Keith - Army Records, or British Army Records have moved from Hayes to Glasgow, or so I was informed by the IWM.
If the person whose record you are requesting is still living, you must get their written concent to apply for same. If not, you need to supply a copy of the Death Certificate, or at least I did.
In brief, if you are not genuine next of kin, do not go there.
I tried to obtain my father's medical records as well, no chance, only his doctor can do this if he is lucky.
Maurice is correct, they supply photocopies of original documents, but if that includes third party information such as the names of POW camp commanders shown on the debrief form, that will be edited out. Data Protection Act, and Freedom of Information (or not as the case may be) are quoted.
From what I understand, POW Index Cards and Debrief forms are now back at the PRO. These are being sorted into correct order.
All the PRO is, as told by their Military Specialist, is a library for records. The records themselves belong to the various "departments", eg WO = War Office.
That office decides what can be made public, and what cannot.
They can pull the files at any time, with no explaination other than "retained by department" appearing against the file or files.
I wonder who had the files on the Coast Gun Regiments when I visited in August. Having been an inquisitive lad, and taken copies, it will be interesting to see if they are intact.
Peggy - >Keith -- Thanks for the info about the records and clearing up some of my confusion.
I've worked at the PRO in the past, on subjects about early 20th century, but not things as "recent" as the 1940s/50s. It all sound pretty much like the situation in the US -- Sheldon Harris had files disappear from under his nose while researching Unit 731 -- the historian at Ft. Detrick was told to "get rid of the stuff". Harris testified to this effect before the US Congress -- so its in the public record. What's being destroyed over there now one can only imagine.
Keith - >Ron and Mat,
From what I have been told by the librarians at the IWM, it is the Glasgow address, I will look it up to confirm it is corrct.
Someone I have been helping has written to the new address, and got the records request. If I can help further, drop me a line.