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Old 27-06-06, 23:49
DITNER, S.M. DITNER, S.M. is offline
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Location: Toronto
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Default service files-release of info

Mr. Law:

Thanks for the tip re: Canuck etc. I was so fascinated, I managed to get in shit at work....

I noticed something in one of the forums that I thought you would be able to address. There was a comment to the effect that a writer would have to wait "seven more years" to get some portions of a Second War service record. Did I misunderstand that, or is the $80.00 package I got from archives incomplete?

The whole thing was a bit of a shambles. The no-charge basic package I received first had pages in it that did not appear when I paid for "all" of it some time later....

Could you comment?

Much obliged
031 - Pro Patria
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Old 28-06-06, 01:36
klambie klambie is offline
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Default Re: service files-release of info

I'll chime in based on my experience with personnel files, started like yours with a search for info on a relative. I've since looked at dozens for a particular unit, so think I have a general feel for what they contain. The only caveat would be that my experience is primarily with the typical file for an OR who was killed. I have very limited experience with officers or with anything 'abnormal' - Courts of Inquiry, awards for gallantry, etc. I am not sure what would be copied or excluded in such cases. From memory, I hope I don't lead anyone astray.

1. Files for those who died in service are now open to all researchers.

2. Files for those who have been deceased for more than twenty years are open to all researchers with proof of death.

3. Files for those who have been deceased for less than twenty years are open only to close family members with proof of death and proof of relationship. I believe these requests will always be limited to the 'important' stuff in a file, and not the complete file.

To the last point, the default response to a request to LAC will be the basic information in the file - attestation, moves between units, award entitlements, burial info, etc. In my experience, that will almost always tell you everything of value about the man's service.

I believe the 'seven more years' comment you saw elsewhere is the time for a file to move from group 3. above to group 2. This would apply to someone like me who would like to see the files of great-uncles, but who must wait until they have been deceased for 20 years in order to do so. I am not considered a close relative.

It is possible to request everything in the file (and they will ask if you are really sure you want it), which will typically add medical and dental records and the like.

For a family member, it is probably worth ordering the entire file on the small chance that you may uncover a tidbit of information on a more obscure document. If you are working with large numbers of files (say for a unit), the chance of noticing those tidbits after being blinded by endless pages of dental charts is small.

It is odd that you found pages in the basic package that were not in the 'complete file' package. I'd only be speculating as to why someone would filter something out, but would lean toward error than any other reason.

Hope this helps.
Kevin Lambie
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Old 28-06-06, 02:07
servicepub (RIP)'s Avatar
servicepub (RIP) servicepub (RIP) is offline
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Location: Ottawa
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Their are guidelines provided by the Access ti Information and Privacy (ATIP) and, depending on what standards and policies are in place on any given day, the exact type of information provided to researchers may vary. That said, in cases where a complete file is requested and the ATIP parameters are met (i.e deceased xx years, etc) then you will get details on treatment for syphillis, etc... In other words, details that the family may be entitled to but wouldn't want to know about.
Those who live by the sword will be shot by those of us who have progressed.
- M38A1, 67-07800, ex LETE
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Old 28-06-06, 02:12
DITNER, S.M. DITNER, S.M. is offline
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Default records of service

Mr. Lambie:

Thanks for your reply. Individual was, indeed, killed in action in Italy. I believe I have everything, much of it mundane, but as you suggested there were items that were of value in terms of "colour" for my work.

I don't suspect any skullduggery; my relative was a farmboy from Petersburg, Ontario who drove a Fox Scout Car with 4 PLDG and though it would be entertaining to portray him as a Special Operations Executive commando. I've resisted the temptation.

As you suggest, the error was simply sloppiness. Your clarification of the "seven years" query cleared up issue.

Thanks again
031 - Pro Patria
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