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Gordon Angus Mackinlay mentioned that many of the records of WW1 veterans held by Australia's Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) cannot be located. I fear a good number have been destroyed, although the extent of destruction is not clear and the news is not necessarily all bad. About four years ago, while I was a historian at the DVA, I was reading a medical file of a WW1 veteran and was intrigued by a stamp on the front cover, "Scheduled for destruction in ..." The nominated date had passed which made me doubly intrigued. I rang the DVA record keepers (of the bean counting variety) and was advised that all medical files received a destruction date which was set at something like (from memory) 20-30 years after the death of the veteran but that wholesale culling had not started (hence the set date of destruction having passed). The plan was to start culling "soon". (This is not to say that no such files had been destroyed, as I soon moved to a position elsewhere and was not able to continue my own enquiries.) We historians in the DVA swung into action and secured what might be called a stay of execution. I was under the impression that subsequently the safety of the WW1 veteran files was assured. A person who could perhaps tell us more is Anthony Staunton, Secretary, Military Historical Society of Australia, who was one of the historians at the time and has only recently left the DVA. I have his email address, if you would like it chased up. Incidentally, it may be that Australia also holds good number of medical records of British veterans who moved to Australia after the war as they too were treated by the 'Repat'/DVA. The reason why the veteran files are not easily located is that they have not yet been entered on the National Archives listings AND one really needs to know a) State of residence (post-war) and b) veteran number (different from military service number) to locate the files. I would suggest that a letter to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs would elicite a response as to the status of the medical records. Of course, a second question which could and indeed should be asked is: If the WW1 records are safe, are all veteran records safe? Because I can tell you now that a bean counter told that he or she cannot destroy WW1 veteran records will think "Well, they haven't said we can't destroy WW2, Korea, Vietnam, etc, records." John Moremon Centre for Defence Studies Massey University "Moremon, John" <J.Moremon@massey.ac.nz> ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----