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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > General Police Discussion

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  #1  
Old 05-20-2017, 01:44 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is online now
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Default Missing Special Branch Record

In his 2002 thesis entitled "An Accident of History: The Evolution of Counter Terrorism Methodology in the Metropolitan Police from 1829 to 1901, With Particular Reference to the Influence of Extreme Irish Nationalist Activity", Dr Lindsay Clutterbuck referred to a Metropolitan Police book that he had consulted entitled "Special Branch, Record of Postings and Promotions, 1886 - 1917" which was located within the Specialist Operations Retained Archive.

He provides quite a detailed explanation of this book in his thesis. Thus he says:

"It measures 20cm by 33cm and is headed "Special Branch Records of Service - 27.11.86 to 2.1.1917". It seems to have performed several functions related to personnel. The volume is divided into various sections. The first of these is extracts from Metropolitan Police Orders relating to the transfers into, within and out of Special Branch. This is invaluable as trying to reconstruct today such movements by relying on the Police Orders published at the time is virtually impossible due to the difficulties in disentangling which CID postings actually referred to Special Branch. Another section refers to each individual officer's postings, transfers, promotion and retirement dates. The final part of the book details officers postings to coastal ports, both in Britain and abroad."

http://www.investigatingtheterror.co...buckThesis.pdf

A researcher asked to see this file in 2007 and was told that it had been selected for preservation at the National Archives. See below Decision Notice of the Information Commissioner dated 20.08.08.

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve...S_50106800.pdf

I asked the National Archives about this but they told me they had no record of it and I should contact the Metropolitan Police. I contacted the Metropolitan Police who, after some protracted correspondence, told me they have no record of this volume and that they only have in their possession a book described as "B6 Occurrence Book, records of Service 3, 1907-1932". Their best explanation is that this is what Clutterbuck was referring to and that he was mistaken in describing it as relating to 1886 to 1907 even though, as I pointed out to them, his thesis only covered the period up to 1901.

I was wondering if any one knows anything about this particularly as to the identity of the researcher in 2007 who appears to have been given permission to view the book before the intended transfer to TNA.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:19 AM
jerryd jerryd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
In his 2002 thesis entitled [i]I was wondering if any one knows anything about this particularly as to the identity of the researcher in 2007 who appears to have been given permission to view the book before the intended transfer to TNA.
I believe it may have been Alex Butterworth, David.

http://informationrights.decisions.t...2030-03-09.pdf
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:29 AM
Dr. John Watson Dr. John Watson is offline
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Default We've checked our records

Dear Dr. Watson:

In ref to your request to the Metropolitan Police for a certain described record: I am pleased to advise that we have checked our records and our records indicate we have no such record. The records we do not have may contain the record you requested, therefore it is suggested that you contact the Special Branch Assistant Director of Unfound Records, Section 23, who may be able to direct you to where you can go to find unfound records such as the unfound record you are attempting to - find. Very sincerely yours, etc. etc., Oliver Clives, Asst to the Asst Keeper of Some Records and Not Others, etc. etc.














Dr. John Watson, Seeker of Lost Records
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Old 05-20-2017, 04:40 PM
Phil Carter Phil Carter is offline
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Hello David,

I hate to be the bearer of sad news, but I think you may have to consider that this volume, along with at least one of the other two volumes listed, may very well have been destroyed. Elsewhere on Casebook I believe Trevor Marriott gave the name of the specific person responsible for the destruction (under orders) of one of these volumes (The Chief Constable's Register).

I humbly suggest you take contact with that lady. She eill ve able yo confirm/deny any such action.


Regards


Phil
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:20 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is online now
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Originally Posted by jerryd View Post
I believe it may have been Alex Butterworth, David.
Thanks Jerry, yes, that must be right. I can't see any mention of this volume in his book though.
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:24 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is online now
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Originally Posted by Phil Carter View Post
Hello David,

I hate to be the bearer of sad news, but I think you may have to consider that this volume, along with at least one of the other two volumes listed, may very well have been destroyed. Elsewhere on Casebook I believe Trevor Marriott gave the name of the specific person responsible for the destruction (under orders) of one of these volumes (The Chief Constable's Register).

I humbly suggest you take contact with that lady. She eill ve able yo confirm/deny any such action.
Phil - the volumes destroyed were these:

Metropolitan Police Ledgers, headed “Special Account” Vols 1-3 (1888-1894, 1894-1901, 1901-1912)

Chief Constable’s CID Register, “Special Branch”, 1888-1892


The volume I am asking about was supposed to have been selected for permanent preservation at the National Archives. The MPS tell me it has not been destroyed because they also tell me it never existed. That's the puzzle.

Destruction is of course one possibility but the MPS are saying this didn't happen.
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Old 05-21-2017, 12:25 PM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Phil - the volumes destroyed were these:

Metropolitan Police Ledgers, headed “Special Account” Vols 1-3 (1888-1894, 1894-1901, 1901-1912)

Chief Constable’s CID Register, “Special Branch”, 1888-1892


The volume I am asking about was supposed to have been selected for permanent preservation at the National Archives. The MPS tell me it has not been destroyed because they also tell me it never existed. That's the puzzle.

Destruction is of course one possibility but the MPS are saying this didn't happen.
Probably wrong reference from the guy who wrote about it in the first place.
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Old 05-21-2017, 01:03 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is online now
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Thank for your insight Pierre. The "guy who wrote about it in the first place", Dr Lindsay Clutterbuck, was a detective chief inspector within the Specialist Operations Department at Scotland Yard which makes me think it unlikely that he made such a basic error. If the contents of the record only relate to the years 1907 to 1932 then it was outside the years of which his thesis was concerned (namely 1829 to 1901) so if he was in error then not only was he mistaken about the description of the book but also about the relevance of it to his work.
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:32 AM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Thank for your insight Pierre. The "guy who wrote about it in the first place", Dr Lindsay Clutterbuck, was a detective chief inspector within the Specialist Operations Department at Scotland Yard which makes me think it unlikely that he made such a basic error. If the contents of the record only relate to the years 1907 to 1932 then it was outside the years of which his thesis was concerned (namely 1829 to 1901) so if he was in error then not only was he mistaken about the description of the book but also about the relevance of it to his work.
But the reference "Special Branch Records of Service - 27.11.86 to 2.1.1917" is mentioned just once in his thesis and it is not in the bibliography.

In the bibliography you will find "Special Branch, Record of Postings and Promotions, 1886 - 1917".

Pierre
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:43 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
But the reference "Special Branch Records of Service - 27.11.86 to 2.1.1917" is mentioned just once in his thesis and it is not in the bibliography.

In the bibliography you will find "Special Branch, Record of Postings and Promotions, 1886 - 1917".
Yes I am aware of that information, and both descriptions are referred to in the OP, but those dates do not appear to me to be consistent with a volume described as covering the period 1907-1932.
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