[Cross posted at Thoughts on Military History]
I have spent the past week in the archives for the first time in 6 months, which has been a relief as I think I was getting withdrawal symptoms. However, in the course of trawling through the files I came across the following entry in one of the files. It was found in the War Diary for V Brigade RAF for August 1918. I was looking in this file as it was the higher formation for No. 8 Squadron, which was commanded by the subject of my thesis, Trafford Leigh-Mallory. It is a notification relating that this file, and several others, had been stolen by a reader at the PRO, and that they had managed to reclaim the files and that the person involved was charged for criminal damages. In itself this is a historical document that relates to the organisational history and culture of the key depository for the UK’s national memory. It also shows that you should not mess with the National Archives as they will come after you!