Max Manus - Opening of file

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Max Manus - Opening of file

Post  Bob Pearson on Sun 11 Jan 2009 - 0:17

The opening of the Max Manus file came about after I heard that there was a film being made about him in Norway. I enquired at the National Archives in London (previously known as the Public Records Office, Kew) to see if the film company had managed to obtain the release of Manus' file and therefore open to the public domain. This was not the case and proof was need for the file to be considered for release.

I should explain that there are of course millions of files kept at the NA, but to access them there are certain rules governing their release. Many files are released after 30 years, but others have a much larger time embargo placed on them and cannot be opened until that time has passed. Personal files - in the case of SOE personnel they are called HS9 - cannot be opened unless the individual concerned has passed away...and then absolute proof is required of this. This usually means a death certificate with authenticity (official stamp).

Through a very good Norwegian friend and trusted source I was able to evetually produce a copy of the certifcate to the National Archives. This was considered by the NA who then in turn released the file into the public domain. I hasten to add that all rules, Norwegian and British were followed implicitly to the letter.

My interest in Max Manus was two fold. I have read his stories, but they were all about his time in Norway. And as interesting and fascinating as they were I wanted to know more about his time in the UK. This was coupled with the fact that Max Manus was also closely associated with Kaptein Johan (John) Ingebrigt Rognes (later Major). Rognes had his own resistance organisation in Norway and known as the 'R' Organisation or to the British, 'The Rognes Organisation'. When the file was opened I was not to be disappointed. Both Manus' time in Britain was mentioned as was his link with Rognes. This information allowed me to time track John Rognes. I should point out that Rognes was later with FOIV in the UK (Feb 1941 onwards) and became liasion officer to Norwegian SOE. He was also known as 'Kapteinen på Shetlands' (Captain of the Shetlands). At various times he went back to Norway.

Once I had seen the Manus file, I decided to digitally photograph it. A copy of the file was sent to the Hjemmefrontmuseum, Oslo and to Max Manus' wife as a matter of courtesy.
I am now in the process of copying the file again and will post this to Kurt as soon as I can so that it can be placed on NUAV for all to see.

I would like to add that my primary interest is establishing the known whereabouts of John Rognes from his particpation in the Battle of Midtskogen until his arrival in the UK in Feb 1941. It is my belief he was initially recruited to Britain by Major Malcom Munthe of the legation in Sweden. I would be interested to hear from anyone with information on Rognes, particularly if he was in the areas of Lillehammer, Åndalsnes, Molde and Tromsø between April 19th until June 7th 1940.

Bob Pearson
Bob Pearson

Posts : 333
Join date : 2008-03-06
Age : 58
Location : Ipswich - England

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