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Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Moremon wrote that I "mentioned that many of the records of WW1 veterans held by Australia's Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) cannot be located." What I actually wrote was "a psychiatrist employed by the Department in the 1930-70's whose comprehensive files relating to such men under the Departments care." and "....and having pointed a couple of people in the direction of the files, they are now unable to be found!" These being the files which that gentlemen prepared and maintained throughout his employment with the then Department of Repatriation, and bore no relationship with the "Subject Files" (as originally entitled) relating to the Returned Man (or Woman) individual case, and covered those persons so injured during the various conflict and under the Departments care in that forty odd year period. The current Department which in no way resembles the extremely efficient and effective predecessor, has admitted to the Returned Services League of Australia, that it "believes" between 20-40% of the individual service members had been destroyed before a change in Government stopped this, and that it had made no attempt to copy in any manner to reduce the paper content such as electronically. In the 1950's the then 'Repat' had announced that it was to convert all forms of Repatriation records held onto microfilm and the KALAMAZOO Card Data Processing System, one C.G.W.Anderson, VC, MC, a Member of Parliament, stopped the changeover through Parliamentary action. He stating that it denigrated the memory of those dead, and debased the value of the living in receipt of Repatriation Care. The country should have sighed in relief, as when the time came from the late 1970's, transferring records on such a system was a complete nightmare, and many organisations (of many types) were unable to complete the task due to the sheer financial cost. The British Army adopted such systems in the 1950's for its various Regimental Records Offices and Pay Offices, an article in The Daily Telegraph (of London) in December 1989 stated that the cost of doing so had been the equivelent of purchasing from Boeing of 13 Chinook helicopters (the Telegraph has traditionally been the British Armed Forces newspaper support). "A person who could perhaps tell us more is Anthony Staunton, Secretary, Military Historical Society of Australia". We have been friends for some thirty years. "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." Unfortunately this happened, but, this stopped in 1997, with the number and conflict actually unknown. Having personal experience of the problem in regard to Australian Army personnel in South Viet Nam, who made claim for support for illnesses alleged to have been caused by chemical spraying in that country. Until on change of Government when the Department ordered to cease, any such claim which up to then had been rejected out of hand, the applicants documents for claim automatically destroyed. My knowledge being that 21 men out of 31 on two seperate injury reports submitted whilst in country in late 1971 and February 1972, had claims for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and "pseudo" Motor Neuron Disease rejected, and so destroyed. The other ten had also claimed also for other problems in which they had been successful. Yours, G/. Gordon Angus Mackinlay <email@example.com> ----- 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 -----