The Ministry of Defence in England plans to destroy records that are valuable to genealogists. A "grassroots" effort has been formed to stop the destruction.
World War 1 medal index cards kept by the MoD are due for destruction in April. These cards were compiled in the 1920s to issue campaign medals and contain soldiers' basic military details and medals awarded. These cards are great genealogy resources when researching the men and women who served in the Great War as well as a reminder of the huge sacrifices made.
The MoD proposed destroying some six million of these cards. The fronts of these cards have been photographed and saved on microfiche, but this contains only limited details. Many of the cards have more information on the backs, information that has never been microfilmed and will be lost forever if the MoD has its way. In addition, the quality of the microfilms is marginal; some cards are not readable on the films but the original cards are easily readable if viewed in person.
Thanks to genealogists raising awareness of the issue, the MoD has given the cards a stay of execution and is considering an application to adopt the cards from the Western Front Association - http://www.westernfront.co.uk. More letters are needed. You can join the national campaign by writing to Defence Minister the Rt Hon Geoff Hoon and Sarah Tyacke, Save the Medal Index Cards, c/o Your Family Tree, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath, BA1 2BW.
More information is available in the Your Family Tree magazine. Issue 23 is on sale now (with an editorial on this topic) and an update will be in issue 24, to go on sale 13 April.
More information about the magazine can be found at http://www.yourfamilytreemag.co.uk