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Thread: ORB appendices labelled 'Secret' - availability at PRO?

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    Default ORB appendices labelled 'Secret' - availability at PRO?

    Hi all

    A relative of mine was involved in an incident on an Op that is detailed within the squadron ORB as being described in an appendix to the ORB.

    I have noticed within the scan of the ORB from the PRO that it does not include the relevant appendix although I can see the top of it as 'Appendix A' which is stamped in the top right as 'Secret'.

    Can anyone advise (prior to my contacting the PRO on this) whether this information would still be withheld, so is not scanned for public consumption?

    Thanks in advance.


    Nick

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    Hello Nick,
    You don't say which ORB or TNA file number you have been looking at so I will just speak in general terms. The ORBs held at Kew are not all alike: some are Form 540, some are 541, some are appendices and others are combinations of any of these different pieces. Many have references in the margin to an appendix covering specific events or subjects which was attached when the document was created but there is no way of knowing whether that appendix was retained without looking. I assume you are looking at squadron level ORB as they are digitised and so the first thing to do is to look again at the Discovery catalogue for other files in the same (AIR27) series that may be titled 'Appendix' from the relevant date. If it ain't there then it wasn't kept with the ORB when it was passed to the old Public Record Office. If you have enough information about the incident to look further in the index then you may find that what was attached as an appendix was a report that has been kept as a separate file: this happens but is not always obvious because of an inadequate description of the appendix in the ORB.
    I hope that was easy to follow, short version is that there is no way to tell if the document described as 'Appendix A' was retained without more information.

    Regards,
    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Budd View Post
    Hi all

    A relative of mine was involved in an incident on an Op that is detailed within the squadron ORB as being described in an appendix to the ORB.

    I have noticed within the scan of the ORB from the PRO that it does not include the relevant appendix although I can see the top of it as 'Appendix A' which is stamped in the top right as 'Secret'.

    Can anyone advise (prior to my contacting the PRO on this) whether this information would still be withheld, so is not scanned for public consumption?

    Thanks in advance.


    Nick
    The Form 540 ORBs I have are all pre-printed SECRET anyway. I think if the ORBs are open then most of the appendices will be too. As previously suggested, they could be lost or filed elsewhere

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce dennis View Post
    Hello Nick,
    You don't say which ORB or TNA file number you have been looking at so I will just speak in general terms. The ORBs held at Kew are not all alike: some are Form 540, some are 541, some are appendices and others are combinations of any of these different pieces. Many have references in the margin to an appendix covering specific events or subjects which was attached when the document was created but there is no way of knowing whether that appendix was retained without looking. I assume you are looking at squadron level ORB as they are digitised and so the first thing to do is to look again at the Discovery catalogue for other files in the same (AIR27) series that may be titled 'Appendix' from the relevant date. If it ain't there then it wasn't kept with the ORB when it was passed to the old Public Record Office. If you have enough information about the incident to look further in the index then you may find that what was attached as an appendix was a report that has been kept as a separate file: this happens but is not always obvious because of an inadequate description of the appendix in the ORB.
    I hope that was easy to follow, short version is that there is no way to tell if the document described as 'Appendix A' was retained without more information.

    Regards,
    Bruce
    Thanks Bruce, appreciate the comprehensive response.

    It's the 540 ORB I am looking at and I can see the appendix in question is 'A' of 541 (the top part of the appendix has been scanned as part of the pdf file of the 540 document). I can see the top 2 inches I'd guess where I can see the notation of page 1 and marked 'Secret'.

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    Hello Nick,
    Forms 540 and 541 were issued to all units that kept records. What will help is to know the squadron or base that kept the record on the forms. It should be somewhere at the top of the page, often if the unit (such as a squadron) was mobile then the first column on the left will have a place name such as 'Bircham Newton' or 'Colerne'. With this, it is possible to find if there is a file marked 'appendix' from that unit for that date. Do you have the name of the unit?

    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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