Concern Being Expressed That Archive Files on Britain’s Colonial Past Keep Going Missing?

General Urko

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Around 1000 UK Government Files, mostly out 'on loan' to Government Departments have essentially disappeared from the national archive collection.
These very often shed a light on British Bollex Acting during colonial oppression and some relate to Nordieland!
And documents in the national archive have been valuable in highlighting human rights abuses, such as the sanctioning of torture in Northern Ireland!

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/27/archive-files-britain-colonial-past-government

"The loss of so many documents of such significance has understandably caused concern among historians, politicians and human rights groups. Amnesty International has called on Theresa May to order an urgent government-wide search for the documents, while Labour MP Jon Trickett has warned that the loss “will only fuel accusations of a cover-up”.


Apparently in 2013 Guardianistas highlighted that 1 Million files were falsely categorized as 'High Security' were being held in a secure unit in Buckinghamshire, many of these related to human rights abuses perpetrated by The Britz in Kenya!
 


General Urko

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It also beggars the question - how many have our fat cat equivalents 'lost'?:mad:
 

PBP voter

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Meh. These files never contain the truth.

Government's never put down in paper the real facts eg the lizard people were behind Brexit.
 

General Urko

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Meh. These files never contain the truth.

Government's never put down in paper the real facts eg the lizard people were behind Brexit.
Actually my understanding is that for any important matter the Britz bring a ton of civil servants to the table and are extremely reluctant to commit anything to paper and even if they do it will be done so using the weaselist of words!
 

ger12

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Have they checked behind the radiator?
 

former wesleyan

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Siobhan Fenton gets most of her historical facts from an Phoblacht from what I've seen of her Irish stuff. As an actual historian tweeted today there's no dearth of material for a serious researcher.
 

General Urko

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Lumpy Talbot

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Had an interesting chat a few years back with a fellow who was obsessed with locating written records of the orders between Lord Raglan, commander of the army at Balaclava and Lord Lucan, commander of the cavalry.

I recall him saying that the written order from Raglan to Lucan to send in the cavalry along a valley with what they thought was a small battery of artillery on a rise to the left but which of course turned out to be an absolute killing field, resulting in the hideous waste of life that was the Charge of the Light Brigade, had been missing from the records.

Apparently a letter turned up in recent times from the records of a Captain Louis Nolan who had passed the order from Raglan to Lucan. Indeed it appears that the over-eager Captain Nolan had embellished the order to Lucan suggesting that the Cavalry should attack to secure the battery of guns whereas the suggestion was that Raglan had only intended a feint by the Light Cavalry.

Nolan was apparently over-eager to commit the cavalry. Or so the story goes. Then again it wouldn't be the first time a middling officer was used as a scapegoat by general officers after a disaster- especially as Nolan was one of the first to be killed in the subsequent charge of the Light Brigade. The actual order from Raglan to Lucan I think has been missing for a long time and is something of a 'holy grail' for researchers of the period.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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What brought that to mind was that the fellow I spoke with was one of the last of the young officers in India in the last days of the Raj. He died about 2009 and I remember seeing his obituary in the Times.

He was fascinated by military blunders. He recalled only ever giving one order in anger himself when he was sent with a company to a civil disturbance in the dying days of the British presence in India.

He said he was so nervous that when confronted by a rioting mob looking very much like they were going to attack his order, as he related himself, was to 'F-f-f-fix bayonets'.

Luckily for him the sight was enough to make the crowd think twice and they melted away to riot elsewhere.

Found his Imperial College obituary; I see his adventure in India made it into the obit.

'Mr Anthony J. Lucking (Physics 1943, Electrical Engineering 1949)

Originally published by the Times on February 4 2009
Date 04 Feb 2009
Category News
Last Updated 09 Feb 2009
email to a friend


Tony Lucking: engineer and air transport expert

Tony Lucking was for half a century the voice of Britain's air transport consumers, not least those in business and industry. Known to all as Citizen Lucking, he campaigned for competitive and efficient air services.

