A selection of recently released files

November 2007

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Catalogue ref. Date Description
Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard and other related bodies
ADM 298/499 1956 Some afterthoughts on a submarine disaster

Contains a report attempting to cast some light on the events of the disaster of the submarine HMS Thetis, which foundered on 2 June 1939 resulting in the loss of 99 lives. The report describes the known facts of the disaster and extrapolates from the state of the salvaged wreck why so many failed to escape. The author provides methods for escape, complete with photographs and illustrations.


ADM 298/500 1956 Local protection against underwater blast injuries: animal experimentsContains reports of experiments using sheep, which were used to test prototype body armour to protect against underwater blasts. This file also includes photographs of the body armour used to protect the thorax of the sheep, as well as post-mortem reports.
Records created or inherited by the Home Office, Ministry of Home Security, and related bodies
HO 144/8687 1928 NATIONALITY AND NATURALISATION: Tobin, Oscar, from Roumania. Resident in Croydon. Certificate 16518 issued 13 October 1928

Contains the application for naturalisation of a Romanian, Dr Tobin, who was very active in Labour party politics in London in the 1920s.  His file includes representations made by Clement Attlee (later the post-war Labour prime minister), who protested at the 'spiteful' refusal by the Home Office in 1924 to grant Dr Tobin British nationality. 


HO 405/35798 1938-1949 MORGENSTERN, M. Date of birth 12/04/1902

Contains the application for naturalisation of Mrs Margarethe Morgenstern and her husband Erwin, both Jewish refugees who had fled from Nazi oppression prior to the outbreak of World War II.  This file also includes a letter from the famous campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst to the Home Office pleading the case for Erwin to be allowed to join his wife in the UK.  In the 1930s Sylvia Pankhurst was well known for helping Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazis.


Records of the Metropolitan Police Office
MEPO 2/10978 1934 British Union of Fascists: Meeting at Olympia on 7 June 1934 and protest demonstration by Communist Party of Great Britain, correspondence and press cuttings

Includes reports from Special Branch outlining the injuries sustained by those present at the 'mêlée' at Olympia, followed by graphic descriptions by three medical doctors in attendance. Clippings from the 'Daily Worker' expressing outrage at the BBC's broadcasting of Oswald Mosley's speech are included, as well as a pamphlet of eyewitness accounts prepared in the aftermath of the meeting. Among those providing accounts were the authors Naomi Mitchison, Aldous Huxley and Vera Brittain.


Records of the Prime Minister's Office
PREM 13/1788 1967 Case of document found in branch of Bank of ScotlandThe document in question is an official Foreign Office communication from the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson to US President Lyndon B Johnson. The draft deals with the visit to the UK by the Soviet Premier Yuri Kosygin and relates details of their conversations about the US bombing campaign in Vietnam. Wilson discusses in frank terms the political fall-out in the UK resulting form the unpopularity of the US presence in Vietnam.
The message was re-discovered by a member of the Diplomatic Service in the Bank of Scotland branch on Regent Street after being mistakenly left behind by the Principal Private Secretary of the Foreign Office.
PREM 15/2241 1971 Prime Minister's meeting with President Pompidou in Paris, 19-21 May 1971: annotated agenda; records of conversations; HM Ambassador's Despatch; agreed English text of record of conclusions

Discussions cover fisheries, European relations with non-member states, the state of sterling and possible outcomes of the UK joining the European Community, in addition to more general agreements about the role and development of Europe.