FOI request from National Archives?

Discussion in 'Research Material' started by dazza_bo, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. dazza_bo

    dazza_bo Member

    G'day all,

    Just wondering what everyone's experience has been with a Freedom of Information request from the National Archives. I sent a FOI request via email roughly mid April of this year concerning a record they hold regarding my recently deceased grandfather. The record I'm after is a WWII POW card of my grandfather who was in the British army and captured by the Germans in Belgium in 1940.

    About a week after I sent the request I received a reply email letting me know they can't proceed with the request as it may relate to a living individual which was understandable. I sent a copy of my grandfather's death certificate as proof of his passing and awaited their reply.

    Towards the end of May I received another email informing me that there was a slight problem. Apparently the details on my grandfather's death certificate and the details in their records didn't match. They didn't say what exactly didn't match but I was asked to confirm the full date of birth of my grandfather which I of course provided. The person handling the request has been nothing but polite and considerate. They said in the email "I am hoping this detail will match up to what is in the record and resolve the problem."

    What I am wondering is will there be an issue if my grandfather potentially lied about his age to join the army? Has anyone else had a similar issue with their relative's DOB given to the MOD and their actual DOB not matching? We understand he joined the TA in January 1939 when he would have been not yet 18. We don't know for sure but we assumed he lied about his age. I included this information and our assumptions in my reply email. I haven't yet received a reply so I am hoping I am informed of an outcome one way or the other. I understand these things take time, especially during these times of Covid-19. Does anyone have a rough idea of how long it took to receive their requested record from time of initial request to delivery?

    Another thing I am wondering is if the record is approved, will it be sent digital via email or physical via post? Thank you for any help.

    Kind regards and apologies for the wall of text.

  2. brithm

    brithm Senior Member


    If the service number is the same there should not be a problem. Maybe that is one thing to ask TNA.

    The POW cards should be open really as the only personal item in these cards are the medical cards and X-Rays, the information on WO 344 fforms are in some cases more sensitive with accusations of collaboration and other crimes.

    There may be trouble with the DOB but if the service number you have and they have is one of the same there should be no problem at all.

  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    I see from your other post that you propose to apply for his service records.
    Applying for UK service record from Australia

    Are you sure that he was actually a POW? He was certainly named on the British Army List of Missing to be Circulated to POW Camps, but that was only an enquiry in order to trace missing men.

    1/8th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
    3449492 BLORE Fus JE

    Casualty List No. 302 Dated 7 September 1940
    Missing / Date not reported

    Casualty List No. 309 Dated 16 September 1940
    Prisoner of War (Previously reported as missing)

    Casualty List No. 657 Dated 31 October 1941
    Re List No. 309
    Previously shown on Casualty List No. 302 as Missing, date not reported, The above entry should be deleted, soldier still missing.

    Casualty List No. 1589 Dated 28 October 1944
    Previously reported missing now reported not missing

    And finally
    Manchester Evening News, Tuesday, October 17, 1944
  4. dazza_bo

    dazza_bo Member

    Thanks brithm, that makes me feel a bit more confident of a good outcome.

    Hi Tony, he was captured twice but escaped both times while being force marched with other POWs so I believe that technically makes him a POW? He never spent time in a POW camp however.

    For anyone interested here is a link to his account of escape and subsequent concealment by the resistance. J E A Blore escape.pdf
    Harry Ree likes this.
  5. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    You don’t appear to have the attached about his evasion

    Attached Files:

  6. dazza_bo

    dazza_bo Member

    Mate that is amazing. Thank you so much for that.
  7. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    That is amazing ! Fair play
  8. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    It certainly looks as though Norgan got his comeuppance after the war. There are some files relating to his trial at the National Archives that will be worth looking at when it reopens

    Attached Files:

    dazza_bo likes this.
  9. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    A bit more

    Attached Files:

    dazza_bo likes this.
  10. dazza_bo

    dazza_bo Member

    Yeah I looked into Norgan a while back and found a few interesting newspaper articles about it. He maintained his innocence and married the daughter of the farmer who hid him. Together they spent every penny they had fighting for his freedom and she even divorced him to save her house from being seized. He was eventually freed after serving four years I believe. Of the 15 resistance members who the Gestapo arrested eight ended up dying in Nazi camps. Very sad. My grandfather had nothing but praise and gratitude for the French and Belgian citizens who risked their lives to hide him.
    horsapassenger likes this.
  11. dazza_bo

    dazza_bo Member

  12. Jonas Reyntjens

    Jonas Reyntjens New Member

    Thanks for the information and the newspaper articles. The farm where he went into hiding belonged to my great-great-grandparents, they were both picked up by the gestapo dressed in pajamas and died in concentration camps. One of their sons managed to escape. The other two were also captured, but the field-guard let them escape. The field-guard was also taken to a concentration camp for this. The Germans fired on my great grandfather, today there is still a bullet hole in the chapel next to the farm. Since it was a misty morning, he managed to escape. He remained hiding in Pecq (about 20 km from Kaster) for the rest of the war. My great-grandmother was visited several times during the war by highly ranked Germans, one of them claimed to know where he was. But my great-grandmother kept silent and kept going to Pecq with food for her husband. They both survived the war and each had their own successful business.
    dazza_bo, Tricky Dicky and Tullybrone like this.
  13. dazza_bo

    dazza_bo Member

    Thank you for sharing that information Jonas. So much gratitude from my family to yours. They risked so much when they didn't need to. Thank you mate.

    I actually have an update about this that I have been meaning to share here. A few months ago a history teacher from France contacted my dad on Facebook asking if he was related to an English soldier escapee from WWII he had been researching. Turns out it was my grandfather and he had done quite a bit of research on him, Norgan, and the families of those affected by what happened. He even uncovered a photo of my grandfather taken in 1941 in the garden of one of the families hiding him. Here is a link to his website detailing the events: Affaire Norgan
    Jonas Reyntjens likes this.

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