View Full Version : RAF Service records

Walter Lindekens
1st March 2009, 19:45
Hi all,

This might interest quite a few of you, quoting a letter just received fm RAF Disclosures at Sleaford :

"Due to recent changes under the Freedom of Information Act, as Flying Officer ... 's death is proven to have happened over 25 years ago, I would be able to provide you with a transcript from his record of service without Next Of Kin consent. That would contain his full name and date of birth, his date of entry and discharge, any promotions or rank held, units and locations where he served and any honours or awards that would have been listed in the London Gazette or mentioned in despatches. It would not show any campaign medals or personal details. I will still need the £30 fee as above to provide this to you."

This of course makes a lot of information available to researchers without first having to trace next of kin of the airman involved.



Mikkel Plannthin
1st March 2009, 20:58
Thank you for sharing. Does it state what kind of proof you need regarding the death of the person in question?


1st March 2009, 22:35

Thank you for this information. For several years under disclosure rules they can tell you full name date and place of birth, date of enlistment and discharge. Final rank obtained and any gallantry awards. All for no charge, I'd be interested to see how detailed the postings information is.


Walter Lindekens
2nd March 2009, 19:59
Mikkel -

All I gave them in my letter was the airman's name, rank and number as well as the date of his death in action, pretty simple really. They will verify that date with their records I suppose.

Mark -

Well, as soon as I get the info I ordered I'll post an update to confirm the contents of the transcription.



11th March 2009, 10:59
Just as a matter of interest, there are quite a number of chaps (me included) attempting to fight the £30 'finders fee'. Under FOI, the MoD has had no choice but to release information previously withheld from researchers, however there are still a few sticking points that the MoD are refusing to budge on. Unfortunately the appeals process is long and arduous and involves different Gov't departments.

Eddie Fell
11th March 2009, 16:47
I am following this thread with interest as I recently made an enquiry about a deceased airman and whilst they responded by confirming what I already knew and had told them, his date of enlistment was one of the items listed (the others were posting and promotions) which I would only get when I paid the £30.

Jonny - have they given any indication of the timescale before you can expect a resolution?

When I sent my £30 I also added a list of 10 others I'm interested (I'm trying to establish their Christian names first and foremost) and asked them to tell me what they were permitted to about each of them. That was over a week ago but nothing received as of yet.

I will update the board as and when I get a reply



11th March 2009, 17:07

I, and some like minded folk, have a number of issues being argued with the MoD as we speak. It appears to me that the MoD (who is also my employer, btw) find many ways to say 'no' to the release of certain types of information when they should be finding ways to say ‘yes’ a lot more often. Take the matter of confirming medal entitlements for example. The MoD has released several post war medal rolls (Palestine 1945-48, SE Asia etc) to the National Archives and yet they still will not confirm bog standard WW2 entitlements. I have been arguing that one for 3 and a half months now and still have no end in sight. Following an exasperating phone call 2 days ago, I have just written to the Director of Military Services in an attempt to hasten the matter.

The issuer of the £30 charge is also ongoing. The FOI Act is clear that they should not charge for the release of info (unless the search costs over 600 quid, whereby the person requesting the info can be asked to offset the costs involved), however under the MoD's own rules, they still are. I have already argued this at the lowest level and have been informed that because they used to charge NoK, their current system of charging is simply a continuation of the old system.

Unfortunately the whole appeals process is slow and drawn out and has to be moved up the ladder, one rung at a time. In my experience each reply takes on average, 30 days; longer if you ask them to justify their reasoning. I will keep you informed.



Eddie Fell
12th March 2009, 16:45
Thanks Jonny

I will also pass on anything I uncover



Walter Lindekens
24th March 2009, 20:24
Hi all,

Well I sent my letter and payment to RAF Sleaford on Feb 29th and got the transcript of the service record I was after on Mar 23rd.

Following information is detailed in the transcript :

- date and place of birth
- previous service (ie previous to joining the RAF, the man in question started in the army)
- commissioned service, detailing promotions
- death presumed

- units served in (interesting part that as it enables me to trace the airman's flying training)
- honours and awards : none notified to service record

Ok, 30 pounds is a lot of money for one not that full page but it has given me important bits of info on the airman that I would probably not have obtained elsewhere. I'm happy!



25th March 2009, 16:11
Thanks Walter, nice to know. I'm a little afraid now of any reply I'm going to get from them, I asked for 10 airmen!!

Thanks for letting us know all this.

Eddie Fell
27th March 2009, 13:36
Hi All

Like Dennis, I also asked for details of 10 airmen (as indicated in my ealier post) in addition to paying my 30 quid for a service record .

Today I received my reply which states

'Unfortunately with regard to the other people listed, I am unable to supply you with their details as this office does not have the manpower to cover this type of request'

Doesn't bode well for yours Dennis!

I wonder how I will get on if I send ten letters a couple of days apart! I appreciate they may only have a small staff but is that not the MoD's problem rather than mine?



Andy Ingham
3rd April 2009, 19:19
Hello All

I also have today had a very negative response from the RAF on this subject.
I asked them if they could provide whatever information the could under the 'Freedom of information Act' on 3 pilots that were killed in action.
The response basically said that they could provide me with a copy of each man's record (2 A3 sheets) if I paid the fee of £30 each and obtained consent from next of Kin.
Not looking good.


24th April 2009, 11:59
I have just recieved copies of a service record for a pilot who was killed in a flying accident in 1953 and very pleased I am too (apart from the £30 charge, that is!). The RAF has finally cottoned on to the fact that it costs less to copy (most of) the actual SR than it does to type the info onto a seperate, blank sheet of paper.