908.

From the description of the collection of Royal Navy record cards consulted on in 2008, I assume that the record cards of ratings transferred to the card system in 1929 are not being offered for transfer to TNA.

My request for information is in three parts:
a) Does the MoD recognise that the records being offered to TNA represent a discontinuity in the run of ratings service records? By this I mean that largely complete service records of ratings born between approximately 1908 and 1923 are being offered before the remaining parts of the records of ratings born between the 1880’s and 1908?
b) If this is recognised, is there a particular reason for this apparently anomalous situation being allowed to arise?
c) When will MoD offer TNA the record cards which were initiated in 1929 for ratings with dates of birth between the 1880’s and 1908 who enlisted before 1924?

Yours faithfully,

Graham Woolgar

IDG left an annotation ()

The question of transfer should also be directed to TNA - they may not want them or it may be too expensive to digitise them!

DBS KI-Records AstHd(Stevenson, Paul B2),

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Woolgar,
Please find attached a response to your request for information reference

Paul Stevenson

DBS Knowledge and Information Records Assistant Head

E-mail (Role): [1]            

E-mail (Personal): [2][email address]

Telephone (Mil):   9380 25215 | Telephone (STD): +44 (0)2392 725215

Postal Address:   PP34 20 Store, First Floor Bldg 2/003, Gloucester Road,
HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, PO1 3NH


Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]

Graham Woolgar

Dear DBS KI-Records AstHd(Stevenson, Paul B2),
Thank you for your response to my FoI request regarding the transfer of Royal Navy Record Cards to TNA.

I would like to clarify my question and MoD's response.
The record cards I referred to in my request, correspond to the following sets of ratings' Official Numbers:

J 1-110000 (211 books)
K1-63500 (84 books)
L 1-15000 (13 books)
M 1-38000 (59 books)
SS 1 – 12000 (no. of books unknown)
SS 100001 – 125917 (no. of books unknown)
6 figure O.N.’s (no branch prefix) pensioners (WWI, re-enlisted) (53 books)

My understanding of your reply is that, from the MoD’s point of view, TNA is free to transfer these volumes as soon as it sees fit, in order to physically accession them or in order to digitize them.

Please confirm whether or not my understanding is correct.

Yours sincerely,
Graham Woolgar

DBS KI-Records AstHd(Stevenson, Paul B2),

Dear Mr Woolgar,

Thank you for your e-mail.

Your understanding is correct.

Paul Stevenson

DBS Knowledge and Information Records Assistant Head

E-mail (Role): [1][email address]

E-mail (Personal): [2][email address]
Telephone (Mil): 9380 25215 | Telephone (STD): +44 (0)2392
Postal Address: PP34 20 Store, First Floor Bldg 2/003,
Gloucester Road, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, PO1 3NH

show quoted sections

Dear DBS KI-Records AstHd(Stevenson, Paul B2),

Many thanks for your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Woolgar