War Office: First World War and Army of Occupation War Diaries

Details of WO 95
Reference:WO 95
Title:
War Office: First World War and Army of Occupation War Diaries
Description:

This series consists of war diaries for British and colonial units serving in theatres of operations between 1914 and 1922, including Russia, at home, and in the colonies, and British military missions, and Armies of Occupation between 1919 and 1922. No diaries for the campaign in South West Africa in 1914-1915 are included in this series because no British units participated; operations were conducted under the auspices of the South African armed forces.

The diaries contain daily reports on operations, intelligence summaries and other pertinent material. The range of dates shown for individual items does not mean there is a document inside the file for each day between the two covering dates.

Please note: Selected First World War war diaries have been scanned as part of TNA's ongoing initiative to digitise some of our most frequently ordered original documents. Digital copies can be searched and downloaded.

Date: 1914-1923
Related Material: For intelligence summaries of information and reports on military, economic and political matters, see WO 157
Separated Material: As many maps included in these diaries and certain war diaries containing particularly confidential material were extracted it is thought that these reasons account for the absence of some appendices referred to on the covers of many diaries.
Maps extracted from these diaries are now in WO 153
Extracted war diaries with especially confidential material were put into WO 154
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record
Language: English
Physical description: 5500 boxes and files
Restriction on use: Records undergoing digitisation. Access to certain pieces will be disrupted until Spring 2013. Advance ordering is possible but we cannot guarantee that the documents required will be available. Please check with us that the records that you wish to consult are not affected before you travel. Access to the following documents will be affected during this time: WO 95/1096-3154 and WO 95/3911-3948.
Access conditions: Available in digital format unless otherwise stated
Publication note: A set of divisional orders of battle for Belgium, France and Germany, in six parts, is held at the Reference Desk; entitled History of the Great War. Order of Battle of Divisions, (HMSO, 1935-1945). This is arranged by division, not by unit. It includes a brief history of Armies, Corps and Divisions serving on the Western Front.
Unpublished finding aids: A contents list and Index to Battalions etc, and a list of the Brigades and Divisions to which Battalions were attached are in the reading rooms at The National Archives, Kew.
Administrative / biographical background:

From 1907 units in active service were required to keep a daily record of events by the Field Service Regulations Part II. These records are called War Diaries or, occasionally, Intelligence Summaries.

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