His sobriquet Citizen Lucking was earned in the 1960s when scheduled air services were the monopoly of BOAC and BEA. Independents were allowed a look-in if they agreed to be "associates" of the state airlines. His independent voice of protest and reason began to be heard at licensing hearings. It is easy to forget that his progressive ideas became today's received wisdom. He lived to see independent competition, deregulated fares and routes, better accounting and financial transparency, and improved cost and traffic data.

He championed deregulated air travel for the masses and argued that cities without air transport are not on the map of global business. He asserted that a modern economy cannot prosper without airports and their connections with world markets.

Lucking was a numerate engineer who applied hard, verifiable data to his arguments. His air transport database, stored in his computer and on the windowsills of his Covent Garden flat, was probably the most comprehensive in private hands.

A keen spotter of dodgy statistics, Lucking enjoyed unearthing facts about competition, productivity, efficiency, fares, revenues, payloads and costs. He was never boring, never aggressive, and always helpful at simplifying complicated issues. His reports and letters engaged in reason rather than polemics, and were aimed primarily at public policymakers — ministers, civil servants, MPs, editors and professional bodies.

He did not crow about his victories or proselytise. Nor did he seek the limelight or fall out with people. He had many friends and even admirers among those who said "it can't be done". He would calm discord by quoting P. G. Wodehouse: "Let us discuss this matter over a moody forkful."

Lucking often enlivened his reports and letters with quotations. In the battles about where to locate a third London airport he costed the human time needed to get to and from Maplin Sands, a proposed remote Thames Estuary airport. Make better use of existing assets such as Stansted, he urged. He quoted Lord Hanson: "I want 15 per cent from every asset or you're fired!"

In the debate about the Channel Tunnel he showed that air and sea transport would always be cheaper, especially for cargo. In the current debate about a third runway for Heathrow he advocated better use of the two existing runways, operating them in mixed mode (sequenced take-offs and landings) as is safely done at Chicago and other US cities. Yes, a third Heathrow runway would be needed, but it should be short and reserved for small, quiet regional airliners.

The logistics and efficiency of air power had fascinated him as a young British Army officer in India. Later he admired the Berlin airlift and the can-do attitude which drove it. From his army experience he believed that objectives are won by good transport.

Anthony James Lucking was born in Birmingham in 1925, the son of an optician, Reginald Lucking, and his wife, Ella Mary. He was educated at King's Norton and Sebright schools in the Midlands, winning a scholarship to Imperial College at 16. He qualified as an electrical engineer after war service. Before joining The Wiltshire Regiment in 1944, he served in the Home Guard, manning an anti- aircraft rocket battery in Hyde Park. He believed that there was much to learn from military history. In battlefield visits and record-office researches he uncovered new information about the Crimean and Boer wars — the Light Brigade's miscommunication, Mary Seacole's hospital work, Emily Hobhouse's campaign against the captivity of Boer women and children, and the missing Jamieson Raid guns.

He recounted little of his own military history except for his time in India after Partition, trying to keep the peace in Calcutta. As a 21-year-old lieutenant he found himself "unnerved" by a murderous crowd bearing down on his platoon. He said that when he ordered "F-f-f-f-fix bayonets" the mob ran away.

Retiring as a major in 1947 he worked for Standard Telephones and Cable before joining the management consultants Urwick Orr. His assignments included the new steelworks at Port Talbot, aircrew rostering at Hunting-Clan Airways, and reorganising the plastic components manufacturer Waddington & Duval. Lucking usually began his assessments just sitting in a corner observing and listening. "You can learn a lot about an organisation doing that," he would say.

In 1961 he was appointed managing director of Waddington & Duval where he invented a plastic press-tap for wine boxes. The big technical challenge was precision moulding to ensure that the tap was absolutely leak-proof. Lucking the engineer, with his scientific approach to problems, succeeded. He then led extensive sales campaigns, notably in Australia and South Africa. The wine-box press-tap is today commonplace, with much profit to his company.

