Photograph help

Hi, I have just sent the following email to IWM and the Disclosure Cell at Whale Island, after seven months I'm afraid the PTSD reared its ugly head and I almost got offensive. Is there anybody on here who can help with my quest you can see the problems I've had Thanks for reading this

I am totally lost, I am trying to find photographs of my late father of which I know to exist but it seems that since I was a photographer 10 years ago every military establishment, newspaper, organisation etc have lost their databases of images, have not done them or plain just cant be bothered. As an example I’ve tried your database and it has nothing in the slightest bit relevant yet HMS Seahawk inform me the pictures and /or negatives were passed on to you. As a further example my father was an SBA-LMA (S. B. G********* MX******) at HMS Seahawk from Jul 1965 to Apr 1967 and Jun 1969 to Sep 1972, he worked in the sick bay, he had a number of official record photographs taken, I have seen them. How do I in a polite way as possible after 7 months track down the negs/images so as to enquire about purchasing copies of them, and how do I trace the same of images (Class/course groups etc) from ships/establishments he served with but no longer exist. I refuse to accept that he served for 22 years in the Royal Navy and does not exist in a single photograph. I apologise for my unfortunate tone, as I know it is not your fault or problem but my computer is getting clogged with standard responses which mean and achieve absolutely nothing.
Thank you for taking the time to read this I do appreciate it.
Hi Little Jan. It might be worth contacting the Imperial War Museum. Yes, I know that sounds daft, but several years ago the RN decided that its photographic records should be held by the IWM.

So even if you work for the RN and need to have a relatively recent RN picture - yep, you might have to go to the IWM.
Just re-read your post and realised you had actually already contacted the IWM........

My response was therefore not in any way helpful. Sorry!

But your problems seem to emphasise the crass stupidity of whoever decided that RN photographic records should go to the IWM rather than be available within the RN itself.
Have you tried HMS Drake or HMS Nelson photographic sections? If he was a scablifter then I'm sure RNH Hasler would have had course phots, maybe they ended up in Nelson.


War Hero
It's an interesting issue as I'm fairly sure most of us will have had course photos taken throughout our careers. I always thought they were taken for those in the photo rather than the intention of our employer maintaining an official photographic database. Perhaps I'm wrong.

I wonder whether employers are obligated in any way, despite a data protection subject access request, to provide this service? Given the hundreds of thousands of Naval personnel that served in the last half-century, it must be a monumentally expensive undertaking and I'm wondering besides the IWM, if perhaps the online National Archives maintain a record.

There are probably six or seven-figure numbers of photographs in the archives but I very much doubt they are collated in such a manner that individuals in a picture are accurately named & held on an index held for 50 years.

Best of luck in your quest.
Years ago when I was at Wyton there was a large phot section. When the aircraft left and it became a office block with a runway my father in Law enquired to what was left of the phot section if the had any old Canberra photos. He was informed that all the potos and negatives were chucked in a skip a few months before when they were told to clear out the storeroom.
Have you tried HMS Drake or HMS Nelson photographic sections? If he was a scablifter then I'm sure RNH Hasler would have had course phots, maybe they ended up in Nelson.
Not sure where Haslar's phots went but with regards to NS's post ... course phots may well have gone to Keogh Barracks with and when Medical Staff School relocated there ... of course they may well have got chucked out as well. I can't remember any old phots kicking about when I was in RNMST in Haslar (late 80's) ... but that doesn't mean they weren't there in some cupboard / cellar.
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