Catalogue description Records of the Armed Forces from commands, headquarters, regiments and corps

Details of Division within WO
Reference: Division within WO
Title: Records of the Armed Forces from commands, headquarters, regiments and corps

Records of the Armed Forces from a variety of headquarters, regiments and corps, but largely comprising headquarters records and war diaries.

HEADQUARTERS: General WO 28; North America WO 36; First World War WO 158; Peacetime operations abroad WO 191; Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Force and 21 Army Group WO 229; West Africa Command and Allied Joint Staff WO 294; British Forces Caribbean WO 336; British Forces Gulf WO 337; British Army of the Rhine WO 351; British Troops Egypt WO 382; Middle East and successors WO 386

Second World War: British Expeditionary Force, France WO 197; NW Expeditionary Force, Norway WO 198; Home Forces WO 199; Middle East Forces WO 201; British Military Missions in Liaison with Allied Forces WO 202; SE Asia Command WO 203; Allied Forces, Mediterranean WO 204, WO 228; 21 Army Group WO 205; Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Force WO 219; North African and Mediterranean Theatres WO 234; Allied Forces (Central Mediterranean), former political prisoners statements WO 328.

WAR DIARIES and QUARTERLY HISTORICAL REPORTS: First World War and Army of Occupation WO 95; Inter-Allied Armistice Commission WO 144; First World War WO 154; Middle East Land Forces WO 261; Central Mediterranean Forces WO 262; British troops Austria WO 263; British Element Trieste Force WO 264; British troops Malta WO 265; Gibraltar Forces WO 266; British Army of the Rhine WO 267; Far East Land Forces WO 268; East and West Africa Forces WO 269; Caribbean Forces WO 270; Home Forces WO 271; British Commonwealth Division of UN Force, Korean War WO 281; Suez Campaign WO 288; Army Air Corps WO 295.

Second World War: Home forces WO 166; British Expeditionary Force, France WO 167; British North West Expeditionary Force, Norway WO 168; Middle East WO 169; Central Mediterranean Forces, British Element WO 170; Allied Expeditionary Force, NW Europe (British Element) WO 171; British and Allied Land Forces, SE Asia WO 172; West African Command WO 173; British Forces, Madagascar WO 174; Allied Forces, North Africa, British Element WO 175; British Forces, smaller theatres WO 176; Army Medical Services WO 177; British Military Missions WO 178; Canadian, South African, New Zealand and Indian (UK) Forces (Dominion Forces) WO 179; General HQ Liaison Regiment WO 215; Various Army personnel WO 217; Special services WO 218; Southern Rhodesian Forces WO 333.

GENERAL: Correspondence and papers, South African War WO 108; Intelligence summaries, First World War WO 157; Orders of Battle and Organisation Tables, Second World War WO 212; Sixth Airborne Division, Palestine WO 275; East Africa Command WO 276; Gibraltar Garrison WO 284, WO 376; British and Commonwealth Forces, Korean War WO 308; Polish Forces and Polish Resettlement Corps WO 315; Royal Armoured Corps WO 341; SE Asia Command British Army Aid Group, China WO 343; Sovereign Base Areas Administration, Cyprus WO 383.

PHOTOGRAPHS (First World War campaigns): Western FrontWO 316; Gallipoli WO 317; Palestine WO 319; Italy WO 323.

MAPS and PLANS: First World War WO 153, WO 297 (Western Front), WO 298 (Salonika); Mesopotamia and post First World War WO 302; Suez WO 322.

Date: 1720-1985
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Army, 1660-

War Department, 1855-1857

War Office, 1857-1964

Physical description: 86 series
Administrative / biographical background:

War Diaries: In general these are a daily record of events, reports on operations, intelligence summaries, etc, of formation, headquarters, divisional, regimental and other unit commanders. Although army units have been required to keep an historical record of events since the early 19th century, the system of war diaries was not introduced until the beginning of the 20th century. The document was to be opened upon mobilization, and maintained for the duration of hostilities. It recorded all wartime operations, administrative orders, nominal rolls, etc, for the unit or formation to which it referred. After 1946 war diaries were replaced by quarterly historical reports

The system was in use during the Wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. Between 1946 and early 1950, the Quarterly Historical Report (QHR) was used as the method of recording non-operational activities, especially those of occupying forces. From April 1950, however, QHRs ceased and were replaced by Unit Historical Reports (UHRs). Nevertheless, war diaries were maintained by units and formations involved in the Korean War and during the invasion of Suez.

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