In 1990 he retired from Waddington & Duval, where he had found time for his air transport campaigns and had gained much first-hand experience as an airline customer. He now stepped up his air transport researches, extending them to rail, sea and road transport. He was concerned about the amount of hidden public money being poured into railways, and the opacity of the accounting. He studied motorway construction and found that British surfaces are much thinner than those on the Continent, resulting in roadworks and traffic jams which waste resources.

Citizen Lucking was independent, unpaid, unstaffed and remained a bachelor. He was a member of the Airline Users Committee and its honorary consultant for many years, a Freeman of the City of London, an adviser to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee chairman Gwyneth Dunwoody, a member of the Worshipful Company of Carmen, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a member of the RAeS Air Transport Group, and a glider pilot.

He leaves a sister and many friends who will miss his "Ah, what-ho?"

Tony Lucking, engineer and air transport expert, was born on May 14, 1925. He died on December 22, 2008, aged 83.'
 
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Lumpy Talbot

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History is peculiar about its records. There can be such silences at pivotal moments, no doubt because in the heat of such events there is much confusion and the agreed narrative only is pieced together afterwards.

Churchill knew the truth of it when he claimed that history would be kind to him as he intended 'to write it'.

Peculiar also in the details history remembers. Laponotiere, the Captain of HMS Pickles who was charged with bringing despatches home to England with the news of Trafalgar and Nelson's death is recorded as having landed at Falmouth and engaged a post-chaise to London some 271 miles, taking 37 hours and in the process changing horses 21 times between Monday 4th November and on reaching the Admiralty at 1 in the morning on the 6th November.

The 11th change of horse was at Dorchester and at a cost, the records reveal, of two pounds fourteen shillings and sixpence.
 

sgtharper

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Had an interesting chat a few years back with a fellow who was obsessed with locating written records of the orders between Lord Raglan, commander of the army at Balaclava and Lord Lucan, commander of the cavalry.

I recall him saying that the written order from Raglan to Lucan to send in the cavalry along a valley with what they thought was a small battery of artillery on a rise to the left but which of course turned out to be an absolute killing field, resulting in the hideous waste of life that was the Charge of the Light Brigade, had been missing from the records.

Apparently a letter turned up in recent times from the records of a Captain Louis Nolan who had passed the order from Raglan to Lucan. Indeed it appears that the over-eager Captain Nolan had embellished the order to Lucan suggesting that the Cavalry should attack to secure the battery of guns whereas the suggestion was that Raglan had only intended a feint by the Light Cavalry.

Nolan was apparently over-eager to commit the cavalry. Or so the story goes. Then again it wouldn't be the first time a middling officer was used as a scapegoat by general officers after a disaster- especially as Nolan was one of the first to be killed in the subsequent charge of the Light Brigade. The actual order from Raglan to Lucan I think has been missing for a long time and is something of a 'holy grail' for researchers of the period.
I'm surprised that you believe any of this is new to be honest, because everything you say has been in the public domain for many many years and I've certainly heard all of it before. I have a tatty copy of Cecil Woodham-Smith's "The Reason Why" which covers it all in considerable detail. The order from Lord Raglan, the Commander in Chief, to Lord Lucan, commanding the Cavalry Division which consisted of the Light and Heavy Cavalry Brigades, has I'm sure been in the possession of the National Army Museum for a very long time indeed and it's contents are well known. It was dictated to General Airey who hastily scribbled it down and passed it to Capt. Lewis Nolan who then galloped off to deliver it. He approached Lucan and recited the order as well as handing it to him, it reads:

"Lord Raglan wishes the Cavalry to advance rapidly to the front - follow the enemy and try to prevent the Enemy carrying away the guns- Troop Horse Artillery may accompany - French Cavalry is on your left.

R. Airey.

Immediate."

