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RAF Casualty Records: The MOD Wants You!

Photo: A selection of the files to be prepared for preservation.


The Ministry of Defence seeks volunteers to assist in the preparation of World War Two RAF Casualty Packs for The National Archives.

An example of what the files may contain, in this instance, German photographs of the casualty’s military funeral.

The Ministry of Defence has told Britain at War that it is seeking volunteers to assist them in their preparation of Second World War RAF Casualty Packs for transfer to The National Archives.

The packs, which were created between 1939 and 1945 following an incident or loss of aircraft or personnel, are a valuable resource to military and family historians. Following a public consultation, transfer of the packs commenced in 2013; the number of packs involved (around 55,000), and the effort required to physically prepare them has since limited the volume actually transferred to The National Archives.

The MOD is therefore exploring the possibility of using voluntary labour and is seeking expressions of interest from individuals. Working in the Heritage area of Portsmouth Naval Base, volunteers would prepare packs in accordance with TNA guidelines, including removal of metal ware, teasing out of folded extremities, protection of damaged paper by placing in plastic wallets, identification and protection of material artefacts and re assembly of the pack.

There are no security clearance requirements and full training will be provided. Volunteers would be expected to commit to a minimum of 4 hours per week in the period 0915–1645 Monday to Thursday for an initial period of at least 3 months, the prospective starting date for would-be volunteers is Sept 2017.

The role would be most suited to those with an ability to perform repetitive tasks to produce high quality work in accordance with set guidelines, having manual dexterity and enjoy working within a team.

Expressions of interest should be sent by e-mail to including a contact e-mail address and telephone number, or in writing to: MOD Records Office, PP34 20 Store, Gloucester Road, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, PO1 3NH.

Applicants should be aware that the packs contain information (letters from next of kin, exhumation reports, photographs) that some people may find distressing.

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