Herefordshire man discovers WWI documents Government wanted destroyed

Hereford Times: Jeremy Arter with some of the archive material that he found. Jeremy Arter with some of the archive material that he found.

FIRST World War documents that the Government wanted destroyed have been found by a Herefordshire man.

Jeremy Arter, from Callow, was clearing his aunt’s home in Talybonton- Usk, near Brecon, when he came across the archives.

They were due to go in the skip and it was only when he checked them fully that he realised their significance.

“I noticed the stamp MI7 (b) on some of the documents and realised they were worth holding on to,” said Jeremy.

“I checked MI7 (b) on the web and didn’t find much, but further research showed that the Government ordered the destruction of the official papers of MI7 (b) shortly after the Armistice in 1918.”

Historians have said that the documents were destroyed on the grounds that they would have been too incriminating, especially because of the way they showed the Government’s support for the war.

The author of the documents was Jeremy’s great uncle – Captain James Lloyd Price of the Welsh Regiment.

He was wounded at the Battle of the Somme at Mametz in July 1916, but survived and was recruited by MI7 (b) to write extensively for them.

He told the stories of individual heroism and contemporary accounts of daily life of fighting on the front line.

Jeremy read through around 150 of the documents, each between 1,500 to 2,000 words long, and has now put pen to paper about his discovery.

“I have written a book about his story and my intention is to generate as much interest in the archive as I can so that it will be freely available for enthusiasts and scholars to read,” he added.

Jeremy is due to take the archive to the National Library of Wales’s roadshow in Brecon today (Thursday).

The library is currently undertaking a project, entitled World War One and the Welsh Experience, in which it plans to digitalise a wide range of archive material revealing the hidden history of the war.

Project manager Rob Phillips said that up until now, they had failed to find anything about military intelligence and the role that Welsh people played in that.

“I nearly fell off my chair when Jeremy rang about his discovery,” he said.

“It’s definitely a significant find in terms of the project. It will bring a new dimension to what we will be able to show people.”

For more information about the roadshow, visit cymruww1.llgc.org.uk.

Comments (5)

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2:11pm Sat 16 Mar 13

dippyhippy says...

Yes, and in many many years to come, some unsuspecting Herefordian will stumble across a pile of top secret documents that Hereford Council never wanted the public to see......
Yes, and in many many years to come, some unsuspecting Herefordian will stumble across a pile of top secret documents that Hereford Council never wanted the public to see...... dippyhippy

6:25pm Sun 17 Mar 13

Grid Knocker says...

Pity you couln't have let us in on your secret, Jeremy. Has Jarvis Cockup served you with a D-notice then?
Pity you couln't have let us in on your secret, Jeremy. Has Jarvis Cockup served you with a D-notice then? Grid Knocker

6:25pm Sun 17 Mar 13

littlewhitebull says...

Dippyhippy, you are so cynical.
But, I will join you in the search!
Dippyhippy, you are so cynical. But, I will join you in the search! littlewhitebull

9:55pm Sun 17 Mar 13

dippyhippy says...

Tee Hee Littlewhitebull!! I am usually ever the optimist,glass half full and all that,always been a very pleasant place to live - the sunny side of the street! And I remain that way - with the exception of the council and their dodgy doings!! It is,if you like,the exception that proves the rule!
Many thanks for your kind offer - I feel certain there is plenty to be uncovered!!
Tee Hee Littlewhitebull!! I am usually ever the optimist,glass half full and all that,always been a very pleasant place to live - the sunny side of the street! And I remain that way - with the exception of the council and their dodgy doings!! It is,if you like,the exception that proves the rule! Many thanks for your kind offer - I feel certain there is plenty to be uncovered!! dippyhippy

7:18pm Mon 18 Mar 13

Themightyboosh says...

reports were coming in from outside plough lane that white smoke was spotted and another pope may have been elected.

turns out they were just burning documents "just in case" :)
reports were coming in from outside plough lane that white smoke was spotted and another pope may have been elected. turns out they were just burning documents "just in case" :) Themightyboosh

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