It is now generally accepted that the immediate problem arose because Raglan, on the heights above, had a different view of the battlefield than Raglan on the plain below and facing roughly towards the mouths of two valleys. Lucan could see only the Russian artillery batteries on the sides and at the end of one of the valleys, the guns Raglan was interested in were invisible to him. He asked Nolan for clarification, "What guns?".
Nolan, in front of him and with his back to the valleys, gestured over his shoulder - seemingly towards the wrong valley - and said rather insolently,

There my Lord, there are your guns!"

The rest as they say, is history. It's widely believed that Nolan, who asked to accompany the Light Brigade as it advanced, realised fairly quickly that they were heading towards the wrong valley and broke ranks to gallop across the front of the Brigade try and prevent it. Unfortunately he was killed almost instantly by shrapnel which tore his chest open and killed him instantly.

Another more recent book on the Charge is Hell Riders by Terry Brighton, luridly named but well worth a read and it covers a lot of detail that previous authors have left out. It has a photo of the original order by the way.
 
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eoghanacht

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Siobhan Fenton gets most of her historical facts from an Phoblacht from what I've seen of her Irish stuff. As an actual historian tweeted today there's no dearth of material for a serious researcher.
Here is a perfect example of attack the messenger.

Well done and liked by Col Blimp.
 
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NMunsterman

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Karloff

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Uppity natives have the tendency to seek redress in the courts these days for past crimes so new revelations can be costly if they give weight to those claims.
 

stopdoingstuff

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I don't see the big deal about colonial crimes. I don't know of any nation that has been at different times in its history in a position of massive dominance over other nations, in a position to assert that dominance without significant cost, and decided to behave like gentlemen. If most civilisations can fk over others, they will and there are few exceptions. The idea that this is unique to either the Brits or even to white people is as absurd as the idea that it is something to cover up or apologise for.

The flip side of this is that the oppressed have every right to fight back and kill their oppressors. I have always been proud of Irish resistance to British rule, especially those who went out and killed Brits. I really wish that more Brits had been killed as this would have ended matters sooner. What brought the Brits to the table? Bombing- that's what. History is decided by force, both moral and physical.

The Brits should stop being such pussies and stop apologising for the past. It's not as if they will ever be in a position to dominate anyone again.
 

Karloff

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I don't see the big deal about colonial crimes. I don't know of any nation that has been at different times in its history in a position of massive dominance over other nations, in a position to assert that dominance without significant cost, and decided to behave like gentlemen. If most civilisations can fk over others, they will and there are few exceptions. The idea that this is unique to either the Brits or even to white people is as absurd as the idea that it is something to cover up or apologise for.

The flip side of this is that the oppressed have every right to fight back and kill their oppressors. I have always been proud of Irish resistance to British rule, especially those who went out and killed Brits. I really wish that more Brits had been killed as this would have ended matters sooner. What brought the Brits to the table? Bombing- that's what. History is decided by force, both moral and physical.

The Brits should stop being such pussies and stop apologising for the past. It's not as if they will ever be in a position to dominate anyone again.
Some powers have been very successful at presenting their dark period in a positive light, the British in particular. The Israelis currently to a huge extent as their tentacles have been behind a cluster of wars and go deep into African holocausts as well, they even trained Los Zetas alongside the US. Germany on the other hand has been defeated in war and has had to turn all it's dark secrets out to air in the open. I think it can only help mankind the more and more such things are exposed wherever they occurred.

One poster on the link in the OP made a very good point...

There were many, many crimes carried out in the name of the British ( and other) empires, and these facts should be taught in schools. Obviously everyone remembers when the Tories banned such teaching in schools in the 1980s, saying that only looney lefty teachers would ever want to teach the facts.

But equally it should be taught that the British working class were equally treated like absolute ************************ throughout these times. And no, the women and children working 14 hours a day in the coal mines or cotton mills, for example, were not beneficiaries of the great British Empire even if they were British. They were all victims of the same system.
So the British Empire was not the British Nation in it's entirety, a relatively small arc of Britain actively pursued such activities and benefited enormously from them.
 


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