Chris_Baker, on 08 April 2012 - 03:12 PM, said:
Not all of the war diaries of British units are held at the National Archives at Kew. Some are missing having never been filed and perhaps others have been lost over time. I know that in a few cases the Royal Artillery archive at Woolwich has copies of diaries that are not at Kew. Is anyone aware of the existence of copies of any other "missing" war diaries?
Chris - I assume you mean the Official War Diary as per Army Form C 2118. My area of interest is largely limited to Gallipoli where there are a number of missing War Diaries (completely missing and parts missing). A few have been supplemented by a survivor's personal diaries (usually one of the senior surviving Officers as you probably already know). If you are interested in these types of 'war diaries I have catalogued all the available material at the Imperial War Museum, National Army Museum and the Liddle Collection for units who fought at Gallipoli and in particular Suvla Bay - there are over 200 documents of which 111 are the private papers (including diaries) of men who served there. Particularly useful for the units where large parts of the Official War Diaries are missing
Ones that spring to mind for example are Lt Col Jourdain's diaries which cover the actions of 5th Connaught Rangers for a large part of the War (held at the NAM). Similarly Lt Col A Weston Jarvis' diaries when commanding the Sharpshooters and held at the Sharpshooters RHQ in Croydon is regarded as the most detailed War Diary. In both cases the C 2118 War Diaries exist, however the detail given by these two greatly enhances the official War Diaries and in the case of the Sharpshooters parts are missing of the C 2118.
Let me know if the catalogue is of any use. If your research takes you into Gallipoli feel free to PM me as I have tracked down and transcribed many dozen personal diaries for the Gallipoli campaign and I have a fairly detailed knowledge of the available material., especially the Div HQ diaries that are not digitised. As you will know, TNA's catalogue is not always the best of guides..... 10 years of research and counting.... Similarly I have quite a few of the published histories of the units who served there which are sometimes quite difficult (and expensive) to get hold of. The combination of the published histories, War Diaries and personal diaries is often a case of 1+1+1=4 in my experience as one often fills in the blanks of the others.