Nominal Rolls by Camp - FEPOWs end war - Freedom of Information Request

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Justin History, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. Dear All

    I asked the MoD (FOI FOI2014/03383 KS-U) whether the following nominal rolls by camp for FEPOWs had been retained in the MoD archives:

    [From WO222/1390 in the National Archives]

    'Extract from Allied Headquarters No.18/A Dated 28th August 1945

    The Commanders Ex-POW Camps Thailand and Saigon.


    1) The total number of ex-P.O.W.'s reported by H.Q. I.J.A. [Imperial Japanese Army] Honsho is as follows:-

    Thailand Saigon Total

    British & others 13,338 (13,338) 2,314 15,652

    Dutch 11,334 1,751 13,085

    Australian & N.Z. 4,662 264 4,926

    American 296 206 502

    29,630 4;535 34,165

    Transmission of names of ex-P.O.W.'s.

    2) Nominal rolls of ex-P.O.W.'s are being transmitted by the Siwss Consulate, Bangkok to Berne, as they are being received from camps. Camps will be notified when their lists have been transmitted.

    Any camp which has not yet submitted a list should do so. Lists to be in alphabetical order by nationalities showing Regimental Number, Rank, Name and Initials and Unit.


    3) The policy for the first stage of concentration is to bring outlying detachments, etc., into the main camps most conveniently situated from the aspect of Communications. These camps are shown ,in appendix A.

    4) It is essential, for the final hand-over that the existing I.J.A. Group and card system be retained.

    5) Headquarters of each Group camps will therefore send weekly to this H.Q. statements vide Appendix B, made out as at midnight Sunday/Monday in order that this H.Q. may keep location and strengths up to date. Camps will also send in Part II orders as frequently as conditions permit showing casualties by nationalities. Returns should be agreed with I.J.A.

    6) The second stage of concentration is expected to be made in the Bangkok area and Allied H.Q. are endeavouring to arrange that this should be done by nationalities.'

    After a wait and a thorough search by the MoD the response was:

    '[SIZE=11pt] Whilst the MOD is currently transferring some WW2 era material to TNA, and still retains a small number [/SIZE][SIZE=11pt]of[/SIZE][SIZE=11pt] WW2 records with continuing sensitivity, the records you identify are not amongst them. The likelihood is therefore that the material you identify has been destroyed.'[/SIZE]

    They did however identify the additional copy of 'WO 392; British Prisoners of War in Japan or Japanese-Occupied Territory' (which I have already posted about) which does not record the camp in the case of prisoners in Thailand for example and must ultimately have been derived from these records or similar sources.

    A request to the Swiss National Archives was met with the response that they did not hold these rolls (they were sent via the Swiss Consulate). So perhaps the next port of call is the Red Cross (ICRC) when their WW2 records reopen in 2015.


    papiermache likes this.
  2. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member


    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  3. Just checked one possibility with the MOD, whether the records included Home Guard members from the Second World War. They are not included in any of the figures as '[SIZE=11pt]...Home Guard records are indexed at box level by unit/county/surname range rather than at file level inclusive of date of birth.'[/SIZE]
  4. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    The National Archives set up a User Advisory Group, composed of Kew staff and appointed representatives from users, in 2011 which publishes minutes and regular cataloguing and digitisation updates. I have copied and pasted the following from the December 2011 papers about Home Guard records, but I cannot find much of more recent date in the User Advisory Group minutes.

    " Title: Pilot Home Guard digitisation update Date: 06/12/2011 Presenter: Chris Mumby"

    Required Action: Familiarity with Pilot Home Guard digitisation project (see minutes of previous meetings).

    What the User Advisory Group are being asked to do / consider:
    • To receive a general update on progress with the pilot Home Guard digitisation project and future milestones.

    Background / context for discussion:

    The Home Guard records are one of several series of historic service personnel records which the Ministry of Defence (MoD) currently have in their custody.
    Although The National Archives’ usual policy would be to take a representative sample of the paper records, it has been identified that this material is of sufficient interest that a viable solution is to create digital records from the paper originals, accession the records digitally and make them available in their entirety through a third party commercial licensee partner.
    Licensing the creation of digitised material and making it commercially available online is a standard model. However, there are significant additional challenges in this case, one of which is that we will be accessioning the digital images rather than the paper documents themselves which we have not done on this scale before. This means that we have to be absolutely sure that the overall approach will work to the high standards required.
    In order to test the robustness of our systems and procedures, we are undertaking a pilot digitisation project of a small sample of the Home Guard records. For the purpose of the pilot, we plan to deliver the service for searching and downloading images of the records to the public via our existing Discovery service, thereby testing and asking for feedback on the quality of the metadata and ‘searchablity’ - not the user interface."

    The " National Archives usual policy" gives one pause for thought !
  5. A valuable point, I believe that they found the digitisation of Home Guard records difficult precisely because of the interpretation of the Data Protection rules. I am copying this over to the thread on the MoD Database on Service Records together with my the last post (Mods please note my mistake in placing the Home Guard comment in this thread).


Share This Page