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Thread: WAAF service record

  1. #1
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    Default WAAF service record

    I have the address for writing to RAF Cranwell, but might someone know a current phone number for inquiring about WAAF records?

    I am helping a woman, first name Elizabeth, in her quest to obtain the WAAF record of her birth mother; she never knew her mother and has no idea if she is alive still. Not sure if the records folks will give her grief because she hasn't yet been able to provide proof of death. Elizabeth was put up for adoption a month after birth.

    Rather than have Elizabeth write to Cranwell and wait, wait, wait for a reply to her basic inquiry, perhaps she can phone them and cut to the chase.

    The address I have found for WAAF records is:

    Officers whose service ended in 1920 or later and Airmen whose service ended in 1920 or later:
    RAF Disclosures, Room 221B, Trenchard Hall, RAF Cranwell, Sleaford, Lincs, NG34 8HB

    Surviving servicemen / women should contact:
    RAF DPA, Room 220, Trenchard Hall, RAF Cranwell, Sleaford, Lincs, NG34 8HB

    Elizabeth's is an interesting story. The birth mother (unwed) told Elizabeth's adopted parents that the father, surname provided, was an RAF officer, a bomber pilot, who was shot down and killed in early 1945 in Burma. The surname (I'll keep it under wraps for now, so as not to potentially hurt anyone) linked him to only one possibility -- a pilot who has reappeared in my research life repeatedly, in astounding ways...such as when, at random, I ended up at his grave in the huge Taukkyan War Cemetery north of Rangoon back in 1993. He flew with my mom's first husband (a separate casualty in Burma) in 1944, so I recognized the name on the grave marker...this was in pre-Internet days before the Debt of Honour Register. I had not even known that he died.

    And there are other similar coincidences involving this officer, his war career and pieces of the puzzle falling into place. Because some of it is on-line, Elizabeth - doing some snooping - was able to find me and then write to me, knowing that I knew all about this man who is almost certainly her father. Now I can share so much more with her, and to assist her as she continues down the path of discovery. Certainly it will lead to even better finds.

    The pilot died only one month after conception, and he never knew he was a father-to-be. Nor did his family back in the UK, apparently.

    Acquiring the birth mother's WAAF record will be meaningful to Elizabeth as a new source of knowledge about the woman. It may also provide proof that she was in India at the right time to have met up with the pilot.

    So if anyone can provide a phone number, this would be an important first step in the record-acquisition process.

    Thanks,

    Matt

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    Default

    Matt - According to the web site the telephone number is:

    01400 261201
    Ext 6711
    Ext 8161/8159 (Officers)
    Ext 8163/8168/8170 (Other ranks)

    Chris

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    Default

    Hi, Chris,

    In the wee hours of the morning when I searched the web briefly, I missed this information. Thanks for bailing me out with the phone numbers.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Default

    Matt

    I am conducting an enquiry for a WAAF. I received a letter yesterday from RAF Disclosures, Sleaford with a telephone number 01400 268165 so if your other phone number doesn't work try this one.

    Tony

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    Default

    Tony,

    Thanks for your alternate info, which I've passed along to Elizabeth.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    As a followup...

    Elizabeth was able to speak to a records clerk but was told that she needed to provide a copy of her birth mother's death certificate...which, at this point, Elizabeth does not have; she knows only minimal details about her birth mother.

    I recall that in 2007 on this board there was a discussion of RAF records and specifically how, despite the strict next-of-kin "rules", it was possible to purchase personnel files without proof of kinship. The RAF simply took one's money order, no questions asked, and provided the requested info. It was a sure thing, and no problem, apparently.

    That was when the records were at RAF Innsworth.

    Does anyone have more recent experience acquiring records from Cranwell by simply providing a money order with the request?

    The requests mentioned on the board in 2007 may have been for RAF airmen who died in the war -- known deaths from long ago. Elizabeth's case is different, as it is not known if her birth mother is living still; she has found no proof so far in limited death index searches. And at this point she does not even know for certain that her mother was a WAAF -- it's only what the birth mother told Elizabeth's adopted parents. Naturally, Elizabeth does not have a service number, either.

    I look forward to any advice.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Default Waaf

    Hello Matt,

    I notice that there is a WAAF Association, have you try this Association.

    Best regards

    René

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    Hi Matt

    I recently had a conversation with a member of staff at Cranwell who told me that they should not be sending me copies of records on behalf of the NoK, even with their permission due to the Data Protection Act.

    Malcolm

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    Hello Malcolm,
    Sorry, but do you mean that they had but they shouldn't? - or they will not?
    Norman

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    Hi Norman

    They did not send me the records in the end they sent them to the NoK direct who has still to send them to me in order to write the report for them.

    Malcolm

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