The National Archive
Web address: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
The National Archives is a government department and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice. We incorporate the Office of Public Sector Information and Her Majesty's Stationery Office. We also perform the Historical Manuscripts Commission's functions in relation to private records.
As the government's national archive for England, Wales and the United Kingdom, we hold over 1,000 years of the nation's records for everyone to discover and use.
The National Archives
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444
Air Historical Branch (RAF)
Web address: http://www.raf.mod.uk/history_old/ahb.html
The Air Historical Branch (RAF) is a small working department of the UK Ministry of Defence. It seeks to maintain and preserve the historical memory of the RAF and to develop and encourage an informed understanding of RAF and air power history by providing accurate and timely advice to Ministers, the RAF, other government departments and the general public. The Branch is not a public record depository, but maintains a substantial archive of classified policy and operational documents, which are normally declassified after thirty years and transferred to the Public Record Office. The Branch also holds an index of RAF casualties from 1939 onwards, aircraft accident record cards dating from the inter-war years, and a photographic archive.
Air Historical Branch (RAF)
Tel. 020 8833 8162
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Web address: http://www.cwgc.org/
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was established to mark and maintain the graves of the members of the British forces and of the Commonwealth who were killed in the two World Wars, to build memorials to those who have no known grave and to keep records and registers of the dead. Records are held at the Commission’s Head Office that enable staff to help enquirers locate a particular grave or a name on a memorial. Traces are carried out free of charge for relatives, but other enquirers have to pay a small fee for this service. Copies of cemetery and memorial registers and other publications relating to the Commission’s work can be supplied; a price list is available on request.
Enquiries Section, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 2 Marlow Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 7DX
Tel: 01628 634221
Imperial War Museum
Web address: http://www.iwm.org.uk/
The Imperial War Museum’s collections illustrate all aspects of warfare in the twentieth century where British and Commonwealth forces have been involved. It maintains an outstanding collection of film, photographs, documents, art, firearms, medals, printed material and sound recordings. The Department of Documents holds collections of personal letters, diaries, manuscripts, unpublished memoirs, foreign documents and war crimes trials records. The Department’s reading room is open Monday to Saturday, 10.00am – 5.00pm (it is closed during the last two full weeks of November). Visitors by appointment.
Department of Documents, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ
Tel: 020 7416 5221/5222/5226
Public Record Office
Web address: http://www.nationalachives.gov.uk/
The Public Record Office (PRO) houses the national archives of England and the United Kingdom, that is, records created by the actions of central government and of the courts of law of England and Wales. The documents number many millions, ranging in date from the Norman Conquest to the present day. Public records, with few exceptions, are available for inspection by members of the public thirty years after the end of the year in which they were created. The vast majority of records preserved by the RAF are located in the AIR classes at the PRO, together with documents on associated topics such as defence policy and military aircraft procurement. A readers’ guide is available for purchase:
S. Fowler, P. Elliot, R. Nesbit and C. Goulter, RAF Records in the PRO (PRO Publications, 1994)
Admission is by reader’s ticket, which will be issued on production of proof of identity, such as a driving licence or passport. PRO staff are available to assist visitors, but cannot undertake research. Details of professional researchers, who offer their services for a fee, are available from the PRO.
Opening Times Document Ordering Times
Monday 09.00 – 17.00 09.30 – 16.00
Tuesday 10.00 – 19.00 10.00 – 16.30
Wednesday 09.00 – 17.00 09.30 – 16.00
Thursday 09.00 – 19.00 09.30 – 16.30
Friday 09.00 – 17.00 09.30 – 16.00
Saturday 09.30 – 17.00 09.30 – 12.00 – 13.30 – 14.30
Closed on Public holidays and for annual stocktaking (usually in early December).
Public Record Office, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU