Discussion in 'Service Records' started by veronicad, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. veronicad

    veronicad Well-Known Member

    Why is it that an AB64 pay book (1936-1946) has place of birth cut out and Nationality of Mother/Father blanked out?
  2. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I'm not sure the reasoning behind it but it was from Army Council Instruction 1770 of 1942,

    "Particulars as specified will be entered except that the soldiers place of birth and the nationality of his father and mother at birth will not be entered and will be obliterated if already entered when the soldier proceeds overseas"

    Not sure if its possible to get the actual ACI to see if it explains why - as well as cut out I have seen examples where it has been inked out.

    Guy Hudson likes this.
  3. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Perhaps it was introduced in connection with the enlistment of persons previously regarded as "enemy aliens" to save them from "unnecessary harm" should they be captured?


    Steve Y
  4. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    Just looking at both my mum and my dad's AB64s and I notice that references to 'Place of birth' have been removed. In my dad's case, someone has taken a razor blade to the page to remove both his p-o-b and his parents nationality. Dad went overseas, but mum certainly did not.

    I've seen the war films where you were only supposed to give: name, rank & serial number. So is this also something to do with military secrecy?

    It seems a bit pointless to me, given that there are other references to home address elsewhere in the AB64. But I take Steve's point in the post above. If you have to edit some AB64s to protect individuals, you have to do them all.

    Guy Hudson likes this.
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Security..... such as religion not being revealed.One would think that no document likely to fall into enemy hands would give such personal details which would be advantageous to the enemy.Some Jewish servicemen of German birth usually went under assumed identities.

    The other point, bogus RC registration by an enemy deceived POW could lead to information beyond name,rank and number being ascertained.In the early stages of the war, William Joyce was able to broadcast details of captured servicemen along with personal detail.....other resources of personal information usually came from idle chatter on interrogation by the enemy.The Luftwaffe seemed to be quite proficient at it with regard to RAF POWs.

    Hence,the instruction, emphasised to servicemen, if captured...Name, Rank and Number only to be given......I think this may also be covered by the various Geneva Conventions.
    SteveDee likes this.
  6. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    The instruction to remove place of birth/nationality makes no mention of removing religion, so it does seem a bit odd - religion seems to have been untouched and I have a fair few examples with Jewish and they haven't been touched - I only have 1 that I can think of and it was to an Austrian Jew, he has scribbled out his religion, but if anything it just draws attention to it - with his limited English (he hadn't been here long) and Austrian accent I'd imagine any interrogator would have been pulled in his direction very quickly. Religion was in the paybook and on the dog tags so doesn't seem to have been something that any official attempt was made to hide, although I'm sure individuals soldiers were allowed to ask for it not to be shown or they could give false declarations.

    Oddly I was going through my paybooks just a few weeks ago checking religion to see how many different ones I could find (28 I think) - prompted by a Druid
    SteveDee and Guy Hudson like this.
  7. veronicad

    veronicad Well-Known Member

    As I said, my fathers AB64 had place of birth cut out , plus nationality of mother/ father.
    I would never have believed my fathers service records would also have been edited.
    1941 special service ( place erased) 1942 returned to unit from (erased) So ? I will never know.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